GEMINI RISING was #1 in the Preditors & Editors Poll in Mainstream Novel in 2012:
Available from Double Dragon Publishing, Inc.
Alain and Alina Alastair are a scientific miracle–identical male-female twins–a biological impossibility. Their lives are destined to be different. They discover love, lust, and danger lurking in their future. The secrets at their isolated, island home threaten to undermine the very foundations of their world—and their lives.
Alain tucked the in-flight magazine into the seat pocket and gazed out the scratched window of the 747. Distance vanished on clouds fleeing beneath the silver wings, carrying him from a dark-eyed beauty to a fair-haired princess locked in an island castle. From one life in the sun to a score of problems.
Someone was going to get hurt.
Already he hurt—a low throbbing like a toothache. If he returned to Portugal, Alina would be devastated. His father would disown him. If he picked up his discarded heritage, a part of him would die and Maritza would grieve. For a time. He wasn’t vain enough to think the black-haired beauty would die without him.
The choice lay in his hands.
Damn life got complicated when he tried to declare independence from The Keep. He shifted his long legs cramped beneath the airline seat. He preferred not to think, but fragments of memory plagued the corners of his eyes.
A vivid picture of Alina supplanted images of recent days drenched white-hot by a Portuguese sun. His twin’s presence was more corporeal than the woman sitting to his left. Welcome or not, Alina was there inside him, the mere thought of her a compulsion. He sensed her anticipation mounting as the miles melted. Excitement tingled over him. In self defense, he grasped at a memory of riding the splendid Lusitano stallions. As he pictured Maritza framed in an arbor of roses, his heart dived.
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5-Star Review by Close Encounters with the Night Kind:
Alain and Alina Alaister are identical twins, a medical impossibility who nevertheless exist. Born with the help of a British fertility clinic, their notoriety keeps them isolated on an island off the coast, where the ancestral home, the Keep, is located. Watched over by the sympathetic family retainer, Nye, the twins exhibit the usual duplicate-birth phenomenons of closeness…feeling each other’s pain, a sense of destitution if separated, the ability to communicate without words. Alain, however, has problems Alina doesn’t, for the doctors who examined the twins before they were hidden away told his father he may become effeminate because his twin is female. Lord Aiden doesn’t wait to discover if this is true; he takes it as Gospel and makes his son’s life a holy Hell from then on, impugning his developing manhood at every turn. As a result, Alain wants to escape the Keep while at the same time, t his ties to his twin make him refuse to desert her. Though he’s finally given permission to go abroad, the intellectual and sexual freedom he discovers only ties him closer to Alina who has remained behind. His return brings about their own physical consummation and begins their struggle toward freedom to express their love for each other. Torn between social mores and an inner demand to once more become One, the twin attempt to escape into the outer world where they discover their extraordinary beauty attracts eyes wherever they go. Women chase Alain and men desire Alina. Jealous erupts but desire conquers all.
When they’re brought back to the Keep, a compromise is made. Alain is allowed to go to university where he acquires a flatmate, Rory, a Southern aristocrat. During a visit by Alina, Alain believes he’s found the answer to his prayers…why not have Rory marry Alina and be the cover for the twins’ forbidden love? Since Rory lusts after both Alain and his sister, he agrees, but soon the unconventional ménage turns into something unexpected…and deadly…
MY OPINION: A difficult critique to do about a difficult subject but Ms. Nightingale has handles it with finesse, by showing it from Alain’s perspective. Although at some points, it appears that Alain is moved, not by the invisible chain binding twins, but more by his sister’s selfish manipulations, the psychological delving into the reasons for his actions make him a very sympathetic character, indeed. Everyone is given good motivation for whatever they do, from the cruel Aiden to the desperate Alain himself.
Handling a subject like this could be awkward and distasteful but in the hands of this author, it’s a fascinating study in frustration and desperation as the two young people, impossible creations who shouldn’t exist, struggle to live what is—to them—normal lives. The ending is what no one will expect.
A good read, and a fascinating one, enhanced by almost lyrical passages and deep characterizations.
5-Star Review – Reviewer Ronda Tutt:
Wow! What a astounding read, I am still in awe at how captivated I was in reading this awesome story. I was so intrigued that I couldn’t put the book down and had the 255 pages read within half a day.
Linda Nightingale has weave a story about a subject of incest regarding a special type of twins (brother & Sister). Though the subject is shocking at first, the story grabs you from the start with the character buildup of passion and friendship between the twins as their drama unfolds in their quest for normalcy and acceptance.
The connection between the twins is so powerful that any separation from each other is devastating and affects both mentally and physically due to their essence. The erotic scenes between them are hypnotically Hot and will have you squirming in your pants or crossing your legs squeezing them tight as you await their passionate release.
The story’s plot totally won me over with a shocking sci-fi surprise and their motto of “The Way” in the end.
Linda Nightingale’s writing and imagination is truly talented and amazing. I look forward to reading more of her work. Excellent Read!