Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ARC Review: Forbidden by Jacquelyn Frank

Forbidden (The World of Nightwalkers, #1)From the blurb:

The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.
When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.

My rating:

Since I can't seem to decide between three and four stars, I'll give it three and a half, rounded up. Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you why this book didn't work as well for me as Ms. Frank's Nightwalker series.

There is a good attempt in the beginning of the book to tie Forbidden to the previous series, as Bella works in the Nightwalker library and muses about other Nightwalker breeds that are still unknown to them. It reads like an introduction to the world, but for anyone to know what's being talked about, one has to have read the Nightwalker series first.

From there, we jump directly into an introduction to Docia who's on her way to work and chatting to her brother on her cell phone, when a car veers too close to her and she has to more or less jump off the bridge she is on. Oh, and it's winter. The water is frigid. Caught between life and death, a voice talks to her and offers her a chance to live - by becoming a host to one of the Bodywalkers. Docia agrees, and is subsquently rescued from the river.

Once she gets home from the hospital, her brother is reluctant to leave her alone, considering that he knows the accident on the bridge wasn't actually an accident, but Docia asserts herself and sends him away.

At this point, a male enters the picture, introduces himself as Ram and whisks Docia away to safety. He's not saying much about why and whatfor, and Docia is understandably not happy about it.

From there, the story unfolds fully, and Ms. Frank introduces the mythology behind the Bodywalkers, bit by bit, while letting Ram and Docia have the hots for each other, try not to have the hots for each other, and then eventually giving in to having the hots for each other.

The romance parts were reminiscent of previous books I've read by this author, and she succeeds again in making it very emotional and swoony. The intimate scenes are well described and invoke clear images, yet never drift too far from being romantic and emotional.

I also very much like the Egyptian mythology used for this breed of Nightwalkers, and how the factions evolved. There was plenty of action as well, which again was nicely done, and a sub-plot developing romance between Jackson (Docia's brother) and his police-assigned shrink.

The book also produced a couple of O.O moments where Ms. Frank surprised me with where she was taking the plot, but the final resolution was, while foreshadowed and then expected, not my cup of tea.

Oh - I really liked the Djinn. She was a bit of comic relief, but also served to move the romance between Docia and Ram forward.

The writing is in the same style as the previous books I've read by this author. It's not overly flowery but definitely in the style of a romance novel, interspersed with action scenes. It's an easily read writing style, something that just flows, which makes it a quick read, and a good book to curl up with on a cold day.

What didn't really work for me:

The heroine's name. Docia? Considering her brother is named Jackson, her name was a bit too fancy for my taste. I kept wondering if it was short for something else, but couldn't think of anything.

The ending. That was just a wee bit too tidy for me. Yes, it made sense, but I also could see it coming after Docia's revelation. It was nearly too much of a neat little bow, but I suppose this had to happen for there to be a next book, which is already in the works.

Overall, this was a good book. I enjoyed reading it, and I look forward to the next installment of this series.

I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return.

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