Zoë Martin finds the perfect summer job, helping millionaire oil magnet Holt Hamilton compile the biography of his recently-deceased wife.
The setting is perfect, a luxurious ranch in far West Texas.
Too soon, the mystery and intrigue that surround this isolated utopia begin to unravel. Zoë is caught in a web of deceit and lies and falling in love with the one man in the world that she has no right to claim.
Can she find her way through the maze of secrets and taboos that haunt this forbidden place or has fate conspired with circumstance to ensnare her in a net of cunning and deceit?
Halfway through the evening, the dance that had so far been a strain and a bore, turned into an ordeal. Zoë looked across the crowded room to see Clint coming through the front door, with Amy Fields hanging onto his arm. His dark masculinity blazed like a comet in the night sky. The defiant lift of his chin, the graceful movement of his muscular body, the insolent set of his unsmiling face, branded him as a renegade with a will to power that a tailor-made tuxedo and hand-stitched boots could not conceal.
He had no right to let another woman touch him so intimately. Zoë caught her bottom lip between her teeth and fought for control. The man was her stepson. A taboo as old as mankind forbade such thoughts.
Clint's searching gaze swept around the ballroom until he spotted Zoë and Carter. With the gliding strides of a lobo wolf, he came across the dance floor with Amy hanging onto his arm for dear life. He didn't slow his pace until he stood beside the little table.
With no regard for social amenities or polite exchanges, he announced, "Outside, Carter. I want to talk to you in private."
Without waiting for an answer, he turned to Amy. "You will excuse me while I talk to your brother?" What had been framed as a question was in truth a command.
Carter's voice was caustic. "Good evening, Clint, Amy. Would you like to join us?"
Amy moved toward the table. Clint caught her arm. "I'm waiting, Fields."
Carter reached across the table and took Zoë's hand. "Go away, Clint."
Amy intervened. "Please, Carter, humor him or he'll be in a mood all night, and I want to have fun."
Carter stood and pushed back his chair. "Excuse me, Zoë. This won't take long."
Zoë nodded her acceptance. What else could she do?
The two men made their way toward the back entrance, Clint's broad shoulders and superior height dwarfing Carter's smaller stature and slim build. It was not fair for any man to have the commanding presence that was an innate part of Clinton McCann.
Amy sat in Carter's chair and signaled for a waiter. "Would you like something to drink, Mrs. Hamilton... Zoë?" Zoë shook her head. "I'm not thirsty."
The waiter put a drink in front of Amy and hurried away. "Well, I am. Clint is in one of his moods tonight." Her incredibly long lashes fell to cover her almond-shaped eyes. "He's such a possessive person, always ordering everyone around." A seductive smile touched her cherry- red mouth. "That has its advantages at times."
Posted by Sally Pink Reviews on 14th Feb 2013
Bryan pens a taunt, emotional romance with "Forbidden." Set in 1980, Zoë Adair goes to work for a Texas oilman, Holt Hamilton as a biographer for his late wife, actress, Sarah Clarke. Soon, Zoë is plunged into a world of lies of deception. Can she determine what is forbidden and what is not?
Clint McCann is Holt's son, due to inherit his old father's riches. Holt throws a wrench in the plans when he blackmails Zoë into marrying him. Holt wants to make amends to Zoë, but does he? Zoë's only friend in the house is Maggie, Clint's sister, but one ally is not enough in a ranch full of vipers. Complicating matters is the attraction Zoë and Clint share. Can true love grow in a house full of secrets?
Bryan's writing style is easy to read. She uses a good economy of words to paint Zoe's world in vivid brushstrokes. The characters are interesting. Clint hasn't had it easy growing up, making him appear gruff and a bit jaded. Can love soften his heart? Zoë's seen a lot of hardship and faces more. Her courage and bravery shine.
The best part of the story was the twists and turns the plot took. Forbidden will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, flipping the pages, anxious to know what will happen next.
There were an abundance of punctuation errors throughout the story, missing quotations, capitalization, and lack of periods, however, this did not take away from my enjoyment of the story.
The novel has several love scenes that capture the intensity felt between Clint and Zoë. Overall, "Forbidden" will take the reader on an emotional journey of the heart.