Imperative:  Always You by Belinda McBride

Imperative Series, Book 2

Changeling Press

Futuristic, Sci-Fi

ISBN: 978-1-60521-090-2

Reviewed by Patrice F.



As a design team, Marilyn and Neil are brilliant together.  Too bad they are constantly at one anotherís throats.  You would think there was something between them, except that Neil is gay and Marilyn is married. Since when did that ever stop the Imperative?

When Neil and Marilyn are both faced with ending their dysfunctional relationships,   they make a pact to put aside their differences and support one another.  What they donít expect is for the Imperative to take them along for a turbulent ride.  They quickly learn there is nothing you can do when Mother Nature is at the helm.

The big Imperative ball keeps a rolliní in Imperative: Always You.  Emotions run high as anxiety brings Marilyn and Neil to the brink of losing it all when an unfulfilling compromise is set.  The sexual and psychological bonding and intensity Iíve come to associate with Belinda McBrideís characters is all here.  She continues to examine the boundaries of gender and orientation, scratching out the limits. 

Mariís and Neilís story is smoothly connected to Conrad, Duncan and Marina without too much interference or dismissal of the earlier trio.  A new troubled character is also introduced, and itís clear theyíll be featured in the next installment.  I liked the character for a variety of reasons, and hoped this individual will find true happiness.  The entire dynamic was important to demonstrating the complexity of love, loyalty and friendship in any type of relationship; how a healthy, committed couple can become a gift to someone that desperately needs a family.  Each time I read a story from the Imperative series, I become more convinced that human beings will someday become capable of reaching this level of evolution.  This only enhances my appreciation for this authorís work all the more.


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