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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 payingEddy 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 uench this longing Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden

10 thoughts on “Forbidden Old West #1

  1. says:

    His invitation to dinner had been surprising and yes insulting if she were being truthful Did he believe she thought so little of herself that she'd keep time with a man engaged to be married? She supposed with his looks and money some women might have jumped at the chance to take him up on the offer but she was not one of them Did he often dally with women outside his race? Was he one of those men who slaked their lust with women of color but treated their own women like fragile regal ueens? Was that why he proposed what he had? Eddy doubted she'd ever get answers to the uestions but decided she was okay with the not knowing Her new life didn't include him anywayActually this book was great Jenkins sets her black historical romance novel in the Old West I love the Old West The book is strong she weaves an excellent plot and the romance isn't weak eitherEddy I was never sure whether to pronounce this in my head as ee dee or eh dee is making her way to California to open her own restaurant On the way she meets a lot of people including a fucking piece of shit who poses as a Catholic priest who takes all her money orders her to have sex with him and when she refuses he strands her in the middle of the desertThat's how Rhine finds her near dead He and his business partner Jim take her back home to their rooms above the saloon so she can recoverRhine is a rich politically active saloon owner with eyes on running for office Everyone thinks he's white and he's been passing since after the Civil War But he really was born a slave a product of rape between the plantation owner and his slave mother As a result he has both black and white siblingsDespite the strong attraction between Eddy and Rhine she knows they can never be together because he is a white man Or at least everyone thinks he is Not to mention he's engaged to be married to a white rich woman Hence the title FORBIDDENLet's break this downPROS Old West setting Exuisite I don't know about you but I love fantasizing about this time period The reality was awful I wouldn't want to live there but the idea of cowboys saloons whorehouses shootouts sheriffs horses Native Americans and train robberies is very exciting to me Just a very exciting setting especially for a romance History I learned a lot from this book Jenkins cites her sources in the back Prepare to be educated but not in an annoying or preachy way I really enjoyed this The time is 1870 Grant is president Black and white tension The tension between the relatively newly freed black people and the white people who don't know how to deal with this new reality makes the book really pop The looming threat of everything Rhine would lose if he were exposed as a black man gives everything a exciting edge and makes Eddy and Rhine sneaking around to meet in secret necessary I also like how Jenkins stresses and illustrates how passing for white allows Rhine to do so much good for the black community He gives loans he mortgages property he uses his saloon to host black celebrations weddings etc when there was no other possible way for people to get these things He serves on councils and is active in politics and fights hard for civil rights and keeping schools desegregated As a black man he'd never be able to do these thingsThe idea of someone passing as a different race is fraught with all sorts of dangers but I think Jenkins did a good job of showing both the pros and cons of our hero passing for white The Heroine I really like Eddy She is a fighter I like how she fights everyone She refuses to allow the scumbag any sexual liberties and instead takes a chance she will die in the desert When found by Rhine and scooped up she's yelling and fighting him even though she's nearly unconscious and close to death We know how hard she's been working all her life I've worked six days a week since I was twelve years old and I've never been bedridden in my life This lying around is hard for me she informs Rhine When asked about her hobbies she Do you have a hobby or a favorite pastime?Yes Sleeping she said with amusementSleeping?I worked fourteen hour days I'd go home grab a bite to eat and go straight to bed because I had to get up before sunrise and do it all over again There wasn't time for pastimes or amusementsThis is my kind of woman I really feel her when she says She thought back on how achingly weary she'd been day after day during that first year and how scary life had been Her hands had cracked and bled from all the lye and her knees had fared no better from being on them constantly but her skin had toughened up and so had sheIt must have been hardIt was In many ways it still is but if I don't work I don't eat It's pretty simple if you think about itWORK OR DIE Hmmmm such reality I love it and I love it even because I know that wealthy Rhine is going to ease her burden and even though she will keep working and earning money something very important to her she will be able to relax finally and enjoy herself a little The reader will be excited and looking forward to this all the sweeter because Eddy has had such a hard lifeShe always fights She stands up to men who say rude things to her She's honest about her romantic interests and doesn't bother lying to men At one point she brains a man with a whisky bottle he deserved it and she never backs down from anything Good morning EddyShe didn't look up Good morningHe came over to the table You know it's a shame your skin is so dark You're well spoken clean mannerly You'd make someone a perfect wife but She did look up then Do you always insult women with knives in their hands Mr Brown?Upon viewing the gleaming blade his eyes widened Uh umShe pointed said knife at the doorway LeaveI wasn't trying to insult you I was just stating factGoHe bid a hasty retreatWondering where he'd been when the Good Lord began handing out brains she went back to what she'd been doingEven the hero especially the hero doesn't escape her straight talk As she moved on to the second cake she saw him reach into his coat and extract some money She froze And that is for?I convinced spoilers removed and he gave me all he hadShe relaxed OhWhat's wrong?She shook her head Nothing Thank youDid you think I was trying to buy your services?She told the truth YesYou're not a whore EddyI know that but I wasn't sure you didHe sat back Damn womanShe shrugged Like you said hard nut to crack I've no experience with a man like you Rhine or truthfully any man She looked away She was a novice at this and he needed to know thatWill you at least give me a chance to prove myself?To what end? A few days ago you were spoilers removed and now you want me to believe you're genuinely interested in me as something other than a dallianceThis is at 59% This book is definitely a slow burn They don't have their first kiss until 60%CONS I think this could have used both a little sex and a little sexual tension Even if Jenkins didn't want to put sex in here I still think she could have amped up the sexual tension a bit This could have been SUCH a sexually charged book in about 80 ways but it just wasn't She didn't milk it for all it was worth and I personally think she should have I would say mild sexual tension instead of the 'intense' tension I wanted There WAS sexual tension it wasn't completely absent but I feel like she could have cranked it up a few notches The female villain in this novel was a little hard to believe Jenkins has her view spoilercompletely flip out hide spoiler

  2. says:

    I need to read books by Beverly Jenkins This was a perfect historical fiction read with romance so sweet it ached It had a great balance of history and romance and I couldn’t get enough of the focus this book had on the lives of black communities in the 1800s I was being educated whilst reading and I loved that ————————— Smuthathon Day 1 Challenge author of colour

  3. says:

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || || PinterestI read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge For info about what this is click hereAs a nod to black history month my romance group decided it would be fun to read a historical romance novel featuring two characters of black ancestry We chose this book I was really excited about this pick because I've uickly grown to love Beverly Jenkins's work Her writing style is reminiscent of Lisa Kleypas and Courtney Milan Her headstrong heroines and swoony males remind me of Kleypas as well as how much attention she pays to the side characters even having them walk in and out of later books She reminds me of Courtney Milan in how she focuses her efforts on empowered women and people of color which is so important because of how those narratives are often pushed asideFORBIDDEN is about a black woman named Eddy Carmichael Both her parents are dead and she's estranged from her prostitute sister After being robbed she decides to head out to San Francisco while depending on the kindness of strangers to get there because her sister won't give her a dime Of course she gets robbed again and then left for dead in the middle of the desert by a con artist just as soon as he discovers she won't trade him her bodyRhine Fontaine the hero is the one who finds her and helps nurse her back to health Rhine the dreamboat on the cover is a wealthy business owner and an active player in Nevada's Republican political scene He's also the son of a slave and has been passing for White for all these years because of the many opportunities it offers him that he wouldn't have access to otherwise Rhine never uestioned that decision until he meets Eddy and finds her much appealing than his fiancee a white society woman who is absolutely determined to wrap him around her fingerI was actually picturing the hero and heroine in my head as Tiana and Naveen from The Princess and the Frog Eddy is an excellent cook oh my God the food descriptions in this book and wants to one day have her own business or at the very least be totally self reliant Rhine on the other hand is a smooth talking ladies' man who knows he is good looking and entirely too used to getting his way because of it I wasn't completely sold on the romance between them at first because when Rhine meets Eddy he's already engaged to another woman and makes advances towards her anyway She turns him down and in the end he decides to break things off with Natalie his fiance not just to be with Eddy although mostly but also because he realizes that she isn't a nice personFunny how it often takes another woman to make dudes realize that in fictionI've only read two books by Jenkins the other was DESTINY'S EMBRACE but I'm already noticing some common themes Jenkins seems to favor the virgin and the rake trope both heroes in these books were man whores and both heroines were virgins The heroine is both these books is so beautiful that she literally especially in the case of DESTINY'S has to fight off a line of suitors Jenkins is also a fan of history so a significant portion of the book usually focuses on some aspect of that well outside the degree necessary for simply setting the scene DESTINY'S EMBRACE talks a lot about the history of California especially in Yolo County FORBIDDEN discusses Republican and Democratic politics in the US before they switched platforms as well as racismI'll admit that the ending made me raise my eyebrows a bit because it felt so dramatic But given what I knew about Natalie's pride and her desire for others to see her as superior I guess it felt like what happened could have happened Maybe I also felt like Rhine's big reveal was rather anticlimactic A lot of people owed him money and probably resented his power Given what I know about bigotry and cognitive dissonance I'm sure that far people would have been uick to attempt petty revenge once he told everyone the truth about his heritage That said it sure was satisfying to see Rhine anticipate their every move and put them all in their place Take that bigotsFORBIDDEN was a uick fun read It had some problems sure but I loved the characters and it has some pretty steamy scenes between the hero and the heroine that were much better written than the ones in DESTINY'S EMBRACE Plus I haven't been feeling well lately so it was nice to read something light The research Jenkins did for this book was obvious as was the care she put into developing the secondary characters and making them all feel three dimensional Reading this reminded me that I still have THROUGH THE STORM to read which is about Rhine's younger sister Sable Maybe I'll pick that one up next There may be a Rhine cameo in it for me ;35 stars

  4. says:

    This was my first book by Beverly Jenkins and it was all I had hoped for and It was an awesome story not just because of the love but because of historical accuracy and intentional tactfulness in which the author dealt with the time period's racial tension I loved that world building and carefully developed yet complex characters she gave us hereRhine Fontaine was a son a slave master and a slave who found out around 8 yrs old that he was light enough to pass as white So after he finished his tour in the Civil war he moved away from his hometown and began to pass as white man He built a successful life and only a couple of people knew his secret One day he rescued a woman who had passed out from heat and exhaustion and thus began his introduction to Miss Eddy CarmichaelEddy was on her way to California to build a life as a cook Eddy was a strong and hard working woman who wanted out of her life and she had no ualms about working towards it On her journey to California she was robbed of all her money and left out in the heat to die When Rhine and his business partner rescued her Eddy was given an opportunity to stay in town and make a little money to aid her in her dream of opening her own restaurant in CaliforniaThe only problem was how she was going to fight her attraction to the green eyed white man who was always being so kind and attentive to her; a dangerous thing in these times where blacks and whites were not accepted as euals enough to be together Eddy wasn't the only one with the dilemma; Rhine was engaged to woman from a powerful political family whom he needed to continue to push his agenda of gaining euality for the recently freed black people He couldn't be with Eddy if he was white and he couldn't continue as a champion his initiatives as a Representative if he was known to be black What path will Rhine choose to follow?I loved this story This time period the 1870's can be very emotional for me as I find the topics painful I always assumed that once black people passed their lives were carefree and they had achieved that which everyone so desperately yearns for euality respect and a fairer opportunity for social mobility I found that so selfish but then again I couldn't begrudge anyone their opportunity to be treated with dignity that they already deserved as a human being But for the first time the author enlightened me to the obstacles and sacrifices people who Passed made I had never considered that before so it was interesting seeing Rhine's inner turmoil He was a kind and compassionate person and was working the best way he knew to change the system from the inside What a battle it was to do so and maintain his secret Now Eddy made him want a different lifeEddy was such a fascinating character She had inner strength and a tough outer shell She had been hurt and taken advantage of before so Rhine had to work hard to gain her trust and ultimately her admirationThe pace of the story was just right I never felt bored nor was I filled with angst I loved how the love grew and wasn't one of those insta love stories Both characters had to let down their armor to experience this and they did I was just looking forward to the choices the characters had to make and to see how those choices impacted the dreams that Eddy and Rhine had for themselves as individuals The writing was just smooth as I could picture the story as a movie This book felt so real and just resonated within me as I reflected on it This is what I love in HRs a history lesson and a great love story I cannot believe this is my first book this author but it certainly won't be my last

  5. says:

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random LifeThis is the first book by Beverly Jenkins that I have read and I really enjoyed it I do have to admit that I completely judged this book by its cover I don't think I even read the summary until after I finished the book I do that uite a lot actually I assumed based on the cover that this was going to be an interracial historical romance but the story ended up being a bit different than that The difference was probably even interesting This was a book that I ended up reading in less than a day simply because I didn't want to put it downEddy is determined to move to California and open a restaurant She ends up in Virginia City Nevada after almost losing her life in the Nevada desert We learn very early in the book that Eddy is tough and resourceful She doesn't give up even when things looks impossible Rhine is the man that rescued Eddy when she was close to death in the desert He is a prominent citizen in Virginia City and owns a successful business in the town His life depends on his ability to pass himself as a white manEddy and Rhine are drawn to each other from the very beginning Eddy has no plans to act on those impulses for a couple of rather important reasons Eddy's presence in the town really makes Rhine consider some of the choices that he has made in his life and he make a few changes I liked the chemistry between this pair and thought that they really proved how much they cared about each other through their actionsThis book has a lot of excitement in it in addition to the romance Virginia City was a wonderful little town filled with wonderful characters Each town person in the story had their own charm and really added something to the book It seemed like something was always happening in this town and Eddy and Rhine kept themselves pretty busy both in the town and with each otherI would recommend this book to fans of historical romance The characters were fantastic and the plot was well executed I can't wait to start the next book this series I won a copy of this book from Addicted to Romance Initial ThoughtsThis was my first Beverly Jenkins read and I really enjoyed it Eddy and Rhine were great characters and I really wanted to see everything work out for them I can't wait to read the next book in this series

  6. says:

    I really wanted to love this book I'd been waiting a year to read it and after seeing all the praise it'd gotten within the last year including being named the best romance by the ALA I think my expectations were just way too high It's not a terrible book and if Goodreads allowed half stars this would be a two and a half for me However as a romance I didn't feel it was particularly compellingOne of the tropes it utilizes which I absolutely detest is the manwhorevirgin trope What added to my dislike of it in this book is that it was completely unnecessary In some books it works because the author uses it as part of the story In this one however other than a line partway through about him bedding women The brothers spent the years leading up to the war bedding belles and in some cases their mothers too it's not really mentioned again other than being evident in how experienced he is when they're togetherNow in conjunction with that is Eddy and her being a complete and total virgin This didn't make sense for the story when you really suss it out In the book Eddy feels unaccustomed to so much male attention when men start to court her after her move However it's mentioned than once and by many characters that she's an absolutely beautiful woman She's not some sheltered woman who'd been away from men all her life She was a working woman having worked from the age of twelve onwards who's been employed at many establishments like restaurantshotelsetc in one capacity or another Let's just be real here Beautiful women regardless of race will generally not be unaccustomed to male attention especially ones working amongst around and for men all the time She also mentions that her parents “loved each other immensely;” that were she to ever marry she wanted the kind of love her parents had shared” She also says that she wants children but had “put away that dream when she was back in Denver”So she's a beautiful woman worked amongst men is a wonder in the kitchen very open and friendly wanted to marry and have childrenbut she's somehow so completely inexperienced and this is the first time she's ever getting male attention? COME ON The fact that she's not just a virgin but that she's never even gotten a kiss or male attention before makes no sense to her background On top of that the fact that Rhine is a manwhore had no effect on the story so I don't understand why he had to be one Why was this trope necessary to the narrative? Especially when it made little sense when you really consider things? It wasn'tother than just to uphold the double standardThe other thing that made little sense is her encouragement of Zeke Like I said above she'd expressed wanting what her parents had had She always makes note of how her feelings for Zeke are lukewarm and while she likes him well enough she really doesn't love him Why have her encourage him? It was all so unfair to the guy And that's not me saying she should give him the time of day if she doesn't want to but she basically strung him along when her intentions were never really there She puts off her feelings for Rhine while continuing to encourage Zeke She's basically seeing Zeke when she allows Rhine to kiss herand then doesn't call off her upcoming date with the man After he shuns her we're supposed to feel some sort of sympathy for Eddy because Zeke is being cold towards her but why skew it in her favour? She's the one who played the guy so why's she acting all hurt now that he cut her loose? Eddy was extremely flaky when it came to Zeke One minute she wants him and then she doesn't She decides to pursue things with Rhine but she still displays hurt for what happened with Zeke If Zeke hadn't cut things off when he did would she have continued things as she had? Like I said extremely unfair to the guyAs a love interest I didn't particularly care for Rhine He was kind of all over the place and I don't feel like he really solidified as a character It seemed Jenkins wanted to write him one way but his actions and motivations were painting him to be different than that Some of his characterization just seemed out of place to me at times The characters mention a number of times that Rhine helps to uietly finance the businesses and properties of the black community there That's fine But then at a later point he makes a big show of donating an expensive bottle of wine to the orphanage auction bidding on it himself at a high enough price so no one else can then donating said bottle someone else What in the heck was the point of this?? Why did he feel the need to make such a big show of this? Why not simply donate the money uietly and then give the bottle of wine to the couple? I just didn't get the point of it at all and it seemed so out of place and unnecessary It also didn't make me a big fan of his because he was being such a show off basically showcasing his money for all there It was so self serving that I just found it to be a turn offSome of Rhine's characterization reminded me of Galen who was the male protagonist of Indigo the only other Jenkins book I've read Like Galen Rhine's a wealthy man who throws his money around Galen and Rhine also spent an enormous amount on their heroines despite their protests which Eddy tries to do in the end when they're house and clothes shopping Rhine like Galen was promiscuous and paired with a virginal heroine Rhine tries to imitate Galen's sort of devil may care cocky attitude but he couldn't uite pull it off When Hester Galen's heroine called Galen incorrigible it worked but here it didn't When Rhine was trying to be incorrigible it didn't come with ease like it had with GalenWith the similarities between this book and Indigo right down to the kidnap heroine at gunpoint and take her somewhere secluded scene it felt to me like Jenkins was trying to emulate Indigo subconsciously or knowingly but it fell short of the mark imo I think that was mainly because Rhine's in book characterization wanted to take him one way with his serious politician attitude that simply wants to help his people but the characterization Jenkins had had in mind for him with his cocky manwhore attitude went another While those two can work together I don't think they did hereAside from Rhine there is also a whole host of support characters They're very well developed which you tend not to see in a lot of books Jenkins established the community really well and gave them all distinct personalities and reasons for belonging in the narrative However I think that ended up taking away from the romance I felt like Jenkins spent too much time developing the support cast that she neglected the romance and the actual relationship Eddy had a established connection with Sylvie her employer than I felt she ever really developed with Rhine Rhine and Eddy were black powder instalove than anything else What they had for each other seemed really superficial to me—Rhine admiring her beauty and Eddy being taken in my his charm and good looksI think that was also an issue with the writing as a whole—it felt tell than show And most often the tell didn't even make sense Jenkins tells us that Eddy has a temper but I never really saw it Her angerannoyance just seemed the sort of natural reaction anyone would have in her situation When it comes to them kissing Eddy relays that it was masterful but we don't see it He lowered his mouth to hers and the kiss was so masterful and overwhelming Eddy tells the reader that she and Rhine have a volatile relationship and I was like huh?? Since when? Where is the volatility? Them having feelings for each other but refusing to act on them is hardly evidence of volatility in a relationship Eddy when deciding that she wants to push things forward with Rhine thinks that for once she wanted to be reckless and throw caution to the wind I was like For ONCE? Waitdidn't you as a black woman decide to uproot your life suddenly and go cross country with white male strangers on TWO separate occasions? And then you take this back to what I was saying above I was told they loved each other but I was never really shown it and thus never really felt it between themThis also then goes into the sex The reader never gets a scene of penetrative sex It's not that that's what I read a book for but it's that it was built on and on throughout the book Eddy and Rhine mention than once how they can't wait until their wedding night—especially Rhine We get short intervals of them doing almost everything but that so it's building up to that finale of their wedding night And then?And what a wedding night it was They drove from Sylvia’s to the Union and he carried her up the stairs to his room As they crossed the threshold all Eddy could think about was it being the place where her adventure with him beganBut she didn’t get to think much longer because he treated her to a night of lovemaking filled with enough sensuous memories to last a lifetime He made love to her in her gown and then without it They made love in the blue armchair and when he laid her nude body on the table and boldly spread her legs she was treated to the most carnal feasting of all “Much better than wedding cake” he whispered with a grin as she rode out her orgasmThat's it That's all of it It's literally a one paragraph summary of their wedding night which is the second last paragraph in the entire book It was like a footnote than anything of importance There were a number of moments in that book that felt anti climactic but this was the worst What an absolute let downTwo final things I wasn't a fan of Natalie going absolutely batshit near the end is the first What was the point of that? The story could've ended at the point that Doc proposes to Sylvie and things would've been all good But then this completely unnecessary drama is thrown in It felt like Jenkins felt the need to throw in a dramatic conflict there despite the fact that the story was pretty settled by that pointThis also led to my second annoyance the lone Chinese character is killed off here This man is shown throughout the book but he has no name at all—he's simply Chinese driver or the driver And then at the end when he finally speaks a couple of words he's shot dead within seconds and it's over In the end Eddy is saddened by the loss of his life but she still refers to him as the driver here and doesn't even bother to learn the man's name I was not feeling this disposable Asian business AT ALLThe thing I really liked about it though was Jenkins's being unapologetic with representing racism She doesn't gloss it over or try to put forth a benevolent Whites story Aptly enough she doesn't whitewash it When a lot of people think abolitionist they will most likely feel that that person wasn't a racist I meanhow could they right? They opposed slavery so of course they weren't racist That's where you'd be wrong though And that's something Jenkins shows both in the outright racists like Natalie or the abolitionists that pat themselves on the back like the Republicans such as Natalie's father The Republican bit is another—unlike the Democrats at the time the Republicans opposed slavery And this was something used over and over again during the past election in order to win the black voteFor example does the name Hinton Rowan Helper ring a bell? No? view spoilerWell his work The Impending Crisis of the South which was later released as an abridged version entitled the Compendium was used as a part of the Republican campaign in 1859 It was a banned book and you'd literally be killed for being in possession of it in some places in the South It's also one of the works if you look at Wikipedia listed under Events leading to the American Civil War SO HEY pretty important for the time But he wasn't opposed to slavery because of his concern for black people but because of how he felt whites were suffering And after the war this guy came out as a raging white supremacist who referred to non Whites as impure complexioned feeling that they should all be relegated to a State or Territory by themselves and under suitable regulations reuired to remain strictly within the limits assigned them This man who was a critic of slavery and is cited as an abolitionist was violently racist to the point of pretty much supporting genocide going on to drench three separate books in his racist vitriol post war The preface to the first of these Nojoue isWERE I to state here frankly and categorically that the primary object of this work is to write the negro out of America and that the secondary object is to write him and manifold millions of other black and bicolored caitiffs little better than himself out of existence God's simple truth would be told hide spoiler

  7. says:

    45 stars Why don’t books like this exist???Taking place about five years after the Civil War Forbidden is the story of Eddy Carmichael a young black woman determined to move to California so she can open her own restaurant On her way there she is robbed and left for dead in the desert where Rhine Fontaine rescues her and saves her life What most people don’t know is Rhine has been passing as white for years He’s become a successful businessman and admired in his community The attraction between the two of them is obvious but is either of them willing to take a risk?First off I’m going to throw this out there I love everything in the book except the romance I felt that part was a wee bit lackluster but I loved everything else I am a huge westward expansion fan in terms of history and I just completely ate up this book One thing I recently heard discussed in a key note speech was the damage of the “single story” where when one side of history is repeatedly told it erases the history and stories of other There were people and communities of color very much involved in westward expansion and yet we never hear about them And that’s what made this book so special to me it’s a story we never really get to see I loved all the little historical details that Jenkins wove into the story it was seamless While I didn’t love the romance I did love Eddy and Rhine and I thought they were great together I just felt the development of their relationship was extremely slow and then extremely rushed and I wish it had been developed Jenkin’s strength in this book is in her character development I love when I read a book and all the characters feel so tangible and real and Jenkins nails it with this one I can’t wait to read the other books in this series and books by Jenkins in general

  8. says:

    Beverly Jenkins is wildly superior to the vast majority of histrom and this is a cracking read about a steel cored free black woman determined to open a restaurant and a white passing once enslaved man who has built himself a life of privilege that he must renounce to be with her Lovely historical detail compelling characters a well drawn and involving community terrific sense of time and place Goodness she's good

  9. says:

    I’ve been trying to track down romance novels with people of color as main characters and it’s been dishearteningly difficult especially in my conservative rural community Although I suppose I can’t blame my community when I’ve got the whole of the Internet at my disposal and it’s not like there’s an abundance there either It gets even harder when I start looking for my preferred subgenre – the historical This does make sense It’s not always easy to write an optimistic love story with a happily ever after when your characters were likely to face unimaginable hardship racism and a general lack of opportunity I don’t know how Beverly Jenkins does it but she manages to give us historically accurate romances that are optimistic without ignoring the challenges and dangers of life as a person of color during that time She writes tough characters without making them hard and gives them vibrant supportive communities to carry the hero and heroine through the rougher times It’s a fine line to walk and Beverly Jenkins does it very wellThe romance is never super steamy in one of Beverly Jenkins’ historicals so the thing that brought me back to her and that will bring me back again is the way she puts together the foundation of her story In the notes at the end of the novel there’s usually some mention of an image or a story from history that provided the kernel of inspiration In Forbidden the inspiration came from a report of a black woman walking through the desert with a cookstove balanced on her head That’s all we know about that particular woman but through her we get Eddy the fiercely independent and hardworking cook determined to get to California and open her own restaurant Oh and the story opens in Denver before proceeding briefly to Fort Collins where I spend a not insignificant amount of time in real life I love reading about places I know well Eddy is very what you see is what you get but the hero Rhine is exactly the opposite He’s an ex slave veteran of the Civil War successful businessman and passing for white Of course at this time no white man would marry a black woman and no one as independent and proud as Eddy would ever agree to anything less Actual conflict ahoy I love it when there’s a real obstacle to overcomeAlthough I’m a fan of the steamier side of romance I’m also a fan of history These stories have the ring of truth and that always keeps me reading Is it the happier optimistic side of the truth? Sure But that doesn’t make it naïve plenty of upsetting things happen All it does is give me that safety net of knowing that I’m not going to be left with high tragedy on my hands I can only take so much of tragedy Give me a good romance novel with a strong historical foundation and a sunny ending any day And people of color as the protagonists? BonusNext up I’m going to have to try the one with the lady pirateA copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

  10. says:

    45 starsI read lots of stories with African Americans as the main characters before but nobody writes like Ms Bev All those stories dialogues and her deep knowledge of her culture has made her books stand out from the rest and I’ve learn about American’s history from her booksIt was a dark time but she always writes something which will make you smiles too and feels hopeful and I love that not all depressingAnd her character here? A guy who physically white with mixed parentage and pass himself as a white guy? I found him fascinating and I found from her books here many did the same thing in those time but I’ve never know or read about it before Yay for you Rhine show those bigots how idiots they were 😍 And Eddy a poor girl who wanted to open her own restaurant? She is pricelessSo yes I’ve learn something new from your book Ms Bev and thank you ❤️❤️❤️