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Forbidden #2


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The world is trying to tear them apart.
Will they stand together and fight back?

After a season of psychic visions and super-powered drama, Claire Brennan and her angel-gone-AWOL boyfriend Alec MacKenzie can finally be together. Under the protection of Claire’s grandmother, they are trying to lead a normal life, going to high school at Emerson Academy and hanging out with their friends.

But jealous teenagers, vengeful enemies, the city’s new Watcher, and even the school play threaten to break them apart. Not to mention Claire’s surprising second power, which could sabotage the trust of everyone she holds dear. And just when they need to stick together, they finally get a lead on where Claire’s missing father might be.

The threats, which come not only from without but also from within, will test the strength of Alec and Claire’s relationship. Is the love they share enough to keep them safe? If they want to stay together … can they learn to fight together?

269 pages, Kindle Edition

Published October 30, 2018

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About the author

Syrie James

28 books934 followers
Syrie James is the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author of thirteen novels of historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction and romance, which have been published in 21 languages.

Los Angeles Magazine dubbed Syrie the “queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings.” Syrie’s novel “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” sold at auction to HarperCollins in a bidding war and became an international bestseller. Her passion for love stories and the paranormal led to her critically acclaimed and award-winning novels “Dracula, My Love,” “Nocturne,” and the popular YA series “Forbidden.” Her love of English historical romance led to her Amazon bestselling Dare to Defy series.

Syrie’s books have won numerous accolades and awards, including the national Audiobook Audie Award for Romance, and the Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association (“The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte”); Best New Fiction by Regency World Magazine ( “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”); Barnes and Noble’s Romantic Read of the Week and Bookbub’s Best Snowbound Romance (“Nocturne”). Her novels have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, hit many Best of the Year lists, and been designated as Library Journal Editor’s Picks of the Year.

Syrie is also an award-winning screenwriter and WGA member who has sold or optioned numerous scripts to film and television. Syrie's successful adaptations of books to screen include the movie based on Danielle Steele’s bestseller “Once in a Lifetime."

In demand as a speaker across the U.S., Syrie is also a playwright whose work has been produced in New York City, California, and Canada.

Find Syrie at:
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5 stars
27 (30%)
4 stars
26 (29%)
3 stars
21 (23%)
2 stars
14 (15%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Nickyrian.
614 reviews6 followers
September 1, 2018
It had been six years since I read the first installment. I had to reread it to juggle my memory. Like the first time, I had devoured it again in one sitting and cherished the tandem of Alec and Claire.

I was so ecstatic when I heard the news that the second installment was finally being released. Thank you for granting the pleas of the readers. Book two picked up where book one ended. The story evolved on Claire’s second power and rescuing his long lost father while Alec was busy with his extracurricular of fighting the Fallens and hiding from the Watchers. Deceit and lies would bring such turmoil to Claire and Alec. The addition of new characters made my reading even faster. I felt like I was watching a movie with superb scriptwriting. I couldn’t drop the book. I was so invested and just kept turning the page.

Now, I am biting my nails for I am left with anticipation on what comes next after this. I hope the third installment won’t take another six years to publish again.

Profile Image for Tammy.
1,344 reviews31 followers
September 14, 2018
My biggest issue with the book was the main character Claire. She was very selfish, arrogant, and I didn't like her at all. She lied to her friends and family constantly, used her powers on them behind their back, and was an awful friend to Erica. Erica calls her out for it in the book but then goes back to being her friend with no changes, which I didn't get. I liked the idea of the story and the fact that the mom and grandma were helping with their own powers but the romance was a fail, the big bad was a fail, and the overall book just didn't work for me.
Profile Image for Karen Barber.
2,539 reviews60 followers
November 13, 2018
Claire’s adventures continue.
There’s no escaping that being half-angel and half-human is awkward. As events continue, Claire is determined to try and find her father.
Problems with friends and relationships make things doubly difficult but Claire shows definite sticking power.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
Profile Image for heather - NightlyReading.
683 reviews92 followers
November 7, 2018
Read an exclusive excerpt from the book on my blog at NightlyReading

We waited what felt like forever and a day for this sequel to come out and I am so happy to have been able to read it....finally!

Alec and Claire are still getting use to each other other and the fact that their friends know what they truly are. Which sometimes can be a small battle. Claire finds out the hard way that maybe she should actually listen to her Grandmother and her & Alec's relationship takes a small toll. They both have secrets they are keeping from each other and it kind of blows up in their faces. Claire is so focused on finding her Dad that she tended to get a little whiny and irritating in this installment. She literally acted like a typical teenager!

I really am enjoying this series. The first book captured my attention right from the start and I fell in love with the characters and the the whole premise of angels and half bloods.

A lot happens in this book and the reader really needs to pay attention because the action just keeps on moving and you may miss something important. The ending was not a huge cliffhanger but you can tell that it is open for a third book. I am secretly crossing my fingers and truly hoping so!

Thank you to the author for the review copy in exchange of my honest opinion!
Profile Image for Yamna.
357 reviews116 followers
Want to read
September 22, 2018




Profile Image for Kathy Martin.
3,392 reviews74 followers
October 5, 2018
This second book follows FORBIDDEN (2012). Claire has learned that she is half angel and her boyfriend Alec has left the ranks of the Grigori who track down Fallen and is trying to be an ordinary teenage boy.

The main problem that Claire is facing is trying to find her father who disappeared when she was a baby. Her own visions and her grandmother's visions have indicated that he's still alive but they can't track him down. Claire has a number of questions about her life and her gifts, including one that is just manifesting. Her grandmother has told her that it is a dangerous gift and that she shouldn't use it. Nothing could make it more tempting for Claire.

Her new gift has made her particularly attractive to the Fallen who will do anything to try to recruit her, even telling her that they know where her father is. They also threaten to let the Guardians know where Alec is and Claire will do anything to protect him.

Alec and Claire both try out for the school musical. Claire winning the part in Guinevere almost ruins her friendship with her best friend Erica who also wants the part of Guinevere and has wanted it for much longer than Claire. Claire tries out for the musical mostly so that she can spend more time with her friends who are involved in the production. With Alec cast as Arthur, things should be good. But Claire's former boyfriend Neal has been cast as Lancelot which is making Alec jealous. With Erica mad at her and Alec jealous and Brian dating a new girl, Claire's circle of friends is disintegrating.

Alec is also feeling some regrets about leaving the Guardians to spend time with Claire. He still feels the need to stop the bad guys but doesn't have the authority to do so. He and Claire begin keeping secrets from each other; Claire has been experimenting with her new power; and Alec is trying to track down a Fallen plot. That puts even more pressure on their relationship.

This story was entertaining. It was filled with teenage drama, scary but charming villains, friendships tested, paranormal powers, and romance.
942 reviews1 follower
November 10, 2018
Title: Embolden
Author: Syrie James and Ryan St. James
Genre: YA, fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5

Being half angel isn’t easy for Claire Brennan. Her mom and grandmother keep a constant eye on her. She must keep her angel boyfriend, Alec, secret from the local Watcher. She’s trying to find her angel father, who was kidnapped 16 years ago. She tries to avoid her vengeful enemies. And then there’s high school, with all its drama, including the school musical.

Claire is developing new powers, ones that will have every person in her life afraid, but it’s the only way to find her father and keep Alec safe. Except Alec is keeping secrets of his own, secrets that could prove dangerous for them both.

I read Forbidden and Embolden back-to-back. I like the premise of angels and Nephilim but have a few difficulties with the basic set-up of these books. Like, why is Alec, over a hundred years old, interested in a teenager? That’s a little creepy. No matter what he looks like, the life experience puts a pretty big gap between them. And Claire herself is…basically a selfish, clueless teenager. She has no problem using her powers on those around her. She only wants to talk about her problems and can’t understand her friends wanting to have their own lives. She’s willful, whiny, and childish, and somehow thinks it’s a good idea to tell all her friends the details of the whole angel/Nephilim world, which is supposed to be a secret. So, not smart, either. Again, interesting concept, but the characters detracted significantly from the execution.

(Galley provided by LDLA Publishing in exchange for an honest review.)

More reviews at Tomorrow is Another Day
5 reviews
June 30, 2019
Fans of “Forbidden” will love its sequel “Embolden.” This story picks up immediately after the first novel’s end, and the level of paranormal activity picks up dramatically as well. Claire discovers she has an additional psychic power, while Alec has to cope with a new and more aggressive group of magical ne’er-do-wells. As the story unfolds, the high-school sweethearts must learn to balance their romantic and school-based commitments with their increasingly complex obligations to their other-worldly comrades and rivals. The text of “Embolden” is chock full of pop references (ranging from Camelot to The X-Men), and Ms. James even manages to sneak a some Jane Austen-inspired namedropping. Fast-paced and exciting, this book is a worthy successor to “Forbidden,” and will leave fans of the series clamoring for more.

“Forbidden” and “Embolden” are quite unlike the novels I usually indulge in. But it was really fun to see a best-selling author take on the challenge of trying out a new genre. And I especially loved that Ms. James co-wrote these books with her teenage son. As the mother of four daughters, each with a literary bent of her own, I found this undertaking both charming and inspiring. Way to go, Syrie!
Profile Image for Jennifer Rose.
342 reviews11 followers
April 27, 2023
With the conclusion (I assume) of the forbidden series I was quite disappointed in a lot of things. First there needed to be an editor or something that told them they needed to elaborate in certain areas or trim back in others. I felt like in certain parts where it really benefited the story or plot progression there was a lot left out and you had to come up with your own interpretation, where in other parts it was elaborated too much especially when it didn't help character development or plot progression.

Next, I feel like this story is a jumbled up mess. Of course in the first book we got a straight forward plot and a straight forward conclusion. This was all over the place, trying to find her father, trying to fight the fallen, trying to keep away from the Watchers and I could just go on. There was too much and not enough book written.

If there is a 3rd one that comes out, I think I'll be passing. I loved the first book but this one fell very flat for me.
Profile Image for Kyra.
15 reviews6 followers
April 3, 2019
I loved this book! Unlike most series, this book does NOT have second book syndrome. Everything just felt like it flowed and like it was natural, not forced like a lot of other books I've read. The ending was really good, and I love how Niel was included this time. He REALLY needed to know what was actually going on if he was going to make up with Claire.

Speaking of Claire, I really loved her and Alec's relationship. Sure they had some troubles, but what good couple doesn't? I do wish that there were more romantic scenes between them without having to worry about the end of the world, but that's the only thing I'd change about this book.

This was a great read and I highly recommend the first book, Forbidden!
Profile Image for Ola Adamska.
2,756 reviews20 followers
October 12, 2018
I had hopes for this one... but this one failed me even more... To me, it was 1.5 stars as plot had not developed till half of the book, and even after that events were like passing by me as I had not enjoyed what was going on...
An attempt to create an intriguing story, but failed in the execution of it. For sure I will not be reading book 3, as Claire and Alec's story had drained my patience for it...
Profile Image for Myreadbooks.
1,456 reviews18 followers
December 30, 2018
I would like to thank Netgalley and LDLA publishing for this partnership.

I was immediately attracted by the cover and you see Claire and Alec side by side.

Claire and Alec are in a relationship, Claire's grandmother protects them, they go to high school at Emerson Academy and want to live a normal life.

Except that threats made against them will try to separate them.

A second volume captivating and full of suspense and twists and turns. Looking forward to reading on.
Profile Image for Destiny Bridwell.
1,585 reviews27 followers
May 31, 2019
I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. This the second book of this series. Claire is trying to find her father that disappeared when she was a baby. Her visions tell her that he is still alive, but she is unable to locate him. Plus she gains a new gift and her grandmother tells her that she should not use it. It does draw the attention of the Fallen. Looking forward to what comes next. 
January 11, 2022
PLEASE make a 3rd book! Now!!

I loved this sequel! So full of action and the right amount of drama. I definitely need more Alec and Claire romance but man, such a good story! I keep checking to see if there is news for a 3rd book. I would love to see Erica with Niel haha. And omg, Helena is my favorite character. I laughed out twice from her quotes in this book. Love her. Never get rid of her. These 2 books are now on my reread in 6 months list.
134 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2018
A fairly typical supernatural romance. Unfortunately for me, I think my cynicism has turned into a lack of imagination as I just can’t buy into someone aged in their hundreds who falls for a teenager. And rather a silly one at that. I did not enjoy the character of Claire and had to agree with Erica that she was rather self obsessed. I enjoyed the first novel more than this one.
Profile Image for Heather Hastings.
103 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2019
I was so excited to read this book. But the first book sucked me in I couldn't put it down I had a harder time with this one . I dont know if it was that it took them forever to get this book out (please be quicker with the 3rd) or the whiney mess Erika and Claire were . I just had a harder time finishing it. And I dont like the lies between Claire and Alec it is so much drama almost to much.
Profile Image for Lisa Armeo.
42 reviews
March 25, 2020
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a honest review, thank you for that.
Structured well enough to keep me guessing and reading all in one sitting. This was an amazing sequel to a fantastic first book
I definitely recommend this book and the author Syrie James and Ryan M. James.
Profile Image for Lisa Armeo.
42 reviews
October 8, 2020
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a honest review, thank you for that.
Structured well enough to keep me guessing and reading all in one sitting. This was an amazing sequel to a fantastic first book
I definitely recommend this book and the author Syrie James and Ryan M. James.
Profile Image for Candice.
91 reviews8 followers
May 14, 2023
Good addition to the series

I’m glad this story continued after book 1. Holding back additional stars cuz it took so long, and I’m not sure about book 3. Will there be one? Will we have to wait 10 yrs for it?
Profile Image for A.M Hyacinth.
Author 1 book21 followers
June 24, 2019
OKAYYYYY WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE!!! I fell in love with this series. In 2 days I finished both books...but you have soooooooooo met your match! 1oo thumbs up!
3 reviews
August 12, 2019
Honestly found this really hard to read. It was predictable and cliche, and at times a little ridiculous. I just didn't care very much about the story or characters, and the writing didn't help that
Profile Image for Katherine.
231 reviews8 followers
December 10, 2020
Fantastic book. Wish there was more to the series.
I enjoyed Alec & Claire’s story and adventures
Profile Image for Brenda.
127 reviews21 followers
July 2, 2020
This book is the continuation of Claire Brennan's adventure from Forbidden
After Forbidden where we discovered that she possesses angel powers, because she's half-angel, Claire leaves in search of her father, who disappeared 16 years ago.

In the midst of visions, new discoveries, jealous friends, family problems, lies and disagreements, in this book we are in a whirl of emotions compared to the first one.

I confess that with this book I was much more concerned about Claire and her destiny, because damn, there were so many complications!

But Claire showed us her strenght and didn't let the others save her: she was her hero! She made great decisions for a person who discovered their origins and actual abilities recently.

I did not like was some of Claire's arrogance and the fact that shortly after the characters talked about the possibility of a second power, Claire discovered it right after. I think the authors could have given more time for the story to unfold. This situation seemed a little bit forced to me.

I also felt that in this book the relationship between Alec and Claire, whose romance we realized was going to happen from the first glance, became more solid and not a mere teenage romance as we see in so many books. I really enjoyed the growth of these two as a couple, as friends, but above all as individuals.

Did I loved Claire and Neil's friendship? No doubt. I loved that they did not turn the book into another romance with a love triangle and instead, they give a real perspective on what the various types of friendship we can have throughout our lives.

I would like to thank to the authors for allowing me to read this book via netgalley!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely mine.
Profile Image for Julia | TheReadingConspiracy.com.
145 reviews9 followers
December 29, 2018
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I made myself read Forbidden first because I wanted to fully understand the backstory of the plot and characters. As soon as I finished it, I began reading Embolden. It had a slow start compared to the first book in the series, but halfway through it really started to pick up. I enjoyed the world it was set in. Born and raised in Los Angeles myself, I was happy to read about places I was familiar with.

Overall, this was a fun read. I enjoyed it knowing that my 16-year-old self would have absolutely loved and devoured this book full of teenage paranormal angst and drama.

Check out my full review and others on The Reading Conspiracy: https://www.thereadingconspiracy.com
Profile Image for Kriz.
122 reviews19 followers
September 3, 2018
I Read Forbidden And Embolden in Three Days. Absolutely Loved Them Both. I love Syrie James So As Soon As I Saw Her Name I Had To Read It.

Can't Wait For The Third Installment, And Definitely Hope It's Soon And Not In A Ton Of Time.

3 And A Half Stars
Profile Image for Shia.
696 reviews13 followers
October 22, 2018
Rating 4/5

This was a fun teenage drama filled read with a touch of paranormal! I really enjoyed the theatrics with it and especially liked the characters - even the villains were enjoyable! It was very entertaining and I hope there's not a huge gap like this one if there is another book :)
Profile Image for Sharley.
351 reviews2 followers
October 26, 2018
I had to read the first in the series before starting on Embolden. Reading both so close together I really got into the series and enjoyed them. There is nothing new about the is book, the genre of Angels, mystery and magic has been done but if you like these stories then this is another one to go for. Teen angst and drama mixed with the mystical never really fails and this is no exception. An easy read and a little guilty pleasure - Young Adult fiction
35 reviews1 follower
November 1, 2018
I received an e-ARC for this book from the publisher and NetGalley.. I also received an e-ARC for the first book in the series, Forbidden, from the authors themselves. However, I forgot about that until I was a couple chapters in and wondering why the plot was moving along so quickly. I feel like this book can be read as a standalone, though the first book would (I'm assuming) have more background on the origin of all of the main characters' primary, supernatural abilities. There were enough references to the first book for me to piece together what happened.

I really liked the way that the visions a couple of the main characters had were written. The characters were all quite realistic, and the teenage characters were very much written like they were average, everyday teenagers. There was an even balance of the characters going about their regular lives (going to school, socializing, going out on dates, hanging out at home with their families, etc.) and dealing with the supernatural. That's pretty rare nowadays, especially in science fiction/fantasy novels, movies, and TV shows. The end of this book left enough loose ends for me to suspect that there will be a third book eventually.

I plan on reading and reviewing Forbidden soon, as a prequel of sorts.
Profile Image for Jess(ToTheMoonAndBackReviews).
339 reviews9 followers
November 30, 2018
I read the first book in the series so I kind of knew what to expect when requesting this book on NetGalley. But boy was I wrong, this book was way more intense and thrilling then the first. It isn't often that I say I enjoy a sequel more then the first but this one certainly falls into that category.
This book is a non stop action packed read that you have to pay attention to. You look away for a second, you blink and you miss something important. This is not a book you can read lightly to pass the time. So much happens in this book and I loved it!
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