Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
While this is a Standalone it’s the continuation, and conclusion, of Maldeamores (Lovesick). Not to worry, there’s a page with the entire Cast of Characters so you can see who everyone is, in case you didn’t read Maldeamores. I was such a huge fan of it and I loved this one even more! There’s really no way to review and talk about this book without giving spoilers, really BIG spoilers, to all who haven’t read the first book, but are planning to read it. Be forewarned this love story is a little incestuous to some people. To others, it’s just a beautiful, painful, love story. After all, Love Is Love Is Love Is Love.
It’s been 5 years since Belen lost her cousin, Luciano (Lucky), the love of her life, in a horrible explosion in Afghanistan. They grew up together, in the same apartment complex, in Brooklyn Heights. The only children of two sisters, originally from the Dominican Republic, they tried to hide their love for each other and failed. After Lucky was severely injured, and mistakenly declared dead, he decided the only way Belen could ever be happy was to let her believe he had died. If he’d come back, he knew Belen wouldn’t give him up and finish school. She was the smart one, studying while he was getting high and missing classes. It’s not surprising she took AP science classes in school.
“Why do the science requirements go in the order they do? Biology, chemistry and then physics? Is there some sort of empirical reason for the order or is it just arbitrary?”
“Remember, you’re asking a biologist. But I’d say it’s because first, we must understand the organism before we begin to look at its interactions. Then, once we look at its interactions, we can move on to the laws that govern it. Let’s put it like this. We can first identify you and what makes you what you are. That’s the biology. Then we can see how you interact with other things. That’s the chemistry. Then we can look at how you and all of the other things are influenced by everything around you. That’s the physics.”
“I get it. I asked my mom and guess what she told me?”
“That biology was the easiest and physics was the hardest science to tackle?”
“You don’t know my mom. She told me, ‘Biology is life, chemistry is living and physics is fate.’”
Belen had spent too much time worrying about biology. She knew that since Lucky and she were first cousins, there were other reasons, besides societal and religious, as to why they shouldn’t marry and have a family. Science had so much to do with their reasons.
“I love the living organism those early cells formed. I adore who he turned into, every piece, every single part of him. Whatever made Lucky, either God or biology, wrapped him so tightly around my heart that sometimes I’m suffocating. Lucky and me are made of too many similar parts. But our chemistry is like a meteor shower, raining bright sparks of light in the dark night. Biology causes our attraction and it’s also the reason we have to stay apart. But it’s fate which worries me the most, and that I can’t get a handle on.
It is the physics of our love that disagrees with the universe.”
So, Belen went to college, married Adam, and has a beautiful boy named Lucas. She named him in honor of Lucky. By all appearances she should be happy. But she’s not over Lucky, and feels she’ll never be.
“His name is Adam and it’s him who pursues me, not the other way around. I would never go after a relationship, not after the last one nearly killed me.
Hope. A future. I can build a new life. Maybe there is life beyond loving Luciano. Maybe Adam can be the medicine I need to recover. Everyone gets their heart broken at some point or another. I hold my chin up, keep my shoulders squared and tell myself it will only get better.”
Belen is honest with Adam. He’s well aware that he’s a poor substitute for Lucky. And he has problems of his own, having lost his brother in Afghanistan, too. A loss that he feels he can’t overcome, either.
“He lost his twin Luke in Afghanistan and hasn’t been the same since. The two of us walk through life with giant parts of our identities missing. It’s almost like something has been amputated and you constantly feel the phantom presence, but instead of a limb, it’s your mirrored reflection you found in someone else. All of my memories are so tied up with Luciano. My whole childhood is saturated with things that we shared. When he’s removed from the equation, my life stops making sense; it’s a half-painted picture. Adams knows the feeling all too well. We try to help guide one another through the maze of life while missing at least half of our hearts.”
Her Tita Awilda, Lucky’s mother, sublet her apartment and moved back to the DR. There’s no way she could look Belen and Betty, her sister, in the eye and not reveal the secret Lucky swore her to keep quiet. For Belen’s sake. So, Lucky is on the other side of the world, suffering alongside Belen, thinking her life is as happy and perfect as his mother tells him it is. But really, no one’s living, more like they’re just making time. Betty insists she needs another visit to the Botánica, to see Irma, for a spiritual cleansing.
“Lucky. I still need magic to exorcise you out of me.
Sometimes I hate you for leaving me. Sometimes I hate this life without you.”
Belen needs a spell, a jar of tinctures, for her heartache. That’s a sure fire cure for what ails you! As if it were that simple.
“Don’t be sorry, hija mía. I cry too now and then. You lost the boy you loved before you were grown. That little heartache will always be there.”
“It’s not little, it’s huge.”
“You know what I mean. You can’t cut something when it’s still growing, because then it won’t thrive and it won’t sprout. No fruit on the tree, you’ll be lucky to get flowers.”
I can’t say enough about this story! There are so many quotes I wanted to include; you’ll just have to read them for yourselves. Mara White’s writing is phenomenal. With all the Spanish references, Santeria and botánicas, not to mention all the talk of delicious food mixed in, I loved the Latin vibe of it. There’s just the right amount of angst to make my heartache and then joy to soothe it. I love to cry tears of sorrow and tears of joy while reading.
Malentendido, the word means misunderstood, will not disappoint! Many tissues were used while reading, I’m happy to say.
Love is love is love. We’d all be so much happier if everyone could just love!
by Mara White
Publication Date: July 22, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Taboo, Romance
Whatever force made Lucky, either God or the Universe, wrapped him so tightly around my heart that sometimes I’m suffocating.
Biologically, we are made of too many similar parts, yet our chemistry is like a meteor shower, raining bright sparks of light into the dark night.
But it’s not our biology or chemistry that worries me the most, it’s the physics of our love that goes against the cosmos.
by Mara White
Publication Date: June 22, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Taboo, Romance
Belén: I’ve loved Luciano ever since I can remember, desired him before I even knew what it meant. He’s always been the only man in my life—my constant protector, and his rejection only intensifies my need.
Luciano: I’ve never known a love more fierce than the one I feel for Belén. But I force myself to deny her no matter how much it hurts.
Our love is a sickness and both of us are infected.
Because there’s no cure for being from the same family.