Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

Wednesday, March 22nd 2017

Forbidden Love in the Old West!
four-stars

 I haven’t been writing a lot of reviews of late because I’ve been sulking in my bed, missing my husband dearly. I know this is really no excuse for not post more reviews, this is why I have trapped myself in my room! With my Alpha Smart Neo2 on my lap, and Beauty and the Beast Live Action soundtrack buzzing in my ear, I’m hoping to give you the most cheerful review possible!

Let us start with a book that I was recommend by the most amazing blue hair library you’ll even meet in Chicago, Mary Ryan. I meet Mary at Romantic Times Los Vegas 2016, last year! It’s always great to make librarian friends, especially if you’re a lover of books! I believe this book recommendation came because I made a post of Facebook stating, when I watch historical romances on t.v. I always wonder what my ancestors were doing during that time, which is the exact moment a slave starts setting the fine china on a perfectly pressed table cloth. I never a person that reason book expecting to find diversity of color or feeling that I need it but thanks to Mary she gave it, and how was it ever so amazing to read a story about a  historical black community that weren’t wearing heavy bracelets. Did you see what I did there?

This is why I’m extremely happy that Mary introduced me to Beverly Jenkins, an African-American historical romance writer. In the words of British comedian Gina Yashire “Black people, we are EVERYWHERE!” Well that’s surely the case here in the historical romance of the wild west. First off let me say I really loved this book, I mean what’s not to love!

Returning to make a new series Beverly Jenkins takes us to Old West were we meet Rhine Fontaine, whose having a successful life of his dreams with one expectation which is he’s living his life as a White man. That’s right, we have an Imitation of Life situation here, expect Rhine Fontaine was born a slave and currently find peace and success by passing as white until Eddy Carmichael stumbled into the desert.

Eddy Carmichael, is a young woman whose more than determined and equal parts defiant, as well as beautiful, Eddy is more than determined to find her way to California, fulfilling her dream of owning her own restaurant. When you put an outs poking Eddy with a successful yet secretly life of Rhine Fontaine, you’re sure to get more than a few sparks between personalities.

I loved this book, and I am so happy that Mary Ryan gave me the recommendation to read this. I never read a book where majority of the full cast of characters were actually African descent. I loved Rhine Fontaine, I am aware he is a character that was previously mentioned in a previous romance novel from another Jenkins romance series, yet I loved Rhine just the way he was. Even though Rhine was born a slave, he knew that he wanted to live a successful man, a life he could only live if he passed as White. Even though Rhine managed to make his living in the wild west by passing, all things changed when he and his business partners found Eddy stranded in the middle of the desert.

I just love the characters in this book, seriously how can you not fall in love with Rhine and Eddy. Rhine has found his fortune and success as he continues to pass as a white man. Yet in this era, the relationship with someone of a different race is not only illegal it’s forbidden, hint the name of the book. What exactly what could Rhine do, he’s quickly falling in love with Eddy. She’s strong, she’s determined, and she’s only desire is to be successful within her own craft, what’s not to love about her.

Eddy is everything you would want from a strong heroine in a romance novel. From the very beginning of the novel, Eddy is having an extremely hard time getting to her destination of California. The only dream she thriving to fulfill is to own her very own restaurant. Eddy is a talented chief, which is why Rhine is losing all the costumers who use to attend his saloon. With Eddy engaged with a white woman, a relationship established only to solidify his passing as a white man, he truly has to determine if passing for white is worth losing the opportunity of being with the woman he loves.

I love this book so damn much. I love it! I love it! I love it! You obviously don’t have to be of any color to love this book, expect you just have to love diversity in books, that’s all.

I will say this, the only thing that truly disliked about this book was the sex. There was soooooooo much sexual tension between the main characters, that I hated when we actually arrived at the sexual thrilling penetrating desires of the characters, I did not get a lot of steam. I really wanted a detail retelling of all the nasty little things Rhine was going to do to Eddy’s body. Seriously, they’ve been talking about all the desires, needs, that Rhine and Eddy had for each other that I expected to get more than a listing of, “They had sex in a chair, they had sex in her wedding dress, they had sex in their chair and it was amazing.” This of course is not a direct quote from the book but that’s what if feels like when I read the romance scene, which is why it lost one star from what would have been a perfect rating. What the book lacks in perfect sexual detail it surely gains with it’s amazing dramatic scenes between characters. Not only are they the main characters have a lot of drama thrown their way, but there are a lot more characters involved in the story of their romantic lives, practically the entire town has a hand in their lives, just like a small town should. I love the characters, I love the love, and I love the drama. Did I tell you that I love this book, cause I do! I really really really really do! I really hope you love it too!

Also after you finish reading the book, make sure to read Beverly Jenkins author notes of how the characters, and the city in which Rhine and Eddy live. This novel might be a historical fiction but the inspiration for the novel is truly a work of fiction.

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