Kelly - 4 handcuffs
Isabel Cruz was only five years old when her Chilean parents left their homeland and relocated to California in the United States. Along with her older Brother, they both settled in quickly to the American ways.
Isabel was fourteen when she first saw him as she strolled across her high school campus at Royal Oaks. With his dirty blond hair, hazel eyes and 6ft toned physique, Isabel was immediately enthralled with this man. There was just one problem. This man was Mr Tom Stevens - a teacher, and the school swim team’s head coach. He was also old enough to be her Father.
As time developed and Isabel approached her fifteenth year, she was asked by her close circle of friends to join the swim team, as it also meant a closer look at the beautiful man, she couldn’t resist the idea and immediately obliged.
At only fifteen, Isabel knew that lusting after a teacher was wrong, but she couldn’t help throwing out the coy smiles, the blushes when he responded and when she had a chance to get to know the man himself, she couldn’t resist the opportunity. As her admiration because obvious, Mr Stevens made the decision to approach Isabel, he wanted her to be honest with him, and advised her to write him a letter, highlighting her thoughts and feelings.
Taking on board his advice, Isabel writes everything down and hands him the letter the next day. When Mr Stevens tells Isabel that he feels the same way, their student/teacher relationship starts to blur, and a line eventually crosses as they both decide to rendezvous in his classroom ‘after-hours’.
Isabel cannot speak a word to anyone about their affair, for this is the ultimate sin, a forbidden rule that if word got out, Tom would lose everything, and Isabel would be branded the girl who destroyed not only his career, his family, but his freedom…
When a confidante of Isabel’s takes an offensive view to the happenings between her friend and her teacher, she makes a decision, and one that could potentially do just that… destroy everything!
This is an honest account of a love that is so forbidden, it defies every moral, every school regulation and every law. But… what if that love was so potent, so incredibly consuming that each party couldn’t pull themselves apart even if they knew it was the right thing to do?
To say what happened between Tom Stephens and Isabel Cruz was wrong, would be an understatement. Yes, it’s wrong! Tom is married with two Daughters, and as much as he loves Isabel, he cannot lose her, because he truly believes Isabel is the love of his life. Isabel has never known what it is to Love before, and Tom invades her core, plant’s himself deeply within the confines of her heart, and shows her what it’s like to be possessed, mind, body and soul. But with this comes consequences, and it’s not surprising that as time passes, the thought of him still cohabiting with his wife becomes an issue that wedges itself between them.
Even though Isabel is young and holds an air of naivety, I felt at times, she was actually the ‘older’ one. She constantly worried about Tom and their situation, and, at times, felt the need to distance herself.
Is Tom a sexual predator?
No, I don’t think so. I believe him. I thought it was obvious that he truly loved Isabel.
Should he have let her go?
But I’m not here to judge! I am here to give an honest review on a book that was actually written incredibly well, and pulled me in from the preface and made my decision for me, that I would judge this book solely on its honesty, and try to look at the subject matter subjectively. Yes, there was one moment that I felt very uncomfortable with – it wasn’t the deed itself, which was inevitable, but where it took place. But understandably, this is a work of fiction based on true events so I can appreciate that maybe a few things were embellished, but it doesn’t mean that these things don't happen!
Relationships between Students and Teachers occur more frequently than people are led to believe and Eva Márquez has taken the taboo, and written it in the form of a woman’s memoir. Is it sweet? Well that’s up to you to decide, because some people will like this book, others will hate it, some will sympathise with it, but I for one thoroughly enjoyed it.
Overall a very satisfying read and I look forward to the sequel to find out what happened next…