I am always drawn to novels that push my boundaries and edge me out of the safety of my comfort zone. Forbidden romances are my weakness, my literary catnip, if you will. It’s like an emotional train wreck, it’s off-limits, socially unacceptable, controversial, and wrong by most standards, yet I am intrigued by them and can’t tear my eyes away from the pages. As soon as I saw that E.K. Blair was going to be writing a student-teacher romance, I immediately added it to my must-read list. I was more than a little anxious to see how she was going to tackle this taboo subject matter.
I should have known that this author wasn’t going to hold back any punches. She has the ability to write stories that you feel in the pit of your stomach right down to your toes. She creates characters that you can’t help but feel for. In my opinion, a student-teacher romance should not be a smooth ride. It should be tumultuous, nerve-racking, and keep the reader on edge. E.K. Blair did just that.
The book is told from Camellia’s point-of-view. I lived through the events in her life right along with her. I felt all of her devastation, pain, utter devastation, and loneliness. Whenever I read, I always try to put myself in the character’s shoes. How would I react in a similar situation? When your whole life changes in the blink of an eye, leaving you feeling as though you’ve been blanketed in darkness, wouldn’t you go toward the one beacon of light in your life? For Cam, that person was her teacher and coach, David Andrews.
Throughout the book, I fought my own internal battle between right and wrong. I know that a relationship between a student and teacher is wrong, add to that the fourteen year age difference, but I still wondered how love could be so wrong. That’s why I love this genre. It makes me doubt my own beliefs and morals. I kept letting myself get swept up in Cam and David’s love story, only to shake my head and say that their relationship could never, should never work.
Secret Lucidity was a deeply emotional book. It wasn’t only a student-teacher romance, it also delved into depression and grief. I felt as though I knew the characters. I understood their feelings, their lives, and their intentions and motivations. I wanted what was best for them. Was their relationship truly what was best for them?
As I mentioned above, these romances shouldn’t be a cakewalk. It’s the sneaking around, the hiding, the fear of getting caught that builds up the tension, anxiety, and anticipation in these addictive reads. E.K. Blair didn’t sugar-coat the relationship between Cam and David. Their romance was never going to be easy, accepted, or normal. I appreciated that she kept it real.