Tainted Destiny by Cheril N. Clarke (Aug. 2007 Pick of the Month)

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Publisher/Date:  Dodi Press, Oct. 2006
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  254
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Face it—you’ve been Sadira before: a woman with a deep obsession for someone else. You’ve experienced it at least once, maybe twice in your lifetime.

That’s what makes TAINTED DESTINY, Cheril N. Clarke’s sequel to Intimate Chaos, so compelling. It’s the fact that as women we can relate so well to having that one person in our lives we can’t shake.

For Sadira, that person is her former lover, Jessie. Where things ended horribly between them in Chaos—complete with heartbreak and scandal—Destiny picks up with Sadira still nursing her wounds, but realizing that she has to get over the woman who could never completely offer her heart even after their many years together. Leaving their home in Miami to move back to New York, Sadira plans to rid herself of the pain, and finds she has many distractions to do so.

One is Brianna, a college student who offers Sadira a new outlook on life. Another is Olivia, a strong-willed chick who won’t take no for an answer. And another is Tricia, an old flame that becomes rekindled over time. It’s Tricia whom Sadira falls for, but memories of Jessie still plague her.

Sadira can’t let go of the past she shared with Jessie, even with a good woman like Tricia by her side. When she discovers Jessie is back in New York, it’s only a matter of time before they reach out again. Soon Sadira is torn—between the reciprocated of Tricia and the unrequited love of Jessie—and it’s up to her to figure out which one is her true destiny.

Tainted Destiny, simply put, is gripping. Clarke manages to unearth emotions that ring true and paints a true picture of a woman in love turmoil. With every page, you sink deeper into her despair. Just like with Intimate Chaos, you want smack some sense into her, while at the same time hug her when her pain gets unbearable. Though sometimes a bit wordy, Clarke is a writer who pulls you in and takes you there.

Cause love is a truly a battlefield—with complete with wounds to show for it.

Reviewed August 2007


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