Also in this series: Breathless
Series: Old West #1
Published by Avon on January 26th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Interracial Romance, American West
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 . . .
Rhine Fontaine left the south to find success and fulfill his dreams and had to pass for white which he was able to do because of his mixed heritage. And with Rhine choosing a bride of the best connections, he doesn’t believe that he is missing out on anything. Until he meets beautiful and passionate Eddy Carmichael. A woman he discovered abandoned in the desert heat, and saved her life. Rhine is intrigued by Eddy and he finds himself torn between the attraction he feels for Eddy and his responsibilities. But Rhine also is forced to face what he can truly live with and if keeping himself as “white” is the best thing for him when he is denying a part of himself. Eddy wants a better life, to have her own place of work, to be independent. She barely makes it from Colorado to Arizona alive, and even though its not her desired destination she can’t find it in herself to leave quite yet. She also discovers a man tempts her but he is also a man that could break her heart if she lets him get too close…
Rhine Fontaine grew up as a slave. His father was white and the master of the plantation and his mother was one of his fathers slaves. He is the descendant of a great african queen. But as soon as he could, he left the south as a free man and even though he is still searching for his sister Sable, he wants to make his own way and life. Rhine hides his true self from many in the world, no one knows that he is really black and was once a slave. It has allowed him many opportunities but it has also taken something away from him. Rhine is our hero of the story and there is much to love and admire about him. He takes what he can and makes his own way in life. I loved his determination and his drive. There is quite a many facets to his character, and you see more hidden depths to him in each page. I loved discovering more about him and the way he grows in different ways.
Eddy Carmichael is a talented cook, and even though she lost her parents at a young age. She has a sister who sells her body for money and has two girls that Eddy adores but she knows that she needs to take the chance to start her own restaurant in California. Eddy is our heroine and she is such a great match for our hero Rhine. She is opinionated, strong willed and has her own dreams she is determined to make come true. Eddy is smart and sassy and she is very well rounded. You can easily get behind her. I was really impressed in the way that she handled Rhine and even some of the other men she associates with. She keeps them on their toes and you have to admire that.
Plot and Story Line
Forbidden is a first book of a new series by Beverly Jenkins, and to be honest I am an idiot in waiting so long to read this one. I have no idea why I waited but I finally got my hands on this one and I am so glad that I was able to and it was everything I wanted it to be and more. As typical with any Beverly Jenkins romance, I was hooked from the start. We set off at the beginning of Rhine’s journey. Before he makes his trek west, while he looks for his sister which he has no luck there. Even from the beginning here, we see his drive and determination to make a better life for himself. Then we skip ahead some years where Rhine has been posing as a white man. It allows him quite a bit of freedom and great opportunities. Then we learn more about our heroine. I love how wise Eddy is in so many little ways. She is talented, and smart but she is also kind hearted. We see how close she is to her nieces that she is forced to leave behind. Then we see how she gets taken advantage of with her money stolen, and almost raped and left in the desert to die. She is rescued by Rhine and his business part and friend Jim. Rhine and Eddy become quite close as she starts to recover from almost dying. Even though Rhine is engaged, we see from the beginning that its purely a marriage of convenience and his fiancee is a bit cookoo. I didn’t like her at all so I couldn’t understand why Rhine could engage himself to such a woman. What I liked about this book was the romance and how real these characters felt. Each characters that comes into play just wraps their way around you like a warm blanket. The actual romance between Rhine and Eddy was full of struggles and also personal growths that bring them closer in the end. The banter between these two is prime and golden and you just can’t get enough of it. Their interactions were quite charming. The chemistry is a mixture of innocence and yet sensually explicit. Only Beverly Jenkins can pack a punch like this one and make you fall in love along the way. I can’t wait for book two.
What a gorgeous cover, I just love the PINK!!! And the pose between them is such a “teasing yet one full of longing” and portrays their story so wel.
Forbidden is a fantastically written romance that takes you to the old west, a journey of self discovery, sizzling chemistry, packed with history, a diverse and a breathtaking love story!!!