Review – Hush (Tainted Love series) by R&C Christiansen

It’s a bold move, to write three books in a series which are essentially the same story but told by the main characters in their own words in each book. E.L. James did it (not very well, in my humble opinion,) but this… THIS is totally a different level. By the end of Book 2, you should be HUNGERING for this last instalment, the darkly tragic tale told from Cliffy’s point of view, of his short life after the kidnapping and abuse he, Ken, Whiskey and Verna suffered when they were growing up.

Stop. Come back. This ISN’T misery porn. The abuse is alluded to but there are no lurid details, no traumatic scenes replaying the horrors. By this book, we know the terrible things the four children endured, and how they coped with them – or didn’t cope, in Ken and Cliffy’s case. There are no sudden shocks. This is all about Cliffy’s way of coping afterwards, and the intensity of his love for Verna, his brother’s wife. It’s a dark love story in its truest form; heartbreaking, sexy and poignant.

Cliffy is mute, and his story has been told by Verna, Ken and Whiskey and Vixen, but he has never had the chance to express himself. In this book, we hear him for the first time; the man who cannot speak, cannot speak and cannot write. We learn he is intelligent, mathematically minded, even romantic. He expresses himself through anger and sex whilst his older, overbearing brother tries to control every aspect of his life in a warped effort to protect him. One of his biggest allies is Alecia, a bisexual rock chick who does her bit to relieve the constant ache Cliffy has inside him. She’s a great character who gives him the passion and understanding he deserves.

This has been an incredible series, a definite in my top 10 for 2021. You will fall in love with Cliffy, even as you know what the outcome is going to be. But don’t worry. He’ll be fine when he’s with his beloved Firefly. The ending is strangely beautiful.

BLURB

It was always her. Verna Firefly Dodd. She was the one woman in the world who understood me. It didn’t matter that I was born mute; I never needed to talk around her. She was beautiful and full of optimism, and she loved me too, but she shouldn’t have.

It made her vulnerable. I made her weak.

I knew it, and yet I allowed myself to fall in love with her, for more reasons than I could count… But she wasn’t mine to love. She was my brother’s: his wife and his Firefly.

I’d learned to shove it down; after all, what could I say?

I was voiceless.

My inability to talk had made me an easy target in a world where judgments are harsh, and talking my way out of a troubling situation wasn’t an option. I needed Verna. She was my life raft on violent waters. My channel through the hush.

I may have come into the world silently, and I’ll leave it that way too…

But what I won’t do is go out without telling my side of the story.

And when wanting her pushes me past the breaking point, will I betray my brother and cross the line?

If anything is worth the risk, it’s her. 

Published by Deliciously Dark Romance

I write dark romantic suspense and under the name, Lady Jaguar, sizzling MM fiction. One of the original founders of WROTE Podcast, a medium for showcasing queer storytelling in all forms.

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