Maldeamores, by Mara White


Grade: B

Doing it at: 80 %

Catnip: Kissing Cousins; Butt Stuff; #TeamAnal; Threesomes; Sharks and Jets

Shame Scale: It’s a love story about first cousins, so… pretty high shame. But – it reads like a real book, so you can cut yourself some slack.

Fantasy Cast: Jay Hernandez, Selena Gomez

Book Description:

Belén: I’ve loved Luciano ever since I can remember, desired him before I even knew what it meant. He’s always been the only man in my life—my constant protector, and his rejection only intensifies my need. 

Luciano: I’ve never known a love more fierce than the one I feel for Belén. But I force myself to deny her no matter how much it hurts. 

Our love is a sickness and both of us are infected. 

Because there’s no cure for being from the same family.

Mary: I think our decision to read this one went something like, “OMG actual incest romance, do we need?” “Fuck yassss”

Cleone: I was really sold when I opened the book and discovered it opened with a Pablo Neruda quote. Neruda is the patron saint of over dramatic, love sick, teen girls. I speak from experience, my jam was:

But I love your feet

only because they walked

upon the earth and upon

the wind and upon the waters,

until they found me.

Plus, ya know, incest.

M: Because we’re kind of weirdos like that. But this book actually turned out to be more of a Real Book and less of a Kink Book than I think either of us were expecting.

C: I cut my trash book teeth on incest stories. Maldeamores was kind of the perfect read for a really hot, humid summer day when your brain isn’t moving at full speed and you want to get lost in problems that are actually worse than your own (being in love with your cousin trumps anything I’ve got going on).

M: Belén (Bey) and Luciano (Lucky) are Dominican cousins, nine months apart, growing up in the Bronx. They’ve been there for each other for their whole lives, but when they hit their early teens, Bey starts nurturing quite a crush on her cousin Lucky. It’s pretty innocent at first – just wanting to be kissed by a boy, by Lucky, her best friend.

C: Bey has always liked Lucky but now she likes Lucky, she lives for every brush of his hand against hers, she thinks about him all the time. She’s got it bad in that way you can when you’re a teen and have all the time in the world for obsessing and day dreaming.

M: Bey ends up downstairs in Lucky’s apartment one morning, looking to borrow a screwdriver for her mother, and she realizes that Lucky has a hookup there. She’s crushed, and threatens to tell Lucky’s mom. Which leads to them making out against the fridge. You guys. It was hotter than I’d care to admit, and we’re talking about young teen cousins here. I had to pause and evaluate.

Mal 1

M: I decided to just embrace the cousin love. It’s legal in 25 states, so.

C: At least they’re trying to fight the lust and know that this isn’t the way you’re supposed to feel about your cousin who you slept in the same crib with and see almost every day.

I kept thinking of that fake French film Maybe and George Michael Bluth go to see in Arrested Development, Les Cousins Dangereux. Cousin love is rampant in our pop culture.

M: Bey’s feelings for Lucky only grow stronger, and Lucky is feeling the love as well. This book is dual narrative, so we get his teen boy’s horny inner monologue, about wanting to just fuck every hole of her body etc.

C: He wants to put it in every hole in her body, but since he can’t he puts it in every other hole in Washington Heights. Including Bey’s best friend Yari. Mary hates Yari so much.

Mal 2

M: A true friend would never sleep with her best friend’s cousin who she was in love with. It’s girl code 101.

C: Bey and Lucky both have plans to get out of The Heights, Bey is nose-to-the-grindstone working her way into college and Lucky is training to join the marines. They spend most of high school trying to stay away from each other, but give in to the occasional lusty encounter. We shouldn’t find cousin sex so hot. WE SHOULD NOT.

Mal 3

C:  Once Mary decided she was on #TeamBoneYourCousin she was very strongly on that team. I couldn’t blame her, I was on that team too.

M: Bey just loved him so much you guys, and Lucky is trying so hard to do the right thing. Ugh. It was so emotional.

C: Bey isn’t attracted to any boy who isn’t Lucky, she makes a love potion with a jar of honey and his name on a piece of paper and 16 year old Cleone pipes up that she sure wishes she’d known about that spell in 1997.

M: I think we all would have done that spell, no question. Especially since when I was all peak crush-lusty, The Craft came out, and we all wanted to be witches. The 90’s were pretty big for that stuff – The Craft, Sabrina, Practical Magic, Charmed…

C: When the love spell doesn’t get her cousin’s dick inside of her, Bey starts trying to cure herself through therapy and a support group. Mary and I aren’t really supportive of the therapist’s methods, which involving ordering Bey to watch a lot of porn and asking her if she’s ever gotten wet for anyone besides Lucky. The therapy isn’t working so swell because Bey is twenty and still a virgin. At this point she and Lucky have admitted their love lust for each other but can’t be together because they fear they’ll make a monster baby.

Mary was getting a smidge frustrated.

Mal 5

Mal 6

C: That’s totally true too, Latin men don’t diminish their masculinity with silly things like vasectomies so they don’t knock up their double cousin.

M: (C can say that because her Ex is a virile Latin man, therefore, #Expert)

C: When she does lose her hymen it is in a completely normal and average way.

M: Yes, even though they messed around a few times and had some close calls, Lucky was very insistent that Bey’s hymen never be breached by him. Even going to far as to finger her bum instead of risking that precious barrier during her very first sexual encounter, and I can’t help but feel like they were trying to get away with something based on a technicality.

Bey is well into college, and decides it’s time to finally get someone to tear that shit up for her, so she takes off on a romantic weekend with a guy she is very meh about to just get it over with:

I just want him to stick it in like you prod a roast in the oven. Take it out, check the temperature and then take a really hot shower.

Luckily, what ends up happening is wayyy more interesting than that, but I’m not going to spoil it.

C: It’s almost the end of the book before Lucky and Bey give into their dirty, hot, incestuous feelings and consummate their relationship over and over again, before Lucky has to ship out for Iraq. War rips families and lovers apart! Sometimes simultaneously when your family IS your lover.

Bey and Lucky have sex like two people who have been suppressing their obsession with each other for over a decade.

He shoots his hot semen into me and I feel nothing but gratitude.

I took command of her body and I don’t want to give it back. I will fuck her a thousand different ways and eat up all her virginities. Because, fuck, they were always meant to be mine in the first place.

“How many holes do you have, Belen?

“Three,” she says, her eyes now hooded with desire.

“How many are mine?” I ask, thrusting hard again. I push her leg up and wipe her juice right over her back entrance. She squirms when I press my thumb down.

“How many?” I ask, sliding in her tight hole up to my knuckle.

“All three,” She says breathlessly and I take the four fingers that are wet from her cunt and shove them in her mouth.

M: Again, I can not deny that this was all way hotter than my brain wants to admit.

C: Bey and Lucky decide that after he returns from his deployment they have to be together. They can’t live without each other. The cousin love can not be denied now that they’ve done the deeds.

M: My feelings on the ending can only be summed up by Blanket Dog:

blanket dog

C: We raced through this book, I started at 11 p.m., reluctantly went to bed around midnight, and then read straight from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, only stopping to briefly appease my kids’ need to eat food and have clean faces. This book was engrossing in a “Fuck I really can’t put this down” way. Now I want everyone to read it so we can talk about it. Isn’t that the mark of a good book? Or at least the mark of a provocative one.

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5 thoughts on “Maldeamores, by Mara White

  1. I luuuuuv this review!!!
    The book was ah-mazing, and tore a piece of my heart out, but your review allows me to laugh.
    Thank you 🙂


    • Thank you!

      We were Not happy with that ending either, we read romance for the happily ever afters!

      This was one of the most engrossing books we’ve read together, and we are plotting to cover the rest of the series 😉


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