Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Forbidden Valentine - J.C. Valentine (Forbidden Trilogy #4)

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Published: February 16, 2016
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, 
I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon Goodreads
Ransom has been wallowing in his despair, using alcohol to fill his time in between his teaching career and the little sleep he gets. He's not living up to his potential, he's not inspiring his students, and he certainly isn't over the loss of Joe, the girl his twin brother now calls his wife. Then there's Dani, the girl from the bar he takes home on a whim, who puts up with his antics when all she knows is his first name. She brings out a change in him, he's willing to face his family, his past, if it means making her his future. Dani is a little too close to home though and when secrets start unfolding there's a chance Ransom and Dani aren't meant to be at all.

This book totally took me by surprise, because the title made me think it would be about something completely different and the synopsis only gave away just enough. Turns out, Forbidden Valentine is a tale of all sorts of taboo/forbidden subjects in the world of student, work, and family. It's a quick read with engaging characters and a really unique plot. While both characters at times made me frustrated, I loved their friendship to lovers relationship, the angst they both had to individually face, and the drama they faced as a couple. They have the kind of chemistry that just works, as a reader you can feel how they bring out the best in one another. While it's a short read, for fans of the Forbidden series it is the closure for a character they grew to love, and sometimes hate. Ransom was at times immature and other times the character I wanted most to hug and provide comfort to. His downward spiral and then slow climb to health was enjoyable to read, because it felt natural. Dani, our quick witted heroine, made me laugh often and while her innocence often didn't make sense to me, she was the gentle caring comfort that Ransom needed, as well as the steamy lover.

While Forbidden Valentine was an enjoyable read, nothing jumped off the pages for me. Some of the plot points that could have built up more fireworks were easily pushed to the side and the general ease in which most drama was dealt with felt very casual. Additionally, while this is listed as a standalone, I do think the prior trilogy plays far too important of a role for readers not to read it first. Understanding who Ransom was and what brought him to his downfall is too important to the overall story and that history makes his character. Additionally, I don't think Dani's past was explored enough and I could have read a longer novel if it meant understanding her more. While I loved them together, Forbidden Valentine doesn't build them up as individual characters, more as just a couple only.

Forbidden Valentine is a great book for the season or anytime of the year, it's full of laughs, smut, and characters you'll be rooting for. It's about letting go, facing your fears, and acceptance. I will absolutely continue to read J.C. Valentine novels.

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