Thursday, April 4, 2013

**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Love's Forbidden Flower ~ Diane Rinella**

Hey everyone! Today I'm a stop on the blog tour for Love's Forbidden Flower. My stop includes a review and a giveaway. FYI, this is definitely not a YA book - the author and publisher are categorizing it as an Edgy New Adult. For a list of all the blogs on the tour, click here.


Love's Forbidden Flower by Diane Rinella
Publication: November 28th 2012
by Midnight to Six
Genre: Edgy/New Adult Romance

The heart cares not what society forbids.

Lily nurtures a secret love for a flawless man—the one who is her soul mate. Donovan is gorgeous, charismatic, and delights in all of Lily’s talents and quirks. Their innate knowledge of each other is almost telepathic. Together they interlock like fine threads creating luxurious silk.

But society dictates this picture-perfect adoration is the ghastliest of all possibilities.

As Lily embarks on a quest for the romance the heavens intended, her suitor turns reluctant. Desperate to uncover why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hiding decayed from a tender-hearted gentleman into a ferociously self-serving, cocky bastard, Lily is prepared for battle when it comes to the salvation of her soul mate. However, Donovan traps Lily in a mental game of chess, leaving her to question his sanity. When Lily’s revelations about Donovan’s destructive alter ego lead to an inconceivable truth, can she help Donovan survive fate’s cruel joke?

Impassioned, witty, and deeply moving, Love’s Forbidden Flower is filled with stunning controversies that will forever haunt your heart.


My Review
Everyone loves reading about characters finding their soul mate. And we love it even more when there are obstacles keeping the soul mates apart - whether it be class (Pride & Prejudice), or warring families (Romeo & Juliet) - but what if you find your soul mate and the obstacle dividing you and your heart are social norms??

Love's Forbidden Flower is not an easy read. It deals with a taboo subject and definitely would not be everyone's cup of tea. But I have to tell y'all, I was riveted from the first sentence.
"Today, somewhere among the roses and petunias, my sanity squirted out of my brain and fertilized the backyard."  - Lilyanna
Before I discuss the characters, I'd like to describe the writing. This story, as I said, deals with a topic that many would choose not to discuss. But the writing is so eloquent and lyrical, it made reading about Lily and Donovan easier. The love, anger, confusion is all rendered so poetically I tended to forget that I wasn't reading the average love story.

Lillyanna seems a typical teenage girl. She goes to school, hangs out with friends, and has a close relationship with her brother, Donovan. Donovan is your average teenage boy, a football player, planning for college and is very close and protective of his sister. The two's bond goes beyond that of siblings. They are bound in a way that seems extraordinary.

I'm guessing you're seeing where this is going. One afternoon, during a game of touch football, Lily realizes her feelings for her brother go beyond sisterly love. And these feelings are reciprocated. However, neither gives in to their feelings. And once Donovan leaves for college, he tells Lily to move on, which Lily does.

She meets Christopher, a charming yet awkward young man recently arrived from Manchester. A romance blooms and the couple seems quite attached and in love but Lily's soul still longs for Donovan. Yet she tries to move on. There is tension because of Lily's love for Donovan and Donovan's jealousy of Christopher. All is relatively well for Lily until Christopher returns to England.

The story of these tangled lovers is told beautifully. I hated to see how Lily and Donovan suffered over their love due to the pressures they felt over society's ideas. Through it all, they both maintain that the other is their soul mate and that they've traveled this road before. In fact, Lily even prays that in the next life, this barrier to their love be removed so that they can embrace their love. And through all their tribulations, their love for one another never dims. I also admired the strong bond and love between Lily and Christopher. Even Donovan recognizes it and encourages it. 

The story comes together nicely and ends satisfactorily. However, the author is working on a sequel to the novel which chronicles the siblings' journey to understand their recurring attraction to one another. I really enjoyed Love's Forbidden Flower. I connected with the characters and commend the writing. Ms. Rinella has written an extraordinary, if unconventional, love story. And I will read more from her.

*I received this book as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review

Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project  manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.

She is currently completing the sequel to Love’s Forbidden Flower.

Author Links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I agree Brandee - if I had known what this book was about when I signed up for the tour, I would've passed, but I'm glad I didn't know because this story broke my heart and it was very well-written. My review is Friday. :)

  2. I felt like I wanted to say so many things about this book, Julie. And you succinctly say it in your comment! :) It broke my heart. I'm almost finished with another book and I'm still thinking about this one. I can't wait to read your review! :)

  3. Well, well... I just read a review for this that had me all over the place, and kind of confused. Your review makes me want to read Love's Forbidden Flower! Great review!

    1. Hey, Andrea! If you can overlook that one part ;) - and it's really tastefully done - this is soooo worth the read! I'm really glad I didn't pass on it. :)

  4. Hello Brandee! Thank you for this amazing review! I am truly honored. Also, thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone and giving this subject, and a debut author, a shot. It is appreciated beyond words.

    1. It was my pleasure, Diane. I truly loved Love's Forbidden Flower and look forward to the continuation of Lily, Donovan, and Christopher's story.

  5. Great review Brandee! Diane is a very talented writer and it's always great getting to know a little more about her. I've been wanting to read her book for a while. After reading your review I certainly will. Thank you!


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??