by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
4.5 You & Me CROWNS
The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas is one for the books! This story takes readers on a journey of angst and torture, leaving readers torn between loving and understanding the characters and being upset with the choices they make.
Jake and Annie are two characters who have twisted me up inside. On the one hand, readers are going to love these two. Annie is a driven woman who has been focused on her career and business her whole life. She surrounds herself with her friends, and these interactions with the secondary characters makes Annie real and likable. Jake also excels in his profession, but unlike Annie, he doesn’t seem to have the similar type of friends in his life. Although readers will like Jake, when his background is revealed, reader loyalty comes from sympathy for him. What is undeniable is the chemistry between these two from the very moment they meet. Readers cannot help but want these two to get together and to get through all the obstacles that are placed in front of them.
This story is a doozy, a rollercoaster of emotions. Jodi Ellen Malpas makes readers loves these characters and then she rips that security blanket away. While watching these two struggle with their feelings and desires, as well as their responsibilities and obligations to others, readers begin to question their own preconceived notions, showing that relationships aren’t always as black and white as they want them to be. There is also a whole lot of craziness in this story I wasn’t expecting, but it is completely necessary for the evolution of the relationship between the main characters as well as for the progression of the plot. As a result, readers will find themselves thinking and making judgments about the characters that are similar to that of the secondary characters in the novel. The ending of the story, while hard to read about, ends on an uplifting note, making the wild ride worth it in the end.
This is a hard trope for me, usually making me dislike characters for their choices and actions, but Jodi Ellen Malpas has created a story that had me rooting for this couple. I felt what they felt, their pain, their passion, and their love, and she had me yearning for an outcome that I wouldn’t normally want. It twisted me up and reformed me into someone with a gray point-of-view on the topics addressed in the novel, making this another must read of 2017.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy.
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.
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“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.
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Jodi Ellen Malpas wrote her debut series, The This Man Trilogy, in secret, worried about what people might think if they knew what her imagination was capable of. She was shocked herself. But she finally found the courage to unleash her creative streak and self-published THIS MAN – the first book of the This Man Trilogy – in October 2012. She took a chance on the story with a hero who soon became one of modern day fictions most prolific alpha male characters. Jesse Ward – also affectionately known as The Lord of The Manor, sparked incredible reactions from women across the globe and catapulted Jodi into the world of women’s fiction.
Jodi went on to self-publish the second book in the trilogy, Beneath This Man in Jan 2013, just before Grand Central Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group, picked up the popular trilogy and the unknown Jodi. The third book of the trilogy, This Man Confessed, took Jodi to the top of the bestsellers lists, earning her the proud title of #1 New York Times Bestselling Author. This Man has since been voted one of the top romance novels of all time.
With so much love, enthusiasm and a thirst for her words from her readers, Jodi suddenly wasn’t afraid of her imagination anymore. She went on to write The One Night Trilogy with the delectable and mysterious Miller Hart, and stole the hearts of her readers once again. Her first stand-alone novel, THE PROTECTOR, released in September 2016 and has since been nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award. Jodi’s next stand-alone novel. THE FORBIDDEN, is set for release in August 2017.
All seven of her published novels have hit the New York Times best sellers list – as well as the Sunday Times list and various international best seller lists. Her work is now published in over 24 languages across the world.
Jodi was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer, a mojito addict, is famous for her obsession with Converse, and has a terrible weak spot for Alpha Males. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters has become her passion – a passion she now shares with her devoted readers
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