Title: Love On Death Row
Author: Melissa Love
Genre: Women's Fiction, Urban
How Far Would You Go To Save Your Marriage? From the outside De’Nesha Cole had the picture perfect life with two beautiful children and a loving husband. But on the outside, Terence was far from perfect. He was violent, controlling and abusive. When her best friends find out what’s been going on behind closed doors, they encourage her to go to the authorities, but she refused. She was determined to make her marriage work no matter at what cost and death was no exception.
“These are for you! He said as he slowly brought his hands around to show me the dozen of red and yellow roses he had gotten for me. He kissed me on the back of my neck. “Well, do you like it?”
I couldn’t believe he was acting so casual after just punching me forty minutes ago. He must be suffering from personality dissociation.
“Of course,” I replied with a fake smile on my bruised face. “Thank you, baby.”
“Can you forgive me for the way I have been acting? I know that’s my child you’re carrying. Is it a boy or a girl?” He asked as he rubs my stomach and kissed me tenderly.
“I don’t know yet, it’s too early to tell, but when I go back next week I can ask the doctor and you can go with me if you want to?”
“Hell, yeah, this is my first child, so I got to be there. I called my parents, and they are so thrilled too.”
The only reason I hugged Terence and forgave him is because of our baby, and I know it sounds stupid, but this is our first child and I refuse to be just another single black woman raising a child alone.
The male guards like that and sometimes they ask if they can join in or watch; most of the time, with Strawberry’s permission, we let them join in on our session for a price. I really didn’t want to do that, because I believed in our marriage vows and keeping it just between us. The three guards took me into the craft room and the other two took Strawberry on the other side of the room. They handled me really good! I was licked, sucked and manhandled in the right way. I came so many times that I didn’t know what to do, and I could hear Strawberry moaning just a few feet away.
Melissa Love began her love of writing since picking up her first urban fictional book. She wanted to turn her love of reading into writing. In 2001 and 2002 she went the self-publishing route and published 3 books. She knew that self-publishing wasn’t the rout she wanted to take anymore, so she continued on to write more manuscripts until she was able to get signed with a major publishing company. Writing has become a way for her to be creative in telling compelling stories and memorable characters of lies and deceits. She is also a member of the Motown Writer Network and she currently resides in Detroit, Michigan with her two daughters.
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My Review of Love on Death Row:
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. Please be aware that there may be some spoilers in this review.
Yes, I’m going to be honest. I thought this book was gripping, full of non-stop action, and brutally honest, but I didn’t think it was perfect.
De Nesha finds herself in an abusive marriage. In fact, the book starts off with her on death row, about to get the life sentence for murdering her husband. It starts off with a lesbian relationship which totally caught me off guard as, to be honest, I thought the book was an ordinary M/F romance. It turned out nothing like that. What also caught me was the fact that she’d chosen the lesbian relationship because of where she’d come from and what she had left in her last few days of life. That made me curious.
The author’s brutally honest dialogue and language had me hooked from the beginning. She or her characters didn’t mince words for a second. I liked that honesty although I had to admit, the swearing got a bit too much at certain spots in the book.
De Nesha took a downward spiral from enthusiastic wife to secretly abused to violently angry. It was a sad, tragic story—dark, heart-rending and definitely something to stir the emotions. I couldn’t put the book down. In that way, I highly recommend it as a gripping, soul-stirring read. Honest, real, and in no way skirting around painful, tender, raw, hurtful issues. She doesn’t give her character any grace—she presents the protagonist in the most realistic light with her image-maintaining problems in the beginning and her raging jealousy in the end. She’s a realist through and through so that’s why a couple of things bothered me.
My biggest concern was that once Terence, her husband, had abused her almost to the point of death, had a long-standing affair with another woman, and raped her, De Nesha still wishes at some point that they could make right and have a good marriage. I’m sorry! When did she ever have a good marriage? The man abused her emotionally and physically from the start. He degraded her as a person and ground her into nothing. I can’t possibly see why she hoped he would come right at that stage or that they could be reconciled. I also couldn’t understand the deep jealousy she felt towards his second wife when she’d been abused by him for so long. Why wasn’t she glad to be free of him? Yes, the knowledge of the affair must have hurt, but I’d have been so relieved. Finally, to be free of the freak! But I fully understand her jealousy in the woman taking her children! That would have had me thoroughly enraged, and I can sympathise how that drove her to the point of murder. Now all of these unrealistic responses could be the reaction of someone abused. I haven't been in an abusive relationship so I don't know. I just wanted to shake De Nesha so many times to tell her she's going the wrong way. I suppose that's what the author wanted to convey and she did so very effectively.
Besides some serious editing issues, this book really was excellently written and hopefully an eye-opener to many young women who would marry someone even though many red flags have gone up warning them that the man could be an abuser. And it’s a warning to those in an abusive marriage to talk about it and get out as soon as you can before your whole psyche has been wrecked. I so wish De Nesha could have gone back in time and changed the way she responded. Life would have been so much better for her. Thank you to the writer for getting me invested in her life so much that I couldn’t put the book down.