I received this book for free from The Season in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Forbidden by Christina Phillips
Series: Forbidden #1
Published by Berkley
Genres: Adult, Historical, Historical Romance, Romance
Read in: September 2010
Source: The Season
Add to: Goodreads
First in a new erotic historical series of magical heroines and sexy warriors.
Carys knew from the moment she first spied on Maximus in his naked barbarian glory that he was a dangerous Roman centurion-his taut, battle-scarred flesh marking him as a fearless warrior. But her desire for him was as undeniable as it was illicit.
Charged by his emperor to eliminate a clan of powerful Druids in Britain, Maximus never expects his mission to be thwarted by the clan's ethereal princess, Carys. Falling under her spell, he doesn't realize her true heritage-until he captures her heart as well as her body.
Now Carys and Maximus must overcome the devastation of war and face the ultimate sacrifice if their forbidden love is to survive. - via GoodReads
If you are looking for a light and fluffy romance, Forbidden is not the novel your looking for. Be prepared for a strong story of passion and adventure as two worlds collide. Caught in the middle are two lovers, on opposing sides, forced to either fight against each other or fight for the chance to stay together.
Carys knows it’s forbidden for her to spy on the gorgeous Roman soldier as he bathes beneath the waterfall near her home, but she can’t help herself. She finds herself drawn to him and spends her time dreaming of a day when they can be together, a day she knows will never arrive. When her dream soldier discovers her one day in the forest, she is taken unawares by the mutual attraction they share. Maximus, the Roman soldier she has been spying on, thinks Carys is the most beautiful creature he has ever met. Immediately, he desires her as he has never desired another. While he struggles desperately to make Carys his mistress, she is adamant that she will never be claimed or submit to another. Still, their passion cannot be denied.
Both submit to this secret affair knowing they can never truly be together. Carys is a Druid Princess, her people forced to seclude themselves deep in the forest, because Roman forces have overtaken their lands. Carys hides her identity from Maximus fearing he would hate her and banish her forever if he knew what she really was. As the two become deeply involved, outside forces begin to work against them. Another Druid, and Carys’ former lover, will destroy anyone who tries to take her away from him. As if that isn’t enough, both Druids and Romans are bracing for battle. A battle that Maximus and Carys knows will tear them apart forever.
Carys is an interesting heroine. She wants a future so badly with Maximus, she somewhat tunes out the forces of the outside world. She is desperate to have a physical relationship with Maximus and will disobey anyone to do that, but any chance at a future together she deems impossible. She is strong, bold and courageous, but she is also a woman who simply wants her man. She can sometimes be a bit misguided, and the few moments she shows any weakness, you can become terribly frustrated with her. Ultimately though, she knows what she wants and fights relentlessly to have it. Her culture and beliefs as a Druid Princess were somewhat hard to understand and follow, but she cannot deny the harsh reality; her lover Maximus is a Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.
Maximus is everything you expect from a Roman soldier. His emotions are heavily guarded, his will is iron clad and he takes great pride in the cause he fights for and his country. Still, his relationship with Carys shows he is not completely like every other soldier. He understands honor and duty, but you can see he doesn’t always agree with the acts of his country and his countrymen. The fact that his obligations to his country are interfering with his relationship with Carys instills some serious doubts in his mind.
The story is about an attraction of the most impossible kind. It’s not a sweet fluffy love story, if that’s what you’re looking for. Their relationship starts out with an uncontrollable passion, rather than emotional feelings or bonds. They are both warriors in their own way and they must work their way to a deeper, more emotional attachment. Their most common bond is that they are both outsiders of their respective groups. Simply two people who form a connection amongst a world of death and destruction.
Forbidden is a great entertaining read with plenty of action and passion. It is a story with themes concerning freedom, duty, prejudice, betrayal and power which all make for a fascinating tale. Yet it is still a sexy and erotic novel with compelling and driven characters. Be prepared to be taken on an exciting ride to a time and place of warring cultures and the two lovers determined to hold on to their forbidden romance against all odds.