Nic Starr: Reading the Taboo

Do you read stories that are taboo? What actually is taboo? Is everyone’s idea of taboo the same? Does what you find taboo in real life hold true in your reading material? Is there anything you absolutely won’t read?

I started thinking of these questions when I was mulling over my own response to a story I just read.

Usually I read contemporary m/m romance, and it’s usually on the sweeter side. Every now and then I throw in an angsty story, a bit of BDSM, or maybe a paranormal. I like to spice things up a bit. Personally, I enjoy reading some edgier stories, stories that skirt on the boundaries of what is considered permitted by society. In my m/m reading (not necessarily romance), I’ve read stories that contain torture, dubious and non-consent, and incest. Some I’ve enjoyed, others not so much. I guess I like the thrill of these stories that push the boundaries. Does this mean I support this in real life? Of course not. This is fantasy.

I stumbled on a new story today that delves into a father-son relationship. I saw the blurb, and liked the cover, so gave it a go. The blurb didn’t expressly state incest but it wasn’t hard to gather that is what it was.

At only twenty-one years of age, Daniel Hastings is a young man headed for the top of his game. As Assistant Chief Acquisitions Assessor for a major property development firm, it’s Daniel’s job to assess the viability and investment potential of land opportunities, usually bringing in millions of dollars in profits for his firm. The key to his career is to convince the previous owners of the land to part with their precious properties, and Daniel has found that everything is for sale… at the right price.

That is until he arrives on Saint Etienne, a tiny Caribbean island that a major resort chain intends to develop into a billionaire’s playground. It’s up to Daniel to assess the situation and convince the villagers to sign over their island home… and if they refuse, Daniel and his colleague are under strict instructions to find any legal loophole they can to snatch the untouched piece of paradise out from under its owners.

But there’s one inhabitant on this island Daniel wasn’t expecting to find—his estranged father, Nick… a man who walked out of his son’s life just when the two of them where beginning to understand one another.

Will Daniel give his father a second chance? Will he discover there’s more to life than profits and acquisitions? Or will his career take priority over the life Daniel was destined to live?

This story is Islands in the Stream by Liberty Lace and is published by Wilde City Press.


Did I like the story? I did. I liked the characters and I enjoyed the description of the idyllic island. I could overlook the cooincidence of Daniel just happening to stumble onto the remote island where his father lived. I loved some of the comedic touches, and if this had been a standard m/m story, I would have said it was a bit of enjoyable, light reading. But this is different. The father/son relationship made me think.

I read brocest – whether brothers or twins – although twins seems to sit more comfortably because of the equality in the relationship. I don’t usually read father/son. The age gap, and potential power equality, worry me a little. In this book, the author presented a son who seemed wise beyond his years. He’s only twenty-one, but came across a whole lot older. He also seems to have a fairly senior job which made him appear older. The father had tried to protect the son which won him brownie points, and the son initiated the next step in the relationship. All these elements, added to the ease with which the relationship developed.

In summary, I enjoyed the story and would recommend it, but only for people who don’t have an aversion to this type of relationship. It’s an easy to read story, and I like the writer’s style. I might just venture out and try some more of her taboo reads when I need my next dose of something on the wild side.

Buy Link


Wilde City Press

24,000 words

P.S. For those wondering, no, I don’t read m/f incest stories. Except maybe for Flowers in the Attic when I was about twelve. There’s something about the risk of pregnancy and potential inequality in the relationship which turns me off. That and the fact I don’t read m/f anymore.