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Title: Forbidden
Author: Tori Carrington
Published in April 2004 by Harlequin Blaze
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 0-373-79133-X

Related Books: (1) Sleeping with Secrets*

Leah Dubois Burger cannot help the way she feels, but she surely wishes that she wasn’t so distracted. She has been this way for a while now, ever since JT West left town and took her heart along. The biggest problem was the realization that he had stolen it a long time ago. This time, when he left, she felt the ache acutely, because for the first time in many years she felt complete. Now, the unsettled feelings were back, and she finds herself thinking of JT more and more as the days pass. To reconcile with her husband is an option that she has been pursuing, but the idea never really appealed to her. It was all a lie, and Leah is not sure she wants to go through with it, not even for her daughter Sami. It has been two days. Two whole days now since she has seen JT. He is back in town, and she has the feeling that he has been here for a while. He is the reason she and Dan got divorced, but he reminds her that life is to be lived, and makes her feel loved.

Now she must face the feelings all over again, start from the beginning and really decide what it is that she wants for herself. He is danger, excitement, love, and life, and a far cry from the staid upper-class life to which she has been accustomed since her birth. Leah has always lived on the upper side of life, but summers were for exploring, mingling, and joining in where normally she might not fit. JT, at eighteen, was a force to be reckoned with, and Leah was more than willing to be swept along in his wake. Now things are different, and this is not a summer fling. Lives are drastically changed since she told Dan she was in love with another man. But although Sami is fighting her tooth and nail, and there is a break-in at her home, Leah thinks of only on e man to turn to in her fear and anxiety. The surprise and recognition comes with the realization that with him she feels safe, and those are strange words to utter about a man who reeks of danger and mystery.

For JT West, Leah was home. She was always on his mind, and he made up his mind that whatever else happened in his life, he was not going to regret letting her go. There is only one condition to that thought, and that is IF Leah Dubois Burger turns away from him. Of course he realizes it is a distinct possibility because of the way he just disappeared over a year before, but then his life has been a life on the run. From one town to another, from city to city, JT has been constantly on the move. He doesn’t recall anymore what it means to settle down in one place, but then his life was never truly settled anyway. Since his earliest memories, he has been on the move. The life of a nomad has always been his path, the survival method taught to JT by his father. Seldom did they stay in any one place for very long, but the year he turned eighteen was special to him. That was the year, which has held the most meaning for him in his life. That year he met Leah Dubois.

Leah has constantly called to JT over time and space, and he returns again to ascertain her true feelings for him. Never does he expect the going to be easy, but then life has held many surprises for JT, many of them not particularly nice. To be always looking forward is not something he is free to do. There are things in his past, things that he will gladly put out of the way of only Leah will say that she loves him, and will marry him. As far as JT is concerned, Leah is his life, and he will risk anything to be by her side. He wants her heart, but he is not sure exactly how to go about winning it. He has decided that he will settle for nothing less, and embarks on a campaign to put Leah and her heart under siege. For JT, it is a no holds barred fight for the rest of his life, and he is determined not to lose what could be his last chance at a life with Leah. This is one battle that he does not want to lose, one that he will go to almost any lengths to win. It is almost literally a fight for his life…

Tori Carrington takes us back to Toledo, and this time, lets us into the life of Leah Dubois Burger. Leah has been trapped in a loveless marriage, a marriage that was really wrong from the start. But Leah was young, and she was blinded by the idea of love and romance, and not truly interested in the goals of the other girls of her age group. When Dan asked her to marry him, she was looking only at the wonderful life that they would have, but was not expecting his total absorption in a career that would leave her in the cold. When JT comes back to town, Leah realizes what life was, and what she has been missing. She has been realizing that there is something missing, and left Dan. JT is only the catalyst in a long list of events, and he is also the one man that Leah loves beyond all measure. There are sparks between them that have been there since she was sixteen, and JT was eighteen. If only she can recognize and accept the truth of her feelings, maybe they will have the chance.

Forbidden is a book that you do not want to miss. Please bear with me, and forgive me while I editorialize a bit here, but I must, at this juncture, take issue with those who presume to judge a romance by their own narrow moral standards. Forbidden is a poignant look at life the way things really can and do happen. Life is full of ups and downs, and yes ladies, it includes affaires, loose women, and sometimes divorce. The fact Leah and JT may have the chance at a happiness, that up until now has been denied them, is the story. A true romance is a fantasy, a reality, and whatever else the author wants to make it, but the real test, is does it live up to specs. Well, Forbidden does, and does it admirably. It is a tale of love lost and love returned. Forbidden touches the heart and the mind, and allows you see the reality in a whole different light. It does not excuse the behavior, but seeks only to provide an honest account of love. Forbidden is an April 2004 release from Harlequin’s Blaze line, a wonderful story, and a fine start to the Sleeping with Secrets trilogy. It definitely has my recommendation and is truly and excellent read.

Yours in good reading,

Sleeping with Secrets was a short in the Private Scandals Anthology, a February release available from Harlequin Romances.


Tori Carrington  Review  Buy Tori Carrington BooksTori Carrington

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