In this novel set in the Mesopotamian desert, Jayden is on the cusp of womanhood, and her betrothal ceremony to Horeb, the future leader of the tribe, will restore her family’s position. When the harsh desert life takes one of their own, Jayden must keep her family from falling apart and resist the forbidden feelings that are awakened in her when a stranger, Kadesh, enters their midst. Complications arise as her sister is drawn to foreign gods and both men in her life have secrets of their own. Will the jealousy and passion that ensues destroy everything Jayden loves?
This is the first book in a new series, and it’s a fast-paced read with lots of combat, tragedy, murder and, for a Young Adult title, it does contain some sexual references without being explicit. In some ways, this reads like a fairy tale that goes dark while rushing headlong towards a cliffhanger ending. The portrayal of the villain is a bit excessive in his evil nature, perhaps to make him more of a threat for subsequent books. Forbidden could have made a great standalone title (with an alternate ending), but as it is, you will be looking for the sequel just for the romance.