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Forbidden

by Beverly Jenkins

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old West (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16711131,850 (3.87)5
USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old West 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 . . .… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
3.75 stars

This is my first book by Beverly Jenkins and I'm really glad that I finally read one. I don't think this will be my favorite book from her once I read more but I do think this was a good introduction to her work. I really appreciated the amount of research that went into this and it really came through in the story. The writing style of this book is quite dry and straightforward but I didn't mind that. Plot-wise, I did find this to be a bit dull in parts. This was a very slow burn romance but it's also very character-driven, so there's not a lot of other plot, at least until the end. I wish the pacing had been different because very little happens and then all the sudden, a ton of stuff happens. I thought things should have been spread out a bit differently and not saved for the last five chapters.

The thing I really liked in this book was the characters. I really enjoyed the dialogue between Rhine and Eddy. I always appreciate it when the relationship really drives the plot rather than the other way around and that happens here. I really enjoyed Eddy and her determination. I wish we had learned a bit more about her backstory and her family. I felt like that was a bit unexplored for her, especially since we learned so much about Rhine's family. I liked Rhine's character. I especially liked his relationship to his brother. His drama with his fiancee Natalie was not my favorite. It just seemed a little overblown to me. Because this was slowburn, it was a little hard for me to get into the romance, which usually happens to me with slowburn. However, by the end I was very on board.

I definitely want to pick up more books by Jenkins, especially with the characters who were mentioned in this book like Sable. This was a fun read for me and really enjoyed Jenkins style so I look forward to reading more in the future. ( )
  AKBouterse | Oct 14, 2021 |
As mentioned in a comment on an update, there were a lot of editing issues in this book, which is surprising as it's from a major publisher.

The story itself was lovely. I really liked the view into a Black community in the West after the Civil War. Eddy was a delight. I loved how she knew what she wanted and wouldn't take crap from people who might question her goals or ability to get to reach them. The supporting characters were also great. And Rhine, of course, was a wonderful, dreamy hero.

Everything was wrapped up nicely with a pretty bow on top, but it's a romance, and that's how things are supposed to happen. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
This was so good! I loved it. The characters of Rhine and Eddy made my heart happy. Especially when you find out Rhine's past. I loved how Jenkins took parts of the American history (post Civil War, mostly African American towns, etc.) and turned all of that into this book. I am so going to read more books by this author in the future. The only reason why I didn't give this five stars is that it starts off slow. To the point that I was considering DNFing it since I was so tired. However, things pick up after Eddy gets to Virginia City. And then the info-dump regarding Eddy's sister and her nieces I did not care for at all. I am assuming this comes up in the follow on books and I hope is better laid out than it was here.

"Forbidden" has Rhine Fontaine, a son of a slave that can pass as white moving out West to make his fortune. He ends up landing in Virginia City where he becomes quite wealthy and engaged to one of the town leader's daughter. Enter Eddy Carmichael. Eddy has dreams of opening her own restaurant in California. She leaves her family behind in Colorado and travels west. Things are going her way until she's left in the desert and almost dies before Rhine and his partner find her and take her back to their saloon to heal.

Eddy and Rhine both find themselves drawn to each other right away (insta-love which is usually a pet peeve with me but worked with how Jenkins handles it) Eddy isn't stupid though and knows no good can come with her getting involved with a white man. And Rhine knows he can't be with Eddy unless she would agree to be his mistress. Jenkins does a great job of developing these two and getting you to understand why they are so drawn to each other. And we get some love scenes that made my heart go happy pitty pat.

The secondary characters like Sylvie, Doc, Vera, and others were great. I felt like I was getting a real picture of an old West town with many people all living together.

There's of course the question of what is Rhine going to do and what is Eddy going to do. Thrown in is also the issue of the Republican party turning more focused on "white issues" and their turning a blind eye to the KKK. If you want to know more about how the Republicans yes supported abolishing slavery and then danced towards being the modern face of white supremacy, follow Kevin Kruse on Twitter.

The book takes place post Civil War and my reading of the times and locations that Jenkins gets into reads to me as accurate. I am glad she didn't have the African Americans in this book talking about the Democrats. She knew just as I do that African Americans were Republicans for the most part up until a certain point in time of our nation's history (see JFK and Civil Rights).

The book though tries to do too much at the end and as I said above we have some throwaway lines regarding Eddy's sister and her family that made me go wait what? I found out that Rhine appears in an earlier work of Jenkins, but I am glad she developed him in this one and didn't expect new readers to know him. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Considering I'm reading a decidedly mid road histrom and can't quite make myself go back to this, I shall bail. That said, I might try some earlier stuff if that's really where it's at.
  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
I never really considered myself to be the kind of person to read romance novels, and then I read this book. I added it to my TBR after hearing about it on the All the Books podcast, and tackled it this year for the Read Harder challenge. I have to say that it blew my socks off. I loved the book so much and I can say it won't be my last romance. ( )
  ChelseaMcE | Mar 19, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beverly Jenkinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Staunton, KimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old West 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 . . .

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