This tale has so many twists and turns that it kept me on the edge of my seat, with my heart in my throat and my head in my hands at what the heroine was going through! It is yet another stellar work by author Eve Rabi which plays with your emotions and comments on social issues and power within relationships. The tale is set in 1993, in Cape Town, in a South Africa a year before Nelson Mandela became President, and apartheid officially ended, a time ripe for change, when racism and corruption such as we see in the tale was rife. The tale contains violence, strong language, racial slurs, sex scenes and sexual violence.
Obsessed with Me is a tale about Tanin, a young Indian woman living in South Africa and Tarago Jackobus, a wealthy, white Africaan. It tells of what happens after Tanin turns Tarago down, after he invites her to share a drink with him. No one, but no one refuses Tarago! Thus begins a very unorthodox seduction, which introduces a series of harrowing events, where Tanin loses her job, has no prospect of employment and her family is threatened with losing their home. She even finds herself in jail. There is however no knight in shining armour to save her, her boyfriend having deserted her. Instead to keep a roof over her family, pay her mum’s medical bills and support them financially, she is compelled to make a deal with the very Devil himself, Tarago.
Tanin finds herself living at Tarango’s mansion, where day after day Tarago and his inner circle of hangers on, women and men, subject her to racist taunts and Tarago uses her body to satisfy his lusts. Tarago is a real brute and a hateful figure, but such is the skill of the author that somehow, part way through the tale, the real Tarago is forced to reveal himself, faced with Tanin’s strong spirit, resilience and inner strength. I actually found myself beginning to empathize with him and like him. Not only that but he appears to genuinely care for Tanin, who begins to reciprocate his feelings. There are some truly romantic, very sexy and humorous scenes between the couple. Has beauty charmed the beast for real? It all seems too good to be true, especially when there are some amongst Tarago’s inner circle who are dead set against their union and will go to any lengths to destroy it. Will Tanin and Tarago’s love prevail or will it be destroyed by the whims of others?
I enjoyed the character of Tanin. She is immediately likeable young woman when we first meet her, studying hard for her future and working part time to support her family, paying for her mother’s medical bills and her siblings’ education. Due to the situation Tarago puts her in and the shocking events which follow, Tanin has to seriously toughen up and I shed more than a few tears over what she had to go through as the tale progresses and what she suffers is not all at Tarago’s hands. If any heroine deserves a HEA it is Tanin.
Tarago started off as an out and out read b******, with no redeeming features. A giant of a man, he is not only a womaniser and a drunk but arrogant, racist and as sexist as they come. However, as the story progresses and I learned of his background and need for real affection I began to empathize with him. His brash exterior masks his true self, which is more sympathetic than is at first evident. Indeed, he too becomes very much a victim of events as the tale unfolds.
The cast of supporting characters is varied and they all have their role to play. They include Tanin’s boyfriend Ashwin and her best friend Rheema, who play pivotal roles. Tanin’s mother is a tour de force when Tanin needs her. Tanin even finds support amongst some of Tarago’s hangers on, who at first reviled her for her colour and/or being a rival for Tarago’s affections. However, there are certain characters – I will not reveal their names, who have only their own interests at heart. As usual the author does not shy away from including controversial issues in her storytelling and we are compelled to examine our own feelings towards them and the complex characters she creates.
Obsessed With Me is another must read for Eve Rabi fans and those who like to be entertained by a wild and totally thought provoking romance, told in her trademark indomitable style.
A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Eve Rabi’s website http://everabi.wordpress.com/
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Obsessed With Me Amazon UK
Obsessed With Me Amazon US