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Forbidden by Faith

(Forbidden Love #1)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Sara knows her life would be easier if she married a man of her faith, but when has love ever been easy?

Raised by her immigrant Iranian parents, she’s been taught that a good daughter makes decisions based on her family’s approval, and she’s spent most of her life in their good graces. Until she meets Maziar, and her world is turned upside down. An instant electricity ign
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by City Owl Press
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Don't Call Me Cupcake by Tara SheetsRainbirds by Clarissa GoenawanEverything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. LeeThe Queen of Hearts by Kimmery MartinNever Dare a Wicked Earl by Renee Ann Miller
124 books — 197 voters
Don't Call Me Cupcake by Tara SheetsNever Dare a Wicked Earl by Renee Ann MillerOne Match Fire by Lissa LindenDangerous by Minerva SpencerForbidden by Faith by Negeen Papehn
Romance 2018
107 books — 109 voters

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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  91 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Minerva Spencer
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The blurb on the back of this book does not do the story between the covers justice.

Forbidden by Faith isn't only a love story, it's also the story of young woman's journey of self-discovery. Sara has her plate full: pharmacy school, loving--but demanding--traditional Persian parents and family, and two hot, forbidden men who are both willing to fight for her.

The author kept me guessing and I loved not knowing how this story was going to end. Papehn also did a stellar job of depicting Sara's s
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: authors-i-know
What is one willing to sacrifice for love? Religion? Family? All of the above? Negeen's beautiful writing evokes a diverse set of emotions that make the reader understand the multiple facets of love.
A beautiful debut romance by an author that should stay on your radar!
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Set in Los Angeles, Negeen Papehn's debut novel, Forbidden By Faith, is a modern day Romeo and Juliet. If you enjoy high stakes Romance, you won't want to miss this one!
Leyla Hadzhiyska
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Negeen Papehn’s debut novel “Forbidden by Faith” tells the incredible story of Sara,Persian Muslim
and Maziar,Persian Jewish.Family,religion,customs and traditions are on the way of Sara and Maziar’s love...The author magically and skillfully describes the Persian culture and values and that makes the book so much more than a love story..We find ourselves in many of the scenes..Realistic yet romantic and beautiful Forbidden by Faith is a must read!
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taking one of history’s oldest cultural divides, the author — with her gifted ability of capturing the authentic tension of the moment — pushes the story into territories that are uncomfortable, but necessary.

Through the many passionate escapades between lovers, the heart-wrenching anguish of a parent, and the seething outrage of intolerance — she straps you in tightly and brings you along on this wonderful rollercoaster ride.

In the end, they say that love conquers all... but they didn’t say tha
Ann Reed
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Negeen's beautiful prose takes us on a journey through the trials of young adulthood--of finding your own path and independence. Mix that with a love your family, friends, and faith cannot condone and the result is a series of triumphs and heartaches as felt through the heart of a young woman determined to find her way.
Reading romance
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book highlights the heartbreaking conflict between people who fall in love of different religions. It's a soul-searching journey between the couple to decide if love can overcome all obstacles. A strong story that touches on many levels. Family, loyalty, betrayal, faith, all the elements of a deep read. Anyone who has ever been in this situation will appreciate this book.
Rachel Pudelek
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a romance novel quite like this one. It's absolutely unique in its format, storytelling, and subject. The food, customs, and belief systems of Sara and her family really made Sara come off the page and feel like more than a character in a book. The author did a fabulous job of fully fleshing out her characters, especially her main character, and making me want to cheer Sara on in her quest for a lasting love. This was a great story and offered a different perspective than what we ...more
Alicia Munoz
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elena Mikalsen
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sara is intelligent, passionate, devoted to her faith and family. But love doesn’t care about faith. What do you do when you are in love with someone your family is going to hate? The book starts off with a bang and I couldn’t put it down! Sara and Maziar are so touching together. Their love will melt your heart. This was such a great read and the writing is very melodic.
Jennifer Klepper
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't help but think of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" while reading this book. Forbidden By Faith isn't a rom-com, but it has the same soul, one that champions love and family and tradition in a multi-cultural world. Sara, a young woman from a close Persian, Muslim family balances her growing independence during pharmacy school with the pull of familial expectations of propriety and, let's face it, parents who have trouble recognizing their little girl is all grown up. Add into this a love int ...more
Dianne Freeman
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Forbidden By Faith is a beautiful love story. Two young lovers, Sara and Maziar, are at the heart of it, but the story, like love itself, is never just about two people. It's about parents, siblings, and friends; tradition, culture, and faith. All these elements pull in two different directions until the chasm between Sara and Maziar is so wide you just don't know how, or even if, they can make a life together. Papehn reveals the raw emotions of everyone involved in this relationship, deftly pul ...more
Maddison Michaels
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. What a wonderful story! Debut author Negeen Papehn brings us an amazing and modern twist on the classic Romeo and Juliet, amidst a clash of cultures and religion. Sara's story is engrossing, particularly her having to deal with her family and balancing this with her own feelings against her cultural upbringing. There were so many twists and turns, I was intrigued right to the very end. Ms Papehn's prose was just beautiful and I'm eagerly looking forward to what she has in store fo ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Romance novels are uncharted territory for me, but this book made me so glad I decided to do some exploring. I was hooked from the first few pages! The writing style was lovely and easy to read. This was a wonderful debut, and I can't wait to see more from Negeen Papehn.
Randee Green
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sara and Maziar are both Persian, and their parents and ancestors are from Iran.

The problem is that Sara’s family is Muslim, and Maziar’s family is Jewish. If you know anything about the centuries of unrest in the Middle East, you know that the differences in religion is a huge deal. Turns out that it is also a pretty big deal between Persians living in California.

Sara and Maziar, neither of whom are overly religious, are determined to make their relationship work. Maziar is confident than ever
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Faith, tradition, family, love: what do you do when these deep bonds pull you in opposite directions? This novel explores this question and deals realistically with the answers. I loved seeing a young Muslim-American woman, living in this culture but also a little apart from it, trying to please her family and herself. It was heartbreaking to feel her pain as she falls in love with the "wrong" man -- not once, but twice... I feel like I learned something about the world as well as reading a love ...more
4 stars
I've read Forbidden by Faith a while ago but I needed some time to process it because I've never experienced what I did when I was reading this book. This is the first time I've hated the beginning of a book but ended up loving it. I usually waste no time DNFing when it happens but I was stranded in the country with my family and no wifi, I was in a MAJOR book slump and I really wanted to read this story because the topic is so interesting.

I love when books break the usual romance struc
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has me hooked from the very first sentence! The characters were endearing and the story was refreshing and original. This was a lovely read!
Jessie Gussman
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting look at cross-cultural romance set in America.
I enjoyed Forbidden by Faith for its look into Persian family dynamics. Sara, an upper-twenties young woman finishing pharmacy school, meets two men, both forbidden to her by her family. The first, though Persian, was Jewish; the second Caucasian. Sara has an instant attraction to Maziar. She and Maziar break up after acknowledging that their relationship can never progress because of religious differences. Sara, on one hand, was not particularly likable because she uses Ben to fill the void in ...more
Carolyn Walker
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Forbidden by Faith is a story about  family, unity, and heritage. Despite their differences in faith, Sara and Mazair find one another and learn the true challenge and lengths one can go to - for love. Papehn weaves a beautiful tale about self-discovery and acceptance. The great divide that exists in the story, shaped by the disapproval opinions of both Sara's and Mazair's families, sets the stage for the underlying conflict and desire for acceptance in the face of love. Papehn writes a story th ...more
Sally Hanan
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A romance made more interesting than most because of the cultural and religious obstacles in the way of love. I have to wonder how many relationships last the decades when extended families are not interested in staying connected because of an incoming (possible) in-law with a different background. Papehn deals with many of the situations that could occur in this romance that's only on-again, off-again because of family pressure and bigotry, and she rides us through it all to a satisfying end.
Samantha Heuwagen
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An impressive and explosive debut by Papehn. The storytelling with descriptions of the culture and belief system of Sara's family was well done and avoided clechés that can sometimes sink romances. I was entertained and cheered Sara on her quest to find a healthy relationship––something I love seeing in romance. Can't wait to see what Papehn comes up with next!
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She always obey her parents and does as she is told until she meets him. They call in love but there is one big issue between them and it is religion. Neither parents would want them to be together. Can they prove their love? Can they get their parents to understand their love? See how they get on

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Sherry N
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! The author kept me interested the whole time. I didn't want to stop reading. From the beginning to the end! I could picture the characters in my mind as Negeen gave great descriptions to what they looked like. You could feel the sadness Sara felt when she couldn't be Maziar because of their religion. You easily lose track of time because you get lost in the story. I can't wait to read the other books by Negeen!
Rebekkah Brainerd
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Papehn writing style was the first thing that struck me: she's telling a story, not leading you through it. In a world where "show don't tell" is hammered into any writer's skull, I was surprised and intrigued by this shift. At first I thought I wasn't going to like it... and then I found myself unable to put it down.

There is something entrancing, seductive -- yet at the same time no-nonsense -- about the way this story is weaved. I found myself identifying with the main character Sara on WAY t
Feb 20, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (2/20/2019)! 🎁

Sara knows her life would be easier if she married a man of her faith, but when has love ever been easy?

Raised by her immigrant Iranian parents, Sara has been taught that a good daughter makes decisions based on her family’s approval, and she’s spent most of her life in their good graces. Until she meets Maziar, and her world is turned upside down.

An instant electricity ignites between them, and it seems like fate when she discovers he’s also Iranian.
Michael Wright
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf
Very interesting read about the cultural and religious issues that erupt when a Muslim woman and a Jewish man fall in love, even when neither the woman's family nor the man's family are actively following their respective religions. The fact that both are Persian (Iranian) provides another intriguing dimension to this great story line. As this story unfolds, the constant, unanswered question is: Will their love overcome the very significant cultural and religious obstacles that arise from their ...more
Merry Jelks-Emmanuel
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Two different faiths, cultures and one love. Will they survive the ramifications that their relationship places on their families. Maziar and Sara love each other but their families cultures are set and in Sara's case her family is not happy with her choices. Sara embraces her decisions and as a result she is in for a world of war between not only her family but Maziar's as well. Will these two make it? The story is well written and gives a look into two cultures and their way of life.

I received
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story. Really good plot to the story. Very well written. Would highly recommend it to anyone who likes this kind of stories. Can't wait to read more from this author.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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Negeen Papehn was born and raised in southern California, where she currently lives with her husband and two rambunctious boys. She wasn’t always a writer. A graduate of USC dental school, Negeen spends half of her week with patients and the other half in front of her laptop. In the little time she finds in between, she loves to play with her boys, go wine tasting with her friends, throw parties, ...more

Other books in the series

Forbidden Love (3 books)
  • Forbidden by Destiny (Forbidden Love, #2)
  • Forbidden by Time (Forbidden Love, #3)

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