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February 26, 2013

Early Review: Tainted Love by Eva Márquez


Series: Sweetest Taboo 2
Format: Digital
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Excerpt
Publisher: Terra-Mila Press
Source: Eva Márquez
Genre: New Adult
Purchase: Not available

Isabel thought her life was on track – she was doing well in school, moving quickly toward her future, and deciding who she wanted to be. Best of all, she’d reunited with Tom, the love of her life. But it doesn’t take long for her history – and his – to start catching up with them, presenting a range of uncomfortable questions. Does he really love her? Are they meant to be together? And what exactly has he been doing in their time apart?

I read book 1, Sweetest Taboo, last year and I was so discombobulated about the entire story I didn't rate the book in Goodreads and didn't publish a review here in our blog. The tale just polarized me and I think several readers have felt the same reservations I did about Isabel Cruz and Tom Stevens May-December affair. The entire situation about a 16 year-old having an affair with her married swim coach didn't sit well with me at all. However EMárquez's writing was so provocative I developed a relationship with her series despite the very controversial theme.

Now the saga continues and Isabel Cruz is now a college sophomore in Washington DC while Tom, now divorced, is still a humble high school teacher back in sunny Southern California. After taking a break from each other, Izzy and Tom sorted out their issues and decided to reconcile. Aside from the challenges of having a long-distance relationship, the differences in their age and current stage in life  is causing a lot of tension between the two. And as their affair didn't start in the most honest way, trust and integrity is a major theme in TAINTED LOVE. To top it off, the scandal that rocked their little district when one of Isabel's friends blew the whistle on their illegal relationship is far from dead. Tom is once again back in the harsh spotlight and the backlash is scathing, it's just a disaster waiting to happen and this time around I don't think they can cover it up as successfully as they did before.

TAINTED LOVE gave us Tom's backstory and though he's still yet to win me over, I must admit I kind of feel sorry for the guy. In Sweetest Taboo I find him to be creepy, pervy and manipulative. I mean the guy is a married 30+yo Dad who allowed himself to be seduced by a 16yo teen. And as if the illegal relationship he has with Isabel isn't enough, he mishandled the entire situation which led to the police investigating his "alleged" affair with a minor. Overall Tom was a hot mess! Now that he's finally divorced from his wife, for obvious reasons, Tom is still far from a "hero" in fact I think he hit an all time low in TAINTED LOVE. He's insecure, desperate and more in love with Isabel and she is with him. Not a good sign. Still I feel bad for him because once again, he's not using his grey matter and he's letting his heart lead him 100%.
I wanted him when I was in high school, and now that I'm older, he doesn't fit as well with my interests and my life. 
Now Isabel Cruz truly, madly, deeply made me very angry and disappointed. As a sophomore college New Adult, she actually behaved the way some girls like her would. In a way I can't blame her, she's in this new and exciting phase in her life and it's natural that she'd want to explore and experiment. However she angered and disappointed me because of how she treated Tom. I felt like she led him on and wasn't fair to the guy, projecting her issues on him instead of taking responsibility for her own hot mess. I mean she was practically avoiding the guy and she wonders why Tom didn't call her when things started to get shitty for him back home with the gossip mongers, students inflating the situation, and how things got out of hand not just for him but for the entire school district!

Aside from her snotty treatment of Tom, Isabel has a weird fixation about teachers and professors. Now in college she's once again infatuated with a gorgeous and cool professor. Like really?! The past didn't teach you anything?! Plus there's a guy who's madly in love with you and you're supposedly as in love with him, waiting for you back home and here you are talking and acting all slutty! RESPECT girl! 
I was void of emotion or of love...I was just a body reaching ecstasy over and over again.
You can tell I'm far from happy about the entire situation. So why give it 4 cauldrons? Well I'm a firm believer that only great writing can make me strongly respond to the plot like this. Like in Sweetest TabooEMárquez continues to provoke and push boundaries. Despite the frustrating situation Isabel and Tom find themselves in and how they are far from making things better for them I still love it because everything that transpired in TAINTED LOVE is a natural progression of what they started in Sweetest Taboo. Of course there will be a lot of insecurity and major trust issues, they are adulterers for crhissakes! Of course Isabel would want to try new stuff and meet new people, she's in college! Of course Tom would be desperate and would appear helpless and hopeless at times, he gave up and risked everything for Isabel who's not being the most reliable person in his life so far. It's depressing and a little stupid really, but they went and restarted this relationship with full disclosure.

So yes, I still have personal issues about the story per se but I LOVE that EMárquez is making me look at this kind of relationship in a different way. I how she's pointing out that though some things might not have the most convenient and natural start it doesn't always mean it's malicious. I love how she's prying my blinders off and aggressively asking me to be open minded and look at this taboo in a more objective manner. And this is why I LOVE TAINTED LOVE and why despite the series polarizing me I still want to read how this story is going to end and hopefully Isabel and Tom will manage to win me in the end.



Check Eva's Crazy Stupid Love giveaway where she's giving away five sets of her Sweetest Taboo series.


3 comments:

  1. Sometimes when you can't figure out what to write about something, it's created it's mark and definitely worth it to give a read. While I wouldn't be happy with that relationship either, I can see why it would be compelling!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is always interesting with a strong response, but you know it takes that talent to make you feel.
    I think that I would have a lot of issues with this one too, but admit I am intrigued.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  3. Braine,
    You're full of fire and your review cracks me up! The more you get angry with the story and the character, the more I want to read Eva Márquez's words. Lol!

    You're also right about the quality of an author. If it makes you react and feel so strongly, it's a sign that it's a good one. It's an art to be able to play with the reader's emotions. So even if the subject of a teacher falling for a student bothers me, I will try the serie.
    Thanks to your lively review!

    ReplyDelete

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