Series: Standalone Novel
Published by Forever Romance on 8/8/17
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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What do you do when you can't control your feelings for someone? When you know you shouldn't go there? Not even in your head.
Annie has never experienced the 'spark' with a guy-the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly 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 and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous. But she's already in too deep. And Jack isn't only dangerous. He is forbidden.
I’m an absolute glutton for taboo storylines, for forbidden romances between characters who are so wrong and yet so perfectly right for each other. Maybe that’s why this story gripped me right out of the gate. Or maybe it was simply Jodi Ellen Malpas’ mesmerizing storytelling and lush writing style that swept me away. Whatever it was, The Forbidden had me completely consumed the ENTIRE way through.
4.5 “OMG. LOVE” stars
I’m an absolute glutton for taboo storylines, for forbidden romances between characters who are so wrong and yet so perfectly right for each other. Maybe that’s why this story gripped me right out of the gate. Or maybe it was simply Jodi Ellen Malpas’ mesmerizing storytelling and lush writing style that swept me away. Whatever it was, The Forbidden had me completely consumed the ENTIRE way through. All the reasons many readers will avoid this story are the exact same reasons it pulled me in and never let me go. This book certainly won’t be for everyone, this storyline will scare off many readers. But for a reader like myself who enters into books hoping to find them loaded with angst and complex emotion, to be as infuriated and anxious and uncomfortable while reading as I am overjoyed and hopeful, this book is EXACTLY my cup of tea.
I love a forbidden romance. I love a messy story that sucker punches the reader with the unexpected. I love a book where the reader is made to see rightness amidst wrongness and completely embrace all the forbidden things we’re told we shouldn’t. I love a book that is equal parts heartache and hope, a story that keeps the reader on that tenuous line between contentment and unease. I love anything that makes me feel, both good and bad emotions, from maddening fury to blissful romance and everything in between. With perfectly timed curveballs and exquisitely paced drama, The Forbidden is all of those things and so much more… which is why, to my great surprise, this book turned out to be my absolute favorite from this author since she first gave me Jesse Ward.
Truly, The Forbidden felt like a complete 180 from anything Jodi Ellen Malpas has delivered yet. This story felt more emotional, more relatable, more subdued in it’s romanticism. It’s not an in-your-face loud kind of love story like This Man. In fact, Jack is a far cry from any of JEM’s other heroes. He’s not a man who tramples. He’s not a man who steamrolls in and demands things. He’s sexy in a more reserved way, a character who’s a bit broken, definitely sweeter, more romantic in many ways despite the devastating circumstances he and his love interest find themselves immersed in. This book is just different. The Forbidden, in all its deception and all its ruthless heartache, felt like such a refreshing change from anything this author has written before and I not only appreciated it, I adored it.
I devoured The Forbidden in a day. I know this storyline will scare people away, but I hope readers will allow themselves to take a chance. Step outside the box and allow this story to sweep you away in its wrongness. You might just discover that wrong never felt as right as it does here in this book.
“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.
About the Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.