at its heart, the forbidden is a story about love. about how hard it is to find. how it doesn't always find the perfect moment to find us. and how hard it is to walk away from a love that you feel to the depths of your soul. even when circumstances and everyone you trust tells you that you can't be together.
and what if what is forbidden feels so right. so undeniable that the only way forward is to give in? and what if instead of being terrible it's every dream come true? except the foundation is quicksand and it will fall away. and what then?
that's where annie and jack find themselves. building a relationship on quicksand. but an architect and a contractor can probably figure out a way to build something that lasts. even if it seems impossible.
**the forbidden will publish on august 8, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/grand central publishing (forever) in exchange for my honest review. read on for more information on the book, including a playlist from the author...
Title: THE FORBIDDEN
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Trade paperback original: $15.99
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A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy.
Annie has never experienced the 'spark' with a guy—the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly sexy and mysterious Jack. It's not just a spark that ignites between them. It's an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.
Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who's had such a powerful impact on her and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous. But she's already in too deep. And Jack isn't only dangerous. He is forbidden.
“Every kiss, every sexy scene, every word between this pair owned a piece of my soul. I could read this book a hundred times and still react as if it was the first time. The Protector is a top 2016 fave for me.” –Audrey Carlan, #1 bestselling author of The Calendar Girl series
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“Thank you for your help,” I say quietly, studying him, definitely detecting that he’s deep in thought. Don’t ask, don’t ask, don’t ask. I need to get back into my apartment without engaging with him, which could prove tricky when he’s blocking the doorway and looking like he has no intention of shifting to let me in.
“Annie,” he breathes. “I’m struggling so badly.”
“I’m not doing this.” I swallow, pushing my way past him. He grabs me by the top of my arm and holds me in place. “Let me go, Jack.”
“I’ve already told you I can’t do that. Annie, I’m drowning here. I’m going out of my mind, and the more time I spend with you the fucking worse it’s getting. Listening to you, talking to you, sharing a passion with you that goes way beyond the amazing time we had in bed together.”
“You have to forget!” I yell, knowing anger is the only way forward. Be angry with him. Let it dominate me and rule me, because the alternative scares me to fucking death.
He pushes me into the hall and slams the door behind us, forcing me to back up. “No,” he says, straight and even. “No,” he repeats, moving one more step forward, except this time I don’t retreat. Because I can’t. Because he has me locked in place with those grey eyes, and now they’re back to their full glory. Sparkling, even if it’s with anger. He reaches for his shirt and starts unbuttoning it before shrugging it off and throwing it to the floor, revealing the chest that’s haunting me.
I quickly look down at the pile of material, my mind reeling. His chest. His perfect damn chest. “What are you doing?”
“I have no fucking idea.” He reaches for me and slides a hand around my neck, pulling me to him. Our chests meet, and my determination to repel him vanishes under our connection. Wrongs turn into rights. Conflict turns into craving.
“I can’t get you out of my head, Annie.” His forehead meets mine, his palm massaging away the tightness in my neck muscles, softening me up until I relax in his hold. “I want you all over again, and I can’t even find the will to worry about how much more that’ll make me want you.” He breathes down on me. “I’ve played that night on repeat. I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms again. I’ve craved the sound of your voice, the feel of your touch, the softness of your lips on mine. I know I shouldn’t want you. But I do. Nothing has ever made me feel this insane with need. Nothing has taken up so much space in my head. I can’t fucking help it, Annie.” His grey gaze sinks into me, my heart steadying to an even thrum. His head starts to shake mildly, his splayed hand moving up to the back of my head and fisting my hair. “I don’t want to help it,” he growls. “I want you. I don’t care how wrong it is.” His clenched fist tightens, gripping my hair harshly. “I know I’ve been on your mind since I fucked you every which way in that hotel room. Stop denying it. Don’t insult me and tell me you don’t crave that amazing feeling all over again. I can see it in your eyes every damn time I look into them. You. Want. Me.”
It’s me who moves in first. All me. I lunge forward and smash my lips to his, the magnetic force winning. His words winning. Jack winning. My heart winning. I coax his mouth open with hard, hungry kisses. I’ve lost my mind to a craving too powerful to fight off. And, like Jack, I don’t care how wrong it is.
Yet as he walks me backward until my back slams into the wall, I feel found again.
I cry out, and Jack moans. We’re clumsy and desperate. He’s pushing me up the wall with the force of his kiss, then he’s rolling away, taking me with him until it’s his back slamming into the wall. It’s the elevator all over again. The atmosphere is sizzling. I’m on fire. He scoops me up, pinning me to him, and carries me into my bedroom. I focus on him. Only him and the return of feelings that I’ve fantasized about since that unforgettable night. All the guilt is abandoning me, and I let it, unprepared to let anything stop me from taking the forbidden.
Unlike This Man & One Night, I didn’t really use much music in The Forbidden. But I did listen to it during the writing process, and there are a few tracks that had a place within the story for one reason or another.
Madonna – Like A Prayer
When Annie is getting ready for her girls night out, she’s dances around her bedroom in her towel with a glass of wine singing along. Because what woman doesn’t like a bit of Madonna? It’s like the perfect track to get ready to. Any everyone knows the words!
Above & Beyond – Sun & Moon
This was the track of the moment for me while I was writing The Forbidden. The lyrics ring so true for Annie’s disposition at this moment in the story, and I kept imagining her bursting through Hyde Park on a spontaneous morning run, feeling like she had a new lease of life. “We’re in heaven, you and I. When I lay with you and close my eyes, my fingers touch the sky.” Perfecto!
Moby - Go
Annie’s friend, while slightly drunk on their night out, puts herself on the dance floor and has a bit of a drunken sway. This track has always been a firm favourite of mine, the tempo intense, and it was perfect for the atmosphere in the bar when Annie and Jack first set eyes on each other.
Jean Jacques Smoothie – 2 People
This track was originally in the book, but after edit was removed. The words are perfect for the chemistry and feels that Jack and Annie had on their first encounter. There are literally 16 words in the whole track, and each one is perfect. To me, the lyrics represent the joining of two people who are just meant to be.
Two people, just meeting/ Barely touching each other/ Two spirits greeting /Trying to carry it further
Zedd – Clarity (Feat Foxes)
This didn’t make it into the book, but it was a huge track at the time I was writing The Forbidden and always seemed to be on the radio everytime I got in the car! I always thought how apt the words were for Annie & Jack.
“If our love is tragedy why are you my remedy/ If our love's insanity why are you my clarity”
The Forbidden – Alfie Malpas
This seems a bit strange to share, but, ultimately, it deserves first place in my list in terms of ‘the feels’. This is the track for the book trailer, and it was produced by my son. He’s a bit of a whizz when it comes to music, and there have been many tracks I’ve used in past books that Alfie has brought to me because he just knows I’ll love them. He has a knack of finding immense music by artists many haven’t heard of yet. But this track he actually produced from scratch himself. I went to him with a brief. I wanted intense, almost uncomfortable. He came back with this, and though it is massively far removed from what he usually produces, he done me so proud. It is perfect for The Forbidden.
James – Top Of The World
One of my all-time favourites. There’s a scene in The Forbidden when Annie is aimlessly wandering the streets of London. It’s a moment in which she is lost and trying to silently comprehend where she is at in her life and what she is doing. Top of The World couldn’t be more fitting for her frame of mind.
Alanis Morissette – Uninvited
Another old favourite. Simple, really. “You’re not allowed. You’re uninvited.” In my mind, that’s what Annie is saying to herself all the time about Jack. She’s angry at his persistence. Tries to tell herself to steer clear. But your heart doesn’t always listen to your head.
About the Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.
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