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Published by Forever on August 8th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Erotica, Romance
Purchase links: Amazon, iTunes
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Source: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy.
Annie has never experienced the 'spark' with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It's not just a spark that ignites between them. It's an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.
Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who's had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he's forbidden.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
“Thank you for your help,” I say quietly, studying him, definitely detecting that he’s deep in thought. Don’t ask, don’t ask, don’t ask. I need to get back into my apartment without engaging with him, which could prove tricky when he’s blocking the doorway and looking like he has no intention of shifting to let me in.
“Annie,” he breathes. “I’m struggling so badly.”
“I’m not doing this.” I swallow, pushing my way past him. He grabs me by the top of my arm and holds me in place. “Let me go, Jack.”
“I’ve already told you I can’t do that. Annie, I’m drowning here. I’m going out of my mind, and the more time I spend with you the fucking worse it’s getting. Listening to you, talking to you, sharing a passion with you that goes way beyond the amazing time we had in bed together.”
“You have to forget!” I yell, knowing anger is the only way forward. Be angry with him. Let it dominate me and rule me, because the alternative scares me to fucking death.
He pushes me into the hall and slams the door behind us, forcing me to back up. “No,” he says, straight and even. “No,” he repeats, moving one more step forward, except this time I don’t retreat. Because I can’t. Because he has me locked in place with those grey eyes, and now they’re back to their full glory. Sparkling, even if it’s with anger. He reaches for his shirt and starts unbuttoning it before shrugging it off and throwing it to the floor, revealing the chest that’s haunting me.
I quickly look down at the pile of material, my mind reeling. His chest. His perfect damn chest. “What are you doing?”
“I have no fucking idea.” He reaches for me and slides a hand around my neck, pulling me to him. Our chests meet, and my determination to repel him vanishes under our connection. Wrongs turn into rights. Conflict turns into craving.
“I can’t get you out of my head, Annie.” His forehead meets mine, his palm massaging away the tightness in my neck muscles, softening me up until I relax in his hold. “I want you all over again, and I can’t even find the will to worry about how much more that’ll make me want you.” He breathes down on me. “I’ve played that night on repeat. I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms again. I’ve craved the sound of your voice, the feel of your touch, the softness of your lips on mine. I know I shouldn’t want you. But I do. Nothing has ever made me feel this insane with need. Nothing has taken up so much space in my head. I can’t fucking help it, Annie.” His grey gaze sinks into me, my heart steadying to an even thrum. His head starts to shake mildly, his splayed hand moving up to the back of my head and fisting my hair. “I don’t want to help it,” he growls. “I want you. I don’t care how wrong it is.” His clenched fist tightens, gripping my hair harshly. “I know I’ve been on your mind since I fucked you every which way in that hotel room. Stop denying it. Don’t insult me and tell me you don’t crave that amazing feeling all over again. I can see it in your eyes every damn time I look into them. You. Want. Me.”
It’s me who moves in first. All me. I lunge forward and smash my lips to his, the magnetic force winning. His words winning. Jack winning. My heart winning. I coax his mouth open with hard, hungry kisses. I’ve lost my mind to a craving too powerful to fight off. And, like Jack, I don’t care how wrong it is.
Yet as he walks me backward until my back slams into the wall, I feel found again.
I cry out, and Jack moans. We’re clumsy and desperate. He’s pushing me up the wall with the force of his kiss, then he’s rolling away, taking me with him until it’s his back slamming into the wall. It’s the elevator all over again. The atmosphere is sizzling. I’m on fire. He scoops me up, pinning me to him, and carries me into my bedroom. I focus on him. Only him and the return of feelings that I’ve fantasized about since that unforgettable night. All the guilt is abandoning me, and I let it, unprepared to let anything stop me from taking the forbidden.
I really don’t know how to rate this book. It’s the first time that I find myself so perplexed over a story. I have to admit that both the title and the blurb kind of gave some hints about the type of forbidden would be about but it was so vastly expressed that I took a dive anyway. And the outcome was me having all my brain cells twisted into one big knot. Although, what I was 200% sure about was the multiple layers the story had; a guaranteed fact since it was written by Jodi Ellen Malpas. That’s why I’m going to rate each part of the book separately: the story as a whole, Jodi’s writing and the characters.
Book Review: 3.5 stars
After finishing the book, what I came to realise is that this has a major contradiction. First, it should be coming with a warning about the type of forbidden is touches because not everyone is fan of that; but then, you wouldn’t be able to experience another masterpiece of the one and only JEM. While I was thinking this review through and trying to decide what I wanted to and should write and how to write it, I came across two statements which stayed with me throughout the process of figuring out my feelings and which pretty much summon up the nature of this book. The first was from Malpas herself and the other one was a quote from a reviewer:
And I couldn’t agree more with the reviewer that this book is Malpas’s “bravest book to date” and to declare myself as one of the readers who indeed questioned everything I thought I knew before I read the book and I keep questioning it after I finished it. Some of you may have figured out already what is The Forbidden the story is talking about but still, I’m not going to spill a word just in case for those who can’t decide the type of forbidden is taking about. Just like I was when I had read the summary.
“I understand now,” Lizzy says, pulling me from my reflection. “Seeing you together, I understand. Everyone does.”
Although, independently from what made their relationship wrong, no one can denies how true their love is and the power it has. Even if you were blind, you could see it and feel it. They went through impossimbly a lot until they finally found their promise land and their HEA. And, even though I disagreed with many thing they were doing, they were moments that I was brought to tears and my heart was breaking for them. And I when I read their finale, I had tears of happiness in my eyes and I was swooning. Nuts, I know! I may have to do a test to see if I have a multiple personality disorder because that’s the only thing that could explain the so many contadictory feelings that I was experiencing AT. THE. SAME. TIME!! :p The only two sure things on which I can easily bet my money on are 1) Jodi rocked the literature – AND mine – world once again to its foundation with another masterpiece and 2) Annie and Jack became my TOP 1 favorite not-favorite couple e v e r!
“You possess me. You own me. You rule me.” Jack murmurs in my ear. “You are everything to me, Annie Ryan. My pulse, my heartbeat, my breath. Eveyrthing.”
Writing Review: 6 stars
Undoubtedly, this was one of the hardest books I ever had to read. I still remember the moment I read the obstacle between Jack and Annie. And since it was about the one of my biggest hard limits when it comes to the reading world, my reaction was quite … loud and with a few curse words inside. But being the curious and stubborn human being I am since birth and my mindset against abandoning a book halfway through and declare it DNF, I kept going because, no matter my inner turmoil, I know that Malpas has a way to present stories which change the way you see some things and open new horizons for you. Besides, she is an expert in capturing your full attention, no matter how many and what kind of edges each story she tells has.
Malpas is one of those authors who has an immediate impact on you from the first sentence. Page after page sucks you deeper into the fantasy worlds she creates and which you never want to leave – and, truth to be told, you never leave – after you reach The End. Malpas’s writing is one those that no matter how many words you come up with that can describe its greatness, they are never enough. It’s one of those that if you don’t experience it yourself, you will never be able to understand it. You HAVE to feel it in your bones.
With each book she writes, she reveals another layer of the exciting way her mind works. And The Forbidden might was, and I quote her, “a leap of faith” for her but undoubtedly, if it’s not the best, certainly one of the best of hers. She got grabbed onto a subject that is a hard limit for almost everyone and it’s difficult to present it in a light that doesn’t make it seem as bad as it is. But I would never regret reading it and, even though I rated it lowly out of pure consience and perspective, I will always consider it one of the best reads ou there. Definitely this book isn’t for everyone. It requires the same leap Jodi took when she followed her heart and decided to write this story. I may not looooooooooooved it but I did loved it. :p 😉
Characters Review: 2.5 stars
To say that I am confused about what I think concerning Annie and Jack would be an understatement. And I am confused because from the one side, they are flawlessly written just like any other JEM character but from the other most important side, their personality and some of their morals are constantly questioned throughout the story. And that’s how it’s explained the very low rate on the Characters section of the book.
Wrongs turn into rights. Conflict turns into craving.
During the first 25% – give or take -, they behaving inside the limits that set what is ethical and what is not. I was pretty impressed by Annie at first after she learned the truth about Jack and how adamant she was to burn to the ground anything that could cause a problem. Her anger was what was keeping her grounded and back from crossing the line. Jack, now, is a whole different story. If Annie’s evolution in her behavior was the ying, then Jack’s was yang. While at the beginning he was doing “the wrong thing”, towards the 70-75% he was showing elements of “improvement”.
One of the things that put Annie low in my opinions was her extremelly weak resolve and her judgment. Situation after sistuation after the 50% of the book, she was becoming weaker and weaker and she was losing her strong self and her dignity percent after percent. She had lost confindence in herself she had completely surrendered into a situation that she knew was wrong but she was denying to do something for. Also, until the moment he started to think some things more seriously and deeply, every thing he was saying with which he was trying to justify his actions was infuriating me and was boiling my blood more and more. There were moments that I was actually left speechless from what I was reading.
I can’t really say that I adored the characters but I have to at least admit that they are two of the most complex and more real ones I have ever encountered. The bittersweet taste they left in my mouth and in my heart only enforces that since in reality, they exist more people like them than the “perfect” ones that exist in the fantasy world.