I was drawn to Love’s Forbidden Flower by Diane Rinella because of its taboo subject of incest and I wanted to see how she would share the love between brother and sister with Donovan and Lily. I enjoyed what Rinella created in this book despite some issues I had along the way. It was different in a way that kept me enthralled and had me wishing for something I never thought I would wish for when it came to both Lily and Donovan.
I liked Lily for her outspoken manner, the way she was passionate about baking, and her ability to express what she was feeling without hesitation. She was the type of person who was adamant about wanting to be herself without restraint. Lily also had a great sense of humor and at times, she was able to make me smile and laugh with her snarky and devious ways. I thought Lily was a strong character, a driving force not easily put down by others. I didn’t like that Lily could be a little forceful, very forward, and certainly had no filter when it came to her feelings. It was her greatest strength and weakness because while she was expressive, she would push too much. In her assertiveness, I thought she was a little selfish and when she didn’t get her way, she was overdramatic. Despite this, I liked that Lily took charge in the end and did what was best for herself, but mostly for Donovan.
I thought Donovan was a complex character that kept me wishing to be in his head alongside Lily’s. I found him to be a fragile and delicate character, damaged at best and barely holding on at worst. Throughout the whole book, Donovan goes through many struggles from trying to be the manly son his father wanted him to be, from the denial of being who Donovan wanted to be, and ultimately to his feelings toward Lily. I was a little put off with his back and forth cold and angry demeanor to his gentle and caring side, but I understood where he was coming from and what demons he was trying to battle, put to rest, and forget. It was very sad to see him slowly break down from his pent up feelings and the secrets he harbored.
I did had some trouble with the writing style and Lily’s overall voice because of the heavy vocabulary I wasn’t familiar with. I also wasn’t a fan of the transitions between chapters. I felt disoriented when one event would end and soon another would start with time passing without me really knowing it. I just thought they didn’t blend as well as I would have liked. I also thought that Love’s Forbidden Flower was unnecessarily long. I think there was some parts that could be shortened or even possibly taken out. However, Rinella did do a great job with exploring such a controversial topic. Love’s Forbidden Flower was written well with great thought and lots of emotion. I’m still conflicted toward my feelings for Lily and Donovan’s wonderful, yet odd relationship, but Rinella managed to give me an even more open mind and allowed me to understand, sympathize, and feel the ache of love lost. She definitely had me questioning the lines between right and wrong in society when it came to love. She had me asking questions like: What is love? Why is this type of love so bad? Why is it any different? If an author can have me second guessing my morals and beliefs, then I know her words and her stories have the power to move and touch many readers. While Love’s Forbidden Flower was far from perfect, it did make its mark on my sometimes tough heart. More Reviews on my blog: Words, Pages, and Books