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  • Debi V. Smith

Tainted Love Cover Reveal


Image of broken brown glass arranged into a heart shape on worn wallpaper with text TAINTED LOVE in white above the heart and text DEBI V. SMITH below the heart

One man's obsession is another woman's living nightmare


What could go wrong when Ariana Baraquio runs into Lance Byun, an ex-boyfriend, while out with her current boyfriend? After all, running into people you know in Honolulu happens all the time. You say, “Long time, yeah?” catch up fast kine and hele on. The chance meeting alters the course of their lives and her boyfriend’s, James Devlin. Finding out where she lives, Lance calls her incessantly and sneaks into the building, leaving presents at her door.


Managing the stress of being stalked with the responsibilities of college, work, and living on her own overwhelms Ari. Lance’s actions culminate in a night of violence as he holds Ari and J.D. hostage. He disappears after that, but his actions create a rippling effect of trauma for her and J.D. When he returns, repeating the same pattern, they eventually put their faith in the justice system.


Ari and J.D. know they’ll survive if they continue to support each other while also recognizing that Lance can and will destroy what they’ve built at any time. Ari’s experience make you question why we put so many expectations on victims to do and act as we think they should. Hopefully, her story will not only make you wish for a better future in which the system, institutions, and individuals take victims at their word and do more to protect them, making them feel safer to report in the first place, but to understand that it’s not hyperbole when Asian-American women say their lives are in danger because they’ve been fetishized.


Available soon in ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.

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