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Summersby's forbidden spooky pleasures

Fitting with the English tradition?
Fitting with the English tradition?
Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Forbidden: The Sacrifice

Rating:
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Samantha Summersby creates a passable light read with her franchise Forbidden series: The Sacrifice. The opening chapter offers up an improbable derailment on the Tube, London's notorious and vulnerable subway system, as narrated by a credible masculine voice which soon informs its readers that the tale being told is by a doctor, self-confident, and in the psychiatric field.

His name is Wes Athlerton, and he does what he can to contain the damage despite having dislocated his arm in the accident. He loses two elderly people, a couple, but saves the love interest he vehemently pursues, an American beauty named Kathleen, younger than he by slightly more than a decade. Summersby succeeds in creating an atmosphere of ethereal disembodiment in her few opening pages, and we soon discover through the back story that Kathleen is engaged to be married, is pregnant by a fiancé named Damien who is cheating on her, and thus the conflict is firmly sketched into place.

Summersby falters now and again with her dialogue, particularly when Damien, the flawed fiancé, first meets his manly rival, but there are the usual signs and portents deftly placed throughout the successive chapters, like one of Athlerton's more intriguing patients, Jennifer Carlton, who instead of being a troubled woman in the throes of psychosis, actually knows the truth about Athlerton's jeopardy in the scheme of things.

It is through Jennifer's meddling that Kathleen and her vulnerable fetus are also in danger, cataloged in fits and starts as are parties are in the hospital, and leave the hospital, with Kathleen moving into Dr. Athlerton's home for her recovery, after one brief meeting with Dr. Reese Wallace, Athlerton's former partner, also conveniently discarded, her ominous resentment paired with Damien's despair.

Regardless of which soul is in peril, or who has to die to put the universe back in order, the foreplay is always fantastic, indicative of sensual bliss of which mortals mostly dream, but since romance is the stuff of ebook sales, a reviewer's paint by number's drollery might be aptly charged as mean-spirited, even if the climax is worth the pursuit, a useful sleeping aid.