(Image from Barnes & Noble)
Shifting sands are part of life in the Mesopotamian desert, but what about shifting hearts?
As a child, Jayden thought little about her betrothal to Horeb, the son of her father's best friend. Now that she's 16 and he 20, with their marriage scheduled to take place within the year, Jayden's terrified. Not just of the responsibilities she will have to take on as a wife and a mother, but of the man she's to wed. As the next in line to become their tribe's leader, Horeb has become increasingly ambitious, aggressive and cruel. He's changed. Maybe she has too, because her stomach twists at the sight of Horeb, let alone the thought of marrying him. Poised to become the people's next princess, Jayden is the envy of all the other girls in her tribe. As the daughter of a poor camel herder, she should be thanking God for her impending reversal of fortune. Instead, she wants to fling herself onto the nearest camel and charge into the desert, fleeing the prison of marriage to a man she has come to despise.
When tragedy strikes on the morning Jayden's tribe begins its annual trek to a far-off oasis, it compounds her trepidation about her future. More vulnerable than ever, she must make her way through the menacing desert, even though it means marching toward a fate she considers worse than death. Meeting a mysterious stranger—a beautiful boy from the Southern lands—only shows her how starved her heart is for true love and affection. Arousing Horeb's jealousy is a dangerous game, one that could cost Jayden her life. With nowhere to turn, she must make the ultimate choice between duty and love.
Whether her novels take place on the bayous of Louisiana or in the arid deserts of the Middle East, Kimberley Griffiths Little knows how to make settings come alive. She has a particular gift for creating rich, atmospheric story worlds that pulse with life, tantalizing the reader with vibrant explosions of sight, sound, and smell. No matter how exotic the setting, though, Little infuses her tales with the kind of everyday emotion and drama with which we can all relate. Her newest novel, Forbidden, is no exception. Jayden might be a Mesopotamian princess-to-be living in 1759 B.C., but today's teens will relate to the way she worries about her sisters, fears the grown-up world, and longs to act on the desires of her heart. As if an empathetic heroine isn't appealing enough, the novel also offers an action-packed plot, a pulse-pounding romance, and plenty of family/tribal drama. With something for everyone, Forbidden is unique, masterful—the kind of novel that will delight anyone who enjoys thrilling, passionate tales about family, faith, and the fight to control your own fate. The first installment in what promises to be a brilliant trilogy, Forbidden should be at the top of everyone's wishlist this Christmas.
(Readalikes: The publisher likens it to Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for sensuality, mild sexual content, and references to sex/prostitution
To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of Forbidden from the always generous Kimberley Griffiths Little. Thank you!