The Forbidden

Hey, hey! Happy book review Tuesday! Life has been it’s usual craziness, but surprisingly, I’ve been getting a decent amount of reading done. I’m not quite sure how, but I’m not complaining either! I hope you guys have some captivating reads that you’re enjoying, but if you’re in need of a suggestion, I have one for you. Let’s talk about The Forbidden by the one and only Jodi Ellen Malpas.

I am a long-time fan of Jodi’s work, and have reviewed pretty much every book she’s written in this web space, so needless to say, I was thrilled when I found out she was releasing a new stand alone novel. I adore all of her words, and I really love how she seems to kick her books up a notch every time. The Forbidden did just that for me.

I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely sure what this book would be about. the blurbs and trailers were vague enough to keep me guessing, and I didn’t dive into all the reviews before I picked up my own copy. There’s so many ways this title could’ve taken me, and until I started reading, my imagination was running wild. Jodi surely didn’t disappoint and I was taken on quite the adventure.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! I don’t think I can give this book a proper review without giving away a fairly significant spoiler. If you don’t want any further insight, turn back now!

I saw a lot of myself in Annie. She was perfectly content to focus on her career and her friends. She never quite clicked with a guy in a proper way before, so she figured the couple life just wasn’t meant for her. She seemed content, and was successful in trying to build her name and clientele as an architect. Then Jack came along.

While out on the town with some friends, Annie and Jack cross paths ordering drinks at a bar. He’s intense and alluring right from the get-go, but Annie knows he’s trouble. Something about him just spells “danger” for her heart, and she tries with everything in her to keep her distance. Jack even helps matters by warning her to stay away. If they met again, he wouldn’t hold himself back from what (or rather, who) he wants.

When their eyes meet outside the bar at the end of the night, it seems all bets are off. Neither of them can fight the pull they have towards one another. They give in to their most basic instincts and have an explosive night together.

What follows from a seemingly no-strings-attached night turns into an absolute jumbled mess. Annie and Jack know they have something more than what a few hours together will allow, but life is complicated and being together is not as simple as they wish.

Annie is trying to flourish. Jack is trying to encourage her, but Jack comes with baggage. It’s at a house warming party that Annie finds out that her Jack is a married man.

With her heart badly wounded, Annie does what she can to cut all ties with him, until they wind up working together on a project for a local art gallery.

Tensions mount as the two try to keep things professional. Annie may not know Jack’s story, but she can’t afford heartbreak. Jack, on the other hand, is determined to make Annie understand not only the situation he’s in, but also the situation he wants for his future.

What ensues is not only drama, but complete angst and web of entanglement that I wasn’t sure the pair would find a way out from. Jack’s wife doesn’t make things easy for him to leave in order to find happiness with Annie, and as a result, Annie even winds up in danger.

Now, I must say, I don’t condone affairs. I’ve always very much been a believer in, “if you’re having a problem.. end it and then move on. Why would you want two complications instead of just one in your life?”, but this book made me realize that I can’t quite make a blanket judgment on a relationship such as Jack and Annie’s. I didn’t see Annie as a home wrecker of any sort, and I viewed Jack as a victim of abuse. His wife, Stephanie, had mental issues that wound up hurting not only her, but Jack as well.

Jack was losing himself in work and didn’t know what true happiness was until he met Annie. Maybe the pair didn’t always go about their relationship in the proper way, but with a connection as strong and intense as theirs was, it seemed easy for lines to blur, and I couldn’t help but sympathize and cheer them on.

These two really went from Hell and back to be together and really proved how much true love can endure. Their journey was unlike any of the others Malpas has brought me on before, but I thoroughly appreciated the lessons learned and an insight into a love I wasn’t all that familiar with because I had always spent time judging.

Thank you for the eye-opener, Jodi!

If you are looking for an intense, and slightly controversial read, then you need to go meet Jack and Annie. They will bring you on an unforgettable rollercoaster!

My Final Review: five out of five stars

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