Click here to buy the book on Amazon
The title of the book is a big clue to the subject of the story: Forbidden explores the almost-illicit relationship between Vaughn Wardell and Elisa, his father's fiancee. After years of estrangement, Vaughn returns to his childhood home to confront his father over the estate he inherited from his mother. It's a reunion that is all bitter and no sweetness -- Vaughn and his father, Rufus, have not seen each other since he was a child -- and the hatred between father and son runs very, very deep.
The years he'd spent at Fairleigh Hall had been the worst of his life. Now, at the age of tweny-four [sic], he'd returned to this hideous heap of stone to save his future. His gut clenched as it had when he heard the outrageous news. The thought was a despairing one: Kirkcaldy, his mother's final gift, might be lost to him.
- p. 11
What news? Why would it be lost to him? Vaughn wants Kirkaldy, his last remaining connection to his mother, and I had the impression that it was really, really important to him and that he was on the brink of losing it if he didn't confront his father -- sadly, this particular plot thread disappears in the bulk of the story as Cooper-Posey and Templeton focus, instead, on the blossoming relationship between Vaughn and Elisa. Elisa is caught in the crossfires between father and son, and I had, at times, wondered if what Vaughn felt for his almost-stepmother was sincere or part of his campaign against his father.
"...I want to drown myself in them. In you."
Her pulse jumped alarmingly. "You promised friendship."
"A friend can still desire."
"But not pursue."
- p. 61
A seduction happens, but who is seducing whom? Vaughn is attracted to Elisa and vice-versa -- and both try to resist the temptation -- I have to admit to feeling the excitement and then frustration when Vaughn and Elisa are together, only to stop themselves at a crucial point, and, I guess, this is really the effect the authors were going for. This scenario happens a few times in the book, where each time Elisa and Vaughn come closer and closer to capitulation, only to discover some sense at the last minute.
Rufus Wardell is the designated villain in this story and, at the beginning, I didn't really understand Vaughn's hatred of his father. Indifference would have been a better emotion, considering he hadn't really seen his father since he was a child. I kept wondering about Rufus as the story progressed and it's only at the end when the true extent of his villainy is revealed. At that point, however, I got the sense it was a bit too little to late. (And felt it was added just to justify the relationship between Vaughn and Elisa.)
I really, really felt sorry for Natasha, who Vaughn pretended to court while he was secretly engaged in an affair with Elisa. Natasha was an innocent, and Vaughn and Elisa should never have involved her, but, I guess when one is in love (or lust), one becomes blind to all other things. The next book, Dangerous Beauty, is about her and I wonder how the authors will make it right by her.
There are a lot of gaps in the story, but what the book does promise is sex (See: "Warning" in the book description. ^_^), and, in that, it delivers.
Forbidden is the first book in the Scandalous Sirens series. To find out more about Tracy Cooper-Posey and Julia Templeton, click below:
Tracy Cooper-Posey's Facebook
Tracy Cooper-Posey's Twitter
Tracy Cooper-Posey's Goodreads
Julia Templeton's Website
Julia Templeton's Facebook
Julia Templeton's Twitter
Julia Templeton's Goodreads