Good morning, everyone. Today I’ll be reviewing Forbidden by Heather Stone as part of her book launch tour. She will also be guest posting right here on the 15th as part of the tour. Don’t miss it!
**Please note that I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.**
AUTHOR: FEATHER STONE
GENRE: CRIME THRILLER/MYSTERY/ROMANCE
HEARTS: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islāmic Provinces & Territories
Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir’s demands, Captain Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. The devout Muslim is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.
The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country’s government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.
Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.
The synopsis went into much of what I would’ve revealed in the review, so I’ll get right to it then. Forbidden is superbly written and the author made sure it was easy to get into the hearts and minds of the characters. When Eliza MacKay witnesses the horror that befalls her colleagues of the Habitat for Humanity group, she finds herself under the care of Captain Sharif, who must now solve the mystery of what happened to the group his officers were responsible for protecting.
Secrets of Eliza’s past eventually surface and she struggles to keep her PTSD under control. A lot of twists and turns in this novel found me reading it in its entirety through the night. Chock full of backstabbing and corruption, Captain Sharif will stop at nothing to make sure that justice is served. He also knows that his attempt could cause harm to his family and the witness he is protecting.
He finds himself drawn to Eliza in a way that is forbidden and this adds confusion to his life. Can justice be served and true love found?
I loved how the author made Islam more understandable to non-followers of the religion. We learn that it is a religion of peace. Kudos to Ms. Stone for shining this light.
The characters were all well-rounded and three-dimensional, with their own unique personalities. I could feel their pain, confusion, suffering, and doubt. Minimal (if any) spelling and grammatical errors were noted.
If I could give this novel six hearts, I would. It is a definite must read.
RATING: FIVE OF FIVE HEARTS ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.
For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.
My first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, was published by Omnific Publishing in 2011. The setting is on a naval ship, under the command of a surely man who is under suspicion of treason. When a battered woman is brought to his ship for execution, he has no idea that she is about to turn his disciplined life into chaos – and that she is no ordinary woman. The Guardian’s Wildchild has a rating of 4.1 at Amazon.
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