FORBIDDEN by Jo Beverley

PUBLICATION INFO: Zebra, June 2011
ORIGINAL PUB: Zebra, 1994
SETTING: England
HEROINE: Serena Riverton, 23
HERO: Francis Middlethorpe, 25
GRADE: C

Finally freed from a cruel, depraved husband, Serena Riverton wants nothing more to do with men or marriage. Fate and her brothers give her no choice except to flee – into a storm, and into the arms of a stranger. Without friend or fortune, Serena seduces the handsome lord. But just one night together will start a sequence of events that threatens to destroy them both.

Francis, Lord Middlethorpe’s life is planned and orderly, including marriage to Lady Anne Peckworth, a rich and suitable lady. But now he is haunted by memories of one passionate night with Serena, the wicked siren who tempted him with pleasures he had never known. Caught between duty and desire, he must choose between his reputation and a love like no other.

MY THOUGHTS: I didn’t care for this novel at all. It was very slow moving. I thought the heroine was very weak and whimpy and didn’t have much of a personality. She seemed a bit beaten down and not at all interesting to read about. She’d survived being married to a sexually deviant husband and it seems to have taken a toll on her.

The hero, Francis, was a virgin and I found that a bit hard to understand. He didn’t want prostitutes because they were dirty yet, without hesitation, he slept with Serena, believing her to be one. He was very beta and I didn’t like that at all. Their relationship was underdeveloped. I don’t like that they tried to make a marriage out of nothing at all. They didn’t really even know each other yet here they are marrying. All of that happened a bit too early on.

There were three villains in the story, two of which were Serena’s brothers. They’re nasty and evil. One other villain was after Francis’s mother. I liked her character but felt she wasn’t in the story enough, which was odd considering she was part of the plot.

I was totally unsatisfied with this story and found it difficult to get though it.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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