The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Available: August 8 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

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.

Ugh. You guys, I don’t know what to say about this book. Did I like it? Yeah, yeah I did. Did I want to like it? Nope. Why? Because the entire thing is about infidelity and I don’t want to get behind something that effectively promotes that type of HEA. There is a HEA but not for everyone and that sucks. I guess it’s realistic in a way, but that’s not what I’m looking for in a romance. If I want real life I just need to look around me..

**THERE WILL BE SPOILERS**

Jack and Annie meet in a bar. Jack isn’t wearing a wedding ring and apparently doesn’t have the telltale sun tan ring singles know to instinctively look for.  Annie is instantly enthralled by him and they end up in a hotel room having some incredibly steamy sex. Annie freaks and ducks out in the morning only to have to face him at her housewarming party with HIS WIFE on his arm. Not only is the guy married but he is now her coworker on her most prestigious project she’s been able to land as a young architect.

So, I can get behind the one night stand aspect, at least from Annie’s side of things. She had no idea he was married and feels guilty upon realizing her part in this. Not so much from Jack’s side because HE IS MARRIED and didn’t bother addressing that from the get go. Ok, so he wants out of his marriage. So? Get a divorce guy! Even if he was separated and on his way to a divorce I’d be okay with this plot line. But noooooo…his wife is manipulative and might harm herself if he tries to leave her again. Says every guy claiming to want to leave his wife…

Jack’s wife is cray cray, I get it. She’s abusive and scratches him to pieces, she screams and causes scenes, she drinks a lot..I could go on and on but no matter how I try to spin it, I can’t condone the infidelity. I thought maybe once Annie found out he was married she’s back off but that’s not what happened either. The sex was just too good ya’ll. She had to get some more. They looooooooove each other and damn what everyone else thinks.

The plot gets crazier as the book progresses and while it was entertaining, the entire time I was just mad at Jack. Mad at Annie. Mad at their situation and wondering why he couldn’t just keep it in his pants until he wasn’t dragging around a batshit crazy wife. In the end Jack and Annie get their HEA at the expense of his crazy wife. Would she have gone to the lengths she did and do the things she did had the situation been handled correctly? Well, I guess we’ll never know.

Forbidden is incredibly well written, engaging and definitely in that gray area of romances that seems to be becoming the norm. It was good reading. But I hated liking it because it goes against what I believe is the correct, adult way to handle something so sensitive. No matter how crazy the wife, or how attracted to someone you are, or how much you think true love/soulmates trumps all, just keep it in your pants until you’re legally separated. No matter how much I typically love Malpas, I just can’t give it more than 3 stars. I’m sure she is fully prepared for the wide range of opinions she’s unleashing with this book.

I give Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas 3 stars

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