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Author: Darline Dorce-Coupet
Format: Trade Paperback, 608 pages $26.95
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Pub. Date: 2001
Reviewed by The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Reviewer: Stacey Seay for AALBC.com
Darline Dorce-Coupet's first novel, Embracing the Horror, is a fresh and unique love story with just enough suspense to keep the pages turning. The story starts out in Haiti during a battle between the natural and supernatural realms. Young Erin Arielle Symonette is involved in a ceremony in which a spirit that possesses her is cast out. Next we move to the present, which is about 9 and a half years later, in Florida. Arielle, as she prefers to be called, has grown up and is now a driven, ambitious and beautiful woman. She works for Mecca Miami, a fashion magazine, where she has worked her way up the ranks and is now Fashion Editor. While attempting to interview Cedric Courage, one of THE most successful rappers on the scene, for Mecca she begins developing a relationship with him. As the relationship between Arielle and Cedric begins to blossom, we see them share intellectual conversations, develop a friendship and eventually they develop a more intimate relationship. Arielle's life begins to shift from that of a career driven woman, to a party woman trying to juggle her new social life with Cedric and her job. The stress of the two competing lifestyles begins to affect her in some dramatic ways.
As the story continues, Arielle finds herself alone on the romantic getaway cruise she had planned to spend with Cedric. As a result of her anger and disappointment, she decides she will make the most of her trip and have a great time in spite of Cedric's absence. It is then that she meets an attractive man, a Romeo of sorts. This meeting changes the course of her already complicated life. Eventually, Arielle finds herself trying to figure out which man, Cedric or ’Romeo’ is the man of her dreams.
The author does a wonderful job of developing the characters during the course of the book. With each chapter, you learn a little more about the childhood and background of the characters and you see how these past incidents shape their present lives and choices. The story is told from the first person point of view so you get an even clearer sense of what is going on in the mind of the character. Arielle is the primary storyteller in the book; however, I did not find her character to be very likable. In my opinion, she did a lot of manipulative and selfish things throughout most of the book. At the same time she was also a young woman searching for meaning, self-discovery and love in her life and as much as I disliked her, at times I really felt for her. I found myself shifting from hoping she gets what she deserves to hoping she can finally find peace.
My initial thought upon receiving my copy of Embracing the Horror was ’this is a long book’ and I wondered whether or not it would have enough substance to sustain my interest throughout. don't let the length of this book deter you from reading it because it is quite an enjoyable read. The book is suspenseful, erotic, romantic, and even supernatural at times and just when you think you have everything figured out, the author slips in yet another unexpected twist. This story will make you angry, nervous, frustrated, and the steamier scenes may send you searching for your significant other. Overall, this was a pleasant and enjoyable read and definitely one of the most unique love stories I have ever read. I look forward to future works by this author.
Reviewed by Stacey Seay for AALBC.com