jenjn79's Reviews > Forbidden Heat

Forbidden Heat by Opal Carew
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's review
Feb 13, 10

bookshelves: theme-bi-menage-hea, 2010, format-trade-pb, info-full, published-2010, reviewed, genre-romance-erotic, stars-3-5
Recommended to jenjn79 by: previously read author
Read from February 08 to 09, 2010, read count: 1

Rating: 3.5 / 5

I waffled so much on whether or not to read this book. After reading Six, which was one of the most unromantic, yucky romance books I've ever read, I've been very, very wary of reading Carew again. I skipped her next book, Secret Ties and was likely to skip this one. But then I saw it was a bi-menage HEA story, which is a sub-genre I love and I was torn. I finally gave in and bought it. Was it worth it? Ya know, I actually mostly liked the book. I liked what went on in the relationship, but it by far wasn't a perfect book. Carew has a few pervasive issues with the way she writes romance, but I didn't mind the book at all.

Series Note:
This book, while not part of a series, does tie in to Carew's book "Six." Trey and Jake, the two heroes of this book, were part of the "six" from "Six." And the H/H from "Six" are mentioned in this one. It's not necessary to have read "Six" but I do think if you've read it, it helps give a better understanding of the vibe of this book.

Back in college, Danielle became friends with Jake and Trey (and Harmony, too). Danielle always had secrets fantasies about being with Jake and Trey, but she knew they were useless because Jake and Trey were gay and happy together. Then Danielle had to change schools because of financial reasons and she lost touch with all her friends.

Now she's been invited to Harmony's wedding and sees Jake and Trey again. She's shocked when she finds out that not only aren't they together anymore, but that both have been dating women! Her fantasies rise again. And when Jake and Trey learn Danielle secretly lusted after them, they decide to engage her in a threesome.

For Danielle, she'll get her fantasies coming true, but she believes she'll also be able to get Jake and Trey to see that they still love each other and get back together. Things gets messy when feelings become involved. Danielle will have to face the heartbreak of her past, Trey his denial of his bisexuality, and Jake, losing the two people he loves most.

This story wasn't quite you're typical bi-menage story. And I really liked that about it. You've got 2 guys who were in a gay relationship together - Trey, who used to believe he was gay, and Jake who was openly bi. Then Trey realizes he's attracted to women too and is relieved because he won't have to face his homosexuality and his family. So they break up and remain friends. Now a woman that both were attracted to (the first woman Trey ever was attracted to) reenters the picture. It's sets up a really conflicted dynamic. Jake wants Trey, but also Danielle. Trey denies he wants Jake, and wants Danielle. And Danielle loves both of them. Such a mass of confusing emotions and I thought it made for a unique, at times, angsty, story. I enjoyed that aspect because it made it different from most of the other (bi) menage HEA stories I've read. I could really feel the conflicted emotions each was feeling.

There's also oodles of hot sex. Maybe too much. There are times when the book is just back to back to back sex scenes and it became too much. I don't mind a good hot sex scene, or even quite a few of them, especially when reading erotic romance. The problem here, though, was that the copious amounts of sex took page space away from other stuff.

Or maybe it's just that Carew isn't good at writing character development, because that's one of the big things that was missing in this book. I didn't feel like I knew the characters enough. There wasn't enough focus on them as people and there was too much focus on them as sexual beings. It's makes the "people" part of the story fall a bit flat. In the beginning, Jake and Trey were so interchangeable that I kept getting them mixed up. And that's a bad thing. But hey, at least the characters had last names in this book, unlike in "Six."

I also wished the book had dealt more with what was set up in "Six"...the whole thing with 6 friends getting together for a week of no-holds barred sex (of which Jake and Trey were part of). That whole thing was mostly ignored and let you with no idea if these vacations would continue. There were also some conflicting details with what "Six" set up.

I still liked the book, though. A lot more than I thought I would. I worried that I'd hate it, or that it'd be as bad as "Six" was. So I ended up pleasantly surprised. Sure, it could have been better in a few ways, but I'm just happy I didn't hate it ;) I can see how a lot of readers wouldn't like it, though.

WARNING, this book contains: explicit sex and language, oral sex (m/f, m/f/m, m/m), anal sex (m/f, m/f/m, m/m), double vaginal penetration, very light bondage, role playing, and probably some other various and sundry sexual acts.
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Reading Progress

02/09/2010 page 266
100.0% "Liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Not perfect by any means, but definitely not horrible, in my opinion. Review to come."

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by Mahlet (new) - added it

Mahlet Glad to see I have a friend starting this one :) I loved Blush and Swing, but I understand Six was pretty awful. I'm optimistic about this one, but a little nervous, too..

jenjn79 I've not heard much good about this one, and I'm very wary of the author after the horribleness that was "Six".

So far, it's not too bad, but I'm not that far in.

Oh...and it is connected to the characters of "Six."

message 3: by Mahlet (last edited Feb 08, 2010 07:05PM) (new) - added it

Mahlet uh oh! *cue Psycho shower scene music* ;)

jenjn79 LOL. I'm not sure anything could be as bad as Six, which I would classify as one of the worst books I've ever read.

Melanie♥ Curious to see what you think of this one. I read it a couple of weeks ago....

jenjn79 I should have a review up in the next day or so. I'm a little behind in reviews (damn snow!) This is the next one up for me to write.

message 7: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Oh boy, I hope I'm up for reading this one! I just picked it up today ('used', thankfully).:)
Nice review and thanks for the heads up, Isis!

jenjn79 I don't think you'll mind it too much Auntee. You tend to be a little more lenient than I am sometimes. But I'm guessing you'll notice the lack of character development, too.

Looking forward to hearing what you think about it!

Melanie♥ As I said somewhere else here on GR, if she had taken those wide margins and used that space to develop the characterizations, it would have been a great read.

message 10: by Laura (last edited Feb 14, 2010 04:08PM) (new)

Laura Nice review, Isis! Carew baffles me. I loved "Swing" so much it's in my top 5 all-time fav novels. Although Carew does do one thing I don't do in my novels and I'm not crazy about reading in others. Her sex scenes are unrealistic in a bad hygene way (like vaginal sex after anal sex...eeeew...bacteria!).

After "Swing" I wanted that same level of fab writing and story and character development. But her other books just never got there for me. Makes me wonder if she is just too rushed by her publisher or agent to spit out new books. I know what that pressure feels like (and I ignore it 24/7 *lol*).

Anyway, "Twin Fantasies" was okay. "Blush" was okay. "Six" was totally unrealistic and should have been labeled a fantasy. The sex scenes in every novel since "Swing" have increased so much that I feel like it's one long orgy sometimes (not that I have anything against orgies...been there, done that in RL...but in a novel it kinda numbs the reader and ruins the scene).

So anyway now I'm kinda wary like everyone else of her novels. I keep hoping for a gem like "Swing," so I keep reading them. ;)

I like that the guys from "Six" are back, but I do love character-driven novels. Hmm. I think I'll put all the pressure on Auntee and wait to see what she says after she reads it. Dontcha love me, Cheryl? lmao!!!

Laura Stamps
Paranormal Erotica Novelist
(Witches, Shapeshifters, Vampires)

message 11: by Auntee (last edited Feb 14, 2010 06:57PM) (new) - added it

Auntee Laura wrote: "Nice review, Isis! Carew baffles me. I loved "Swing" so much it's in my top 5 all-time fav novels. Although Carew does do one thing I don't do in my novels and I'm not crazy about reading in oth..."

You're killing me Laura--you want me to read this next?:)

message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura Sure! Hey, you're the one who picked it up used already. Did you read "Six"? Did I give that one to you? Can't remember. Plus, you liked "The Bikini Diaries" much better than I did. Am I convincing you yet? If not, I'll keep coming up with more reasons why you should read this one before me. lmao!!!

Laura Stamps
Paranormal Erotica Novelist
(Witches, Shapeshifters, Vampires)

message 13: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Okay jeez, no pressure! I'll leave it out where I can see it!:D
Yes, you gave me "Six"--do you think I should read that first or will it freak me out?;)

message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura Yay! I was hoping I gave you "Six." Yeah, read it first since some of the guys in "Forbidden Heat" are in "Six." You'll get backstory that way. The only thing that will freak you out is the impossibility of the set-up of "Six" and some of the outdoor sex scenes. But I gave it 4 stars. So it's not that bad. Just should be labeled erotic fantasty. lol

Laura Stamps
Paranormal Erotica Novelist
(Witches, Shapeshifters, Vampires)

jenjn79 Personally, I'd avoid Six at all costs. I think I would call that one the worst book I read last year. *shudder*

message 16: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee I'm afraid if I read "Six" I may not want to read "Forbidden Heat".:)
Maybe I'll start with "Forbidden Heat" and if I like that I'll try "Six".

message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura Auntee, just sent you a PM aboutt this.

Laura Stamps
Paranormal Erotica Novelist
(Witches, Shapeshifters, Vampires)

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