Friday, January 29, 2016

REVIEW: "Forbidden" by Beverly Jenkins

(Old West #1)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Post-Civil War America

Avon -- Published on January 26, 2016
eARC, 384 pages
Read in January 2016
Received from Edelweiss


Self-Made Hero, Cook Heroine

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 fa├žade. 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 . . .

"Wearing the blue uniform of the Union Army, Rhine Fontaine tethered his horse to the post and surveyed the charred piles of rubble of the house that once anchored the largest plantation in the county."

I received a free copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I have been wanting to read Beverly Jenkins for a long time so I ecstatic to receive an eARC of her newest release, Forbidden.  And it was an amazing reading experience!  I definitely understand why she is so highly regarded in the romance community and I am anxious to read more of her work.

Rhine Fontaine is the son of a slave and her owner and has a light enough complexion to pass as White.  After the Civil War, he decided that, in order to achieve his dreams, he had to Pass and was able to build a successful business in Virginia City, Nevada.  Eddy Carmichael was born free and is ready to go for her dream which is to own a restaurant in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, on her journey, she gets taken advantage of and winds up walking alone in the desert.  Her life is saved when Rhine and his business partner, Jim, come across her.  Eddy is still determined to head to San Francisco as soon as she earns enough money, but, while she is waiting, her relationship with Rhine becomes much more serious than either of them thought possible.

I just loved the characterization of both Rhine and Eddy.  It is easy to understand why Rhine would make the choice to Pass like he did and his growing feelings for Eddy force him to really think about what he wants in life.  He used his position in the city to help the Black community whenever possible and never made them feel like they owed him anything.  I would describe Eddy as resilient and a realistic dreamer.  I applauded her continued efforts to improve her life though she also took the time to appreciate what she already had.

Eddy and Rhine's romance was very sweet and made them rethink their future plans.  Their chemistry is off the charts and I reveled in every scene that had them bantering back and forth.  Forbidden romance is always fun for me to read and Beverly Jenkins takes the trope and runs with it.  I liked that both of them had to be willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve their happily ever after so that the stakes were even higher for the romance to succeed.

I also loved the worldbuilding Beverly Jenkins did on Virginia City especially her depiction of the Black community.  I knew nothing about this city and its illustrious history and I felt like I learned so much.  The other city inhabitants were all given vibrant personalities and many had little story arcs of their own.  There is an absolutely adorable side romance between Eddy's boss and the town doctor that had me squealing with happiness.

Forbidden was a unique, lush historical romance that had me reading late into the night.  Beverly Jenkins's writing style really works for me and I can't wait to read more.  I am definitely excited to see where Beverly Jenkins takes this series next.

"Do you always insult women with knives in their hands?"


  1. I'm so excited you liked this book, because I've been interested in reading Beverly Jenkins since Sarah MacLean recommended her. (I think I bought Destiny's Surrender, which is what MacLean recommended as her favorite.) I'll have to bump it up my list!

  2. I've also been wanting to read Beverly Jenkins, and I have continually heard great things about Forbidden. I also think the cover is really pretty!

    So glad you liked this.


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