Review: Hale by K Webster

haleTitle: Hale

Author: K Webster

Year of publication: 2018

The heroine: Rylie Hale

The hero: Hudson Hale

The blurb: He’s my everything. I would die without him.

Because he infects me. My brother. He’s inside my mind. My thoughts are black and bruised. Twisted and wrong. A secret that eats me alive, but one I’ll take to my grave.

And then it happens. He sees inside me.
Understands the darkness. Loves what he finds. I’m contagious. It’s true. Now, he’s sick too.

Standalone or series: Standalone

The review: I’m going to put a warning up for this book before I review it, because it involves a taboo subject: this is about a sexual relationship between a brother and sister. Not step. Not half. Full blood. If this is not something you can stomach, this is not the book for you.

But if you can handle reading a story about a taboo subject that’s very nicely done, you should give Hale a try. Hudson Hale has a baseball scholarship and a long term girlfriend called Amy. His four years younger sister, Rylie, is in her last year of high school. She has struggled a lot for years because she is bipolar, and their parents have done everything they can to help Rylie with her illness.

But what nobody knows is that Rylie has a secret, something she calls the sickness: she’s in love with her brother. She hates Amy because she knows Hudson has had sex with her and thinks she can never compare because she has no curves or bust. She knows wanting her brother is wrong, so she tamps it down.

When their parents die suddenly, their lives are thrown into chaos. Rylie goes to live with her maternal aunt and uncle and Hudson is feeling pressured by Amy to get married. He’s worried about his sister, because she’s not coping with the death of their parents. He hates being away from her. She’s all he has left, and he’s desperate to protect her and keep her safe.

They’re drawn to each other in a way he never thought possible. As they spend more time together, Hudson starts to feel something for Rylie he shouldn’t. They both fight it, the sickness, but it consumes them until they give in to it.

They do their best to keep it a secret, but inevitably they’re caught, by both Hudson’s roommate and their aunt, the latter of whom has suspected something for awhile. Hudson has a fight with his uncle and is arrested, but the charges are dropped when Rylie does something that shatters them all. Eventually, Hudson and Rylie leave and move interstate to start a new life together, where nobody knows they’re related and they don’t have to hide how they feel.

Given the subject matter, this could have been a terrible book, but Kristi did a really great job with it. It challenges you to think about society and the way love is viewed. If you’re able to put aside the fact that Rylie and Hudson are siblings, this is a really interesting love story and one worth reading.

You can only buy this book from Kristi’s website, which I have linked above.




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