Published by HarperCollins on January 26th 2016
Genres: African American, Fiction, General, Historical, Romance
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USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old WestRhine 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 . . .
I wasn’t supposed to read this book until Sunday. I planned to go to the spa and this book was going to serve as my reading material. Well, needless to say, that didn’t happen. I devoured this book in about three hours on Tuesday.
For some reason or another, the Rhine Fontaine character didn’t ring a bell when I read the synopsis a couple of months ago. It wasn’t until I started reading that it clicked. Rhine was Sable’s brother from Through the Storm! I was mildly curious about him when reading that book but didn’t think about him getting his own novel. I’m glad Ms. Jenkins wrote it because it was definitely a story I enjoyed and needed to know about.
Born enslaved, at 10 years old Rhine Fontaine realized he could pass as white. Once he became an adult, he started to live his life as a lie; passing off as white which allowed his business opportunities and power that would not have been available to him otherwise. This lie comes at a cost, and unless he’s willing to make the required sacrifice, the biggest loss of all will be Eddy Carmichael and a love that promises forever.
Eddy Carmichael has had a hard life. She has big dreams of owning a restaurant and is determined to leave her small town to make it happen. Two robberies derail her and she finds herself in Virginia City where she gets way more than she bargained for.
Rhine finds Eddy on death’s door and as he nurses her back to health, finds himself feeling way more for her than just concern. However, there are too many barriers in their way. He’s engaged and Eddy will not be anyone’s mistress. To the world, he’s white and so that love is seen as forbidden. Eddy isn’t a woman he can let go of and he’s sure that her love is the one thing he truly needs in the world. To have the woman he desires, however, he’ll need to make the ultimate sacrifice and reveal who he really is to everyone.
Rhine and Eddy face multiple challenges, both as individuals and a couple. The problems sometimes seemed insurmountable but the love remained constant. They faced many bigots and hatred, but their love proved to be the ultimate salve.
This book, just like her previous books, is a history lesson at its finest. There were so many things I didn’t know about Virginia City and mining that I learned while reading Forbidden. It looks like there may be two other books featuring this town and I am excited to read them.
Forbidden is a story of half-truths, denial, fear, acceptance, and love. Fans of Beverly Jenkins will love this book. Pick it up now and once you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts below!