Series: Forbidden #1
Published by Harper Collins on November 4th 2014
Source:Copy provided by author for review, For Blog Tour
In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.
Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.
With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.
Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.
This book was my first foray into historical fiction from biblical times, and I will be quite honest, I was nervous. I didn’t know if it would be “for me”, if the setting would feel realistic, if I could relate to the characters. The answer to all three was a resounding YES. Forbidden was a perfect blend of history, romance, feminism, and intensity. I even tried to think of something to put in the negative column, but I honestly can’t. So instead, I will just tell you what I liked:
- The Characters. Jayden is an amazing protagonist. She is likable but realistic, strong but imperfect. I rooted for her from the start and not once did I waver. Horeb is the perfect villain, and Kadesh will steal your heart. Jayden’s sister Leila was such a mess, but it made so much sense that I couldn’t help but feel for her (and you know, simultaneously want to smack her. It happens.). Jayden grows so much during this book, but it makes complete sense and feels right.
- The Family Dynamic. This was so family centric, which is refreshing and wonderful. Jayden did not do anything without thinking of her family, and tried her best to lead them through some very trying times. Some of her family is amazing, some of them are jerks, and I won’t tell you who is who, but I am Team Grandma.
- The Feels. This book had tears streaming down my face within the first 20%. I don’t know if that has ever happened to me before. Usually I have to connect to the characters, the setting, etc., before I can really feel invested. But this book had my emotions all over the place from the very start. The range of emotions that I felt during the course of reading this book was pretty impressive.
- The Historical World Building. I was thoroughly impressed with world building. It could not have been an easy task, since there isn’t exactly an abundance of information on this time period. It never once felt fake, or surreal, or even unrelatable. Yes, these people lived in harsh times in an incredibly harsh climate, but their core values and desires remain similar to ours. I was incredibly immersed in this desert world, trying to imagine what it would be like to deal with the things Jayden and her tribe had to endure on a daily basis. These struggles flowed so well in the story, as it was just part of everyday life. I wasn’t sure about the dancing at first, but it was so symbolic and meant so much to the people that I couldn’t help but enjoy the focus on it.
- The Plot. I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know what was going to happen from the first page, and the desert adventure certainly kept me flipping the pages. There were some shocking moments, and some lovely moments. Overall, the plot moved at a great pace, with a lot of action, but enough calmer moments for me to stop and catch my breath. There’s really quite a bit going on throughout the book: Love, loss, deception, politics, survival, war, and the list goes on. The ending was a cliffhanger, but since there will be more books, it is okay with me.
- The Writing. It was lovely, and to the point, and very well done. I am eager to read more of Kimberley’s books for sure.
- The Romance. There is no insta love here. There is no love triangle here. There is just a lovely, respectful, slow burning romance that I absolutely adored.
Bottom Line: My only complaint? That I have to wait until 2016 for Banished. Um, guys, that is too long. I need more, please! This was just a beautiful book with amazing characters set in such a unique world. I highly recommend this book, as it has a little something for everyone.
Blog Tour Info & Giveaway!
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Oh, I REALLY want to read this book now!! Have to get my hands on it!
It was SO good. I wasn’t sure, it isn’t my “usual” read, but I was blown away! I hope you enjoy it too!
I think I keep confusing this one with Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios, which I don’t want to read, so I almost skipped this post! I’m so glad I didn’t – this sounds so unique and super romantic. I haven’t had much experience with historical fiction, but this probably would be a good one to start with it sounds like.
Oh, the romance is so perfect. I think I actually swooned 😉 I think I had confused the same books for awhile too. I hadn’t planned on reading Exquisite Captive either, but then I read I’ll Meet You There and loved it, and then I won a copy of it.. so we’ll see.
And I think the “historical” part was done really, really well too. I don’t even know how to describe it, but sometimes I feel “weird” reading about super old times, but not in this case.
Wonderful review Shannon! I’ll admit that the second I saw this was set in Biblical times I got a bit hesitant, but your review has definitely persuaded me to give it a try. I love the sound of the emotions this provokes and the beautiful writing within. Definitely putting this on my TBR! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
Oh, I was so nervous about that! I haven’t read anything like this before (which I think was part of why I loved it so much- it was SO refreshing and new to me) and now I feel like I want to give more historical stuff a try!
Ohhh, I THINK I NEED. I used to read a lot of fiction like this for school. Like it was a realistic setting or whatnot, but the rest was made up. I really used to love it!! But, eh, haven’t tried it for like 8 or so years. I’m totally interested in reading more and you had nothing in the negative column?! SQUEE. Sounds so promising! *heads off for goodreads*
I used to love the American Girls books (because no way was my mom paying $100 for a doll, but $5 for a book worked) and I LOVED the historical aspects, but then after I grew out of those, I never really tried anything historical, and mainly shied away from it. I seriously couldn’t come up with a legitimate negative! Now, there was some “down time” on the desert trip that may have been slow for some readers (not for a long time, but a few chapters maybe), but I enjoy a trip in books, so that was still a positive for me.
Historical fiction is really hit or miss for me. I love the sounds of these characters! And there aren’t enough books about good families. I was hesitant about this one because of the setting, but I’m happy you liked it. Though I’m afraid of feels. 2016 does feel like forever!
SHANNON THIS BOOK SOUNDS PERFECT! AND IT’S HISTORICAL FICTION IN MESOPOTAMIAAAAA. That just sounds awesome in general. And strong female lead with NO love triangles? YES. Adding this to my TBR now 🙂
Awesome review Shannon!
I didn’t even know this was historical, oops. That is how you do realistic characters, they’re not going to be perfect, so glad she’s not, it’s all about the balance. You do not get many centred around family around, unfortunately. And no instalove or love triangle? Now I feel really bad I left it. 🙁 (I read like 3 pages at the time and just wasn’t feeling it, so will have to go back and actually give it a go) 🙂
YES, YES, YES! I completely agree on everything with you! This book was one of my favorite reads ever. It’s also the first book I read from this time frame, and I think Kimberley did it perfectly! I loved the feel of the desert and it’s importance to the characters. I also loved the characters, and I don’t have a single complain about any of them. And the romance *sighs* I need a Kadesh.