Author: Beverly Jenkins
“Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he’s always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.
Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won’t risk her heart for him. As soon as she’s saved enough money from her cooking, she’ll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden . . .”
One of my 2018 New Year’s resolutions is to stop being embarrassed by the things I enjoy. Now I don’t know if I “love” period drama romance novels, but damn it I will not flinch when I take out my 13 inch paperback of a rugged shirtless man with suspiciously cut abs in public! I simply refuse.
A while back I read an article about black romance authors and Beverly Jenkins topped off the list as one the most accomplished. I looked through the list and Forbidden was one of the few that was actually available at Queens Library. I thought this was a fine book. It had some strife, a determined lead, a sexy love interest, resistance, you know, all the things that make a good romance novel.
I liked Eddy. I really did. Her backstory and evolution was something that I’ve seen before in almost every romance novel but I still liked her. She liked food, I like food, of course, I liked her. She was someone I rooted for because her decisions were based on what was best for her and her dreams, rather than changing her dreams to suit her lover.
Rhine was again, a typical love interest. Checkered past, most beautiful man in town, rich, probably had a big dick, all that good stuff. His backstory was more layered than usual love interests because there was the added conflict of racism and colorism, but he wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
Their story was interesting to read mostly because I wanted Eddy to be successful. I was invested in her happiness, with or without Rhine. I was less interested in Rhine’s story but I still wanted to know whether he would actually cross back over to the other side. Their romance was not so fully fleshed out to me. Maybe its just me but I felt like their relationship went from 0-100 in no time flat. Like, it took 2 chapters for Eddy to let Rhine suck her titties, to me, it was a little crazy. I did enjoy the fact that they did get their happy ending.
While I wasn’t crazy about this book, I count liking it as a victory. To not hate or be annoyed by the main character in a book like this happens less than you think. I’ll recommend this novel and am looking forward to reading the next sequels.