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(Old West #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,122 ratings  ·  689 reviews
USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old West

Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he's always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescue
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Avon
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  3,122 ratings  ·  689 reviews

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Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Romance Fans
Recommended to Carmen by: URR
His invitation to dinner had been surprising and, yes, insulting, if she were being truthful. Did he believe she thought so little of herself that she'd keep time with a man engaged to be married? She supposed with his looks and money some women might have jumped at the chance to take him up on the offer, but she was not one of them. Did he often dally with women outside his race? Was he one of those men who slaked their lust with women of color but treated their own women like fragile regal que ...more
I need to read more books by Beverly Jenkins.

This was a perfect historical fiction read with romance so sweet, it ached.
It had a great balance of history and romance and I couldn’t get enough of the focus this book had on the lives of black communities in the 1800s. I was being educated whilst reading and I loved that.


Smuthathon Day 1.
Challenge: author of colour.
Nenia ✨️ The Trash Empress ✨️ Campbell

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I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.

As a nod to black history month, my romance group decided it would be fun to read a historical romance novel featuring two characters of black ancestry. We chose this book. I was really excited about this pick, because I've quickly grown to love Beverly Jenkins's work. Her writing style is reminiscent of L
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
This was my first book by Beverly Jenkins and it was all I had hoped for and more! It was an awesome story, not just because of the love, but because of historical accuracy, and intentional tactfulness in which the author dealt with the time period's racial tension. I loved that world building and carefully developed, yet complex characters she gave us here.

Rhine Fontaine was a son a slave master and a slave who found out around 8 yrs old that he was light enough to pass as white. So after he fi
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

This is the first book by Beverly Jenkins that I have read and I really enjoyed it. I do have to admit that I completely judged this book by its cover. I don't think I even read the summary until after I finished the book (I do that quite a lot actually). I assumed based on the cover that this was going to be an interracial historical romance but the story ended up being a bit different than that. The difference was probably even more interes
I really wanted to love this book. I'd been waiting a year to read it, and after seeing all the praise it'd gotten within the last year (including being named the best romance by the ALA), I think my expectations were just way too high. It's not a terrible book, and if Goodreads allowed half stars, this would be a two and a half for me. However, as a romance, I didn't feel it was particularly compelling.

One of the tropes it utilizes, which I absolutely detest, is the manwhore/virgin trope. What
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4.5 stars!

Why don’t more books like this exist???

Taking place about five years after the Civil War, Forbidden is the story of Eddy Carmichael, a young black woman determined to move to California so she can open her own restaurant. On her way there, she is robbed and left for dead in the desert, where Rhine Fontaine rescues her and saves her life. What most people don’t know, is Rhine has been passing as white for years. He’s become a successful businessman and admired in his community. The at
K.J. Charles
Beverly Jenkins is wildly superior to the vast majority of histrom and this is a cracking read about a steel-cored free black woman determined to open a restaurant, and a white-passing once-enslaved man who has built himself a life of privilege that he must renounce to be with her. Lovely historical detail, compelling characters, a well-drawn and involving community, terrific sense of time and place. Goodness she's good.
I’ve been trying to track down more romance novels with people of color as main characters, and it’s been dishearteningly difficult, especially in my conservative, rural community. Although I suppose I can’t blame my community when I’ve got the whole of the Internet at my disposal, and it’s not like there’s an abundance there either. It gets even harder when I start looking for my preferred subgenre – the historical. This does make sense. It’s not always easy to write an optimistic love story wi ...more
4.5 stars.

I read lots of stories with African Americans as the main characters before, but nobody writes like Ms. Bev.

All those stories, dialogues and her deep knowledge of her culture has made her books stand out from the rest and I’ve learn more about American’s history from her books.
It was a dark time but she always writes something which will make you smiles too and feels hopeful, and I love that, not all depressing.

And her character here? A guy who physically white with mixed parentage an
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-a-romance
I really enjoyed reading Forbidden! When I first saw the cover art I had to ask myself is Ms. Jenkins writing a new genre of romance (interracial) then I read the blurb and I definitely wanted to read this story. A black man so few skinned just after the Civil War passing as a white man but attracted to a dark skin black woman. How intriguing. I am sure this happen more often then has been talked about. Or written about. I have a great great aunt who could have passed as a white woman but she di ...more
Anne Boleyn's Ghost
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Beverly Jenkins is a Romancelandia legend. Rightfully so. Yet this is only the second novel of hers that I’ve read. Yes, I’m totally side-eying myself here.

Forbidden is a sweet, slow-burn romance. The hesitant longing and the growing affection are palpable.

Time and time again, circumstances seem to cast Eddy as a damsel in distress – alienated from her family, robbed, nearly sexually assaulted. And each time she proves that she is no one's damsel in distress. She has a spine of steel, determine
I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I was really fascinated by the historical setting and all the details about black life in the wild west of the 1870s: Rhine passing for white, politics, Eddy's cooking, community. I learned a lot of cool things! I also really liked the friendship between Eddy and Sylvie.

On the other hand, I just felt like Jenkins didn't sell me on the couple, or on Rhine as a character actually. They had an instant attraction that wasn't developed as the story went on and
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
So, for the fans of B. Jenkins earlier works, this is a character we've met before (his sister, Sable is the heroine from Through the Storm, I believe--1998). This story is a taboo subject Jenkins has yet to tackle: Passing. I'm not sure how she managed to make a story about passing romantic, engaging, and fun but, yeah...she did it.

IMO, this isn't one of her "get swept away with these characters for a couple of hours" type of books. But it is, as always, a "get schooled for a couple of hours a
4 "Crossing-Over for Love" Stars for the story and 3.5 stars for the narration. Review coming soon to AudioGals.
2.5 stars

I don't know if it is the author's writing style or just this story but there was a bit of a stark back and forth between the characters' dialogue that gave the story a choppy feel to me. I liked the introduction to Rhine but Eddy's jumped so quickly from sister to nice wagon driver guy to evil wagon driver guy that I couldn't settle in with the character; this obviously improved when Eddy finally gets settled but it was an awkward beginning.

There was a little bit of a feeling of inst
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys reading
Where were Rhine and Eddy's story, why did they get lost among Virginia City's Townsfolk and subplots?

If you're like me you've read everything by Beverly Jenkins, I'm talking every series even the teen books. Devotion, excitement and a ton of feelings go into finding out about a new book by Beverly Jenkins. I kept my advent calendar up in prep for the book Forbidden, I was a Rhine Whiner as she calls it, but I'll move away from this and tell you why I gave the book a three star review.

Beverly J
Musings of A Romance Junkie
I can’t believe this is the first book I’ve ever read by legendary historical romance author Beverly Jenkins. After reading Forbidden, it certainly won’t be my last. This story lingers with you long after you’ve read it. The characters. The imagery. The writing. Top. Fucking. Notch.

Eddy Carmichael is the epitome of black girl magic. Born during a time where her skin color and her gender served her a double dose of discrimination, Eddy does not allow who she is hinder her from becoming who she wa
Such a fun story. Very good. Beverly Jenkins writes old skool romances and I am here for it, really.

This is how to do a story on passing. The Civil war is over. Slaves are free. The West is wild.

Rhine Fontaine is the illegitimate son of a white planter and a black woman. But he is fair skinned and light eyes with straight hair. He easily passes for white. It helps that this white half brother, Drew fully accepts him and claims him as his brother.

Rhine isn't just passing to make his own life be
Giselle Bradley
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wish this book was a bit longer. I never really believed in the romance because I feel like we didn't see them spend enough time together. Also I didn't really care for Rhine. Being a black man pretending to be a white man, he should know better than to keep pursuing Eddy, a black woman, in public. There are several times where he's talking to her in public and she's asking him to not and trying to walk away from him and the people around them are of course giving her the scathing looks. I rea ...more
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved Rebel, wasn’t sold on Sabel’s book but when I saw the plot of Rhine’s book, I was excited to read it. As always with this author, the introduction was captivating. Eddy's hardworking nature was really appealing and instantly made me prefer her to Valinda who received lots of favors without really earning them.

One thing I want to mention though after reading 3 books is, Sally Ann was painted like a villain. I understand her racism was definitely villainous but her hatred of Rhine’s mother
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: pub-2016
I really wanted to love this book. It was a good break from the usual adventures of the ton where I have to suffer through cognitive dissonance when on one hand I’m enjoying the stories and on the other hand I’m strongly against the concept of aristocracy. Also, I have to conveniently ignore the fact so many of those fortunes are built on slavery and colonialism. So while I’m rooting for the characters, I also detest everything they stand for.

When it came to Forbidden, there was no moral confli
Heidi Cullinan
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There’s so much wonderful about Forbidden; Jenkins’s lulling but quietly powerful prose, uplifting storytelling, smoldering sensuality. In her hands, a scene about making marmalade demands as much surrender as a stolen kiss in a cupboard. But above all else, Forbidden is a romance, a tale of a love so powerful and commanding it leads two quietly suffering people from the dreams they’d knit from ash and teaches them how to transform love, honesty, and devotion into a perfect, soaring happily ever ...more
Lover of Romance
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance Summary

Rhine Fontaine left the south to find success and fulfill his dreams and had to pass for white which he was able to do because of his mixed heritage. And with Rhine choosing a bride of the best connections, he doesn't believe that he is missing out on anything. Until he meets beautiful and passionate Eddy Carmichael.  A woman he discovered abandoned in the desert heat, and saved her life. Rhine is intrigued

Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so good! I loved it. The characters of Rhine and Eddy made my heart happy. Especially when you find out Rhine's past. I loved how Jenkins took parts of the American history (post Civil War, mostly African American towns, etc.) and turned all of that into this book. I am so going to read more books by this author in the future. The only reason why I didn't give this five stars is that it starts off slow. To the point that I was considering DNFing it since I was so tired. However, things ...more
4.5 Stars

I have been wanting to read Beverly Jenkins for a long time so I ecstatic to receive an eARC of her newest release, Forbidden. And it was an amazing reading experience! I definitely understand why she is so highly regarded in the romance community and I am anxious to read more of her work.

Rhine Fontaine is the son of a slave and her owner and has a light enough complexion to pass as White. After the Civil War, he decided that, in order to achieve his dreams, he had to Pass and was able
mindful.librarian ☀️
I did it! I experienced my first Beverly Jenkins book AND belatedly checked off the "western" category from the 2018 Read Harder Challenge. Better late than never, right? If you are completing this year's challenge, this would definitely qualify for the "historical romance by an AOC" task.
I listened to this story on audio, and although the narration was very slow (I sped it up to 1.75x which I never have before), it was a riveting story to have in my ears. Set in post-Civil War Nevada, "Forbidd
Sam (AMNReader)
Jan 27, 2019 marked it as today-is-not-that-day
Considering I'm reading a decidedly mid road histrom and can't quite make myself go back to this, I shall bail. That said, I might try some earlier stuff if that's really where it's at.
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Afrodyt's review posted at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Rhine Fontaine is a former Union soldier living out his life in post Civil War America. He has the blood of African queens flowing through his veins, but you can't tell by looking at him. Rhine enjoys the privileges of being a White man, but only he and his half siblings know the truth. He has built a life of wealth, respectability and comfort in a bustling mining town in Nevada. On a return trip through the desert, he and his business part
Read for the URR 2017 New Year's Reading Challenge prompt 'African American Romance' and for the 2017 POPSUGAR Challenge prompt 'A Book by a Person of Colour'

18/2 - I was going to start off this review by mentioning the other 'African American romances' and books 'by a person of colour' that I have read, in an attempt to show my diverse reading tastes. Unfortunately all it has done is highlight to me exactly how racially narrow the books I read are, as it seems I haven't read any other romances
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Beverly Jenkins v...: Forbidden 2 6 Apr 14, 2019 07:42AM  
Unapologetic Roma...: Jenkins, Beverly // Forbidden 84 59 Mar 02, 2017 06:04PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Jul 20, 2015 08:11AM  

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Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2018 Michigan Author Award by the Michigan Library Association, the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured in both the documentary Love Between the Covers and on CBS ...more

Other books in the series

Old West (4 books)
  • Breathless (Old West, #2)
  • Tempest (Old West, #3)
  • Wild Rain (Women Who Dare, #2)

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