And sometimes, you must look at what isn’t said, as much as what is, to see it.
R.B. O’Brien’s latest collection of dark poetry and prose isn’t your Robert Burns song about “luve.” No. It’s not that kind of a red, red rose. It’s the kind that makes you think of a darker shade of red, perhaps the color of blood coursing just below the surface of your skin or through your veins, struggling to pump that blood to your heart. A rose littered with thorns to prick and cut into your darker psyche. The kind of rose to escape the pretty gardens and butterflies and yellow suns filling a canvas with only light. No. This red, red rose is the stuff only twisted fairy tales are made of.
As nuanced and textured as you may be used to from O’Brien, you’ve never seen her quite like this before. From bright-lit graves to black crosses on white churches, from mortal skulls to immortal ghosts, from sweet revenge to soured greed, and from love worth dying for (literally) to death most lively, turn off the lights and read only by candlelight. Who knows what you may see…
You might just see yourself.
R.B. O’Brien has always been drawn to the taboo side of storytelling, even as a young adult, from hiding books from strict Catholic parents as a teen to getting lost in the erotic sections of bookstores for hours. Much of her work explores the darker, sensual nature of relationships, those riddled with the reality of insecurities and human folly, often exposing the vulnerability, emotional turmoil, and occasional pain that can come from losing oneself in the heat of passion.
She is best known for her three published erotic romances, Thorne, Edge of Torment, and Imogen, but is now forging a name for herself in the New Adult genre, publishing Play Only for Me in the spring of 2020, a stand-alone New Adult Romance novel, which explores the angst that comes with young love. Her sensual collection, Ruin My Lipstick, was her first published poetry collection and her latest, Almost Poetry, is now also available, a mixture of short verse juxtaposed against her own intimate handwriting.
O’Brien holds a degree in English literature and teaches for a living in the Northeast, USA. She is the founding member of The Nu Romantics, first publishing the short story, “Beyond the Rain,” in their collection, Beyond the Last Page, a paranormal romance. She is a poet, a professor, a writer, a dancer, a hopeful romantic, has a profound affection for Shakespeare, and beyond that, writes–every chance she gets.