Author: Suzanne (The Great) Brockmann
He was gorgeous as sin, but definitely off-limits...He’d saved her from a drenching storm, had gently placed her in a steaming tub, and looked great in firelight, but was that reason enough for Kayla Grey to kiss a handsome cowboy with reckless hunger? Cal Bartlett couldn’t believe he’d nearly made love to the woman who’d betrayed his brother’s memory, but when she insisted Liam might be alive, shame warred with desire. Would loving her mean losing him again?
Forbidden yet undeniable attraction is at the heart of Suzanne Brockmann’s sizzling, sensual novel of love and sacrifice. He’d never burned for a woman, never known the wild abandon of white-hot need that marked a man and woman as soul mates, but once he’d tasted paradise, could he give her up?
As I mentioned in a comment over on kristie(j)’s blog, I am a sucker for Brockmann’s writing. I swear, the woman could write a manual on how to operate a potato peeler and I would read the damn thing (and it must be noted that I rarely read the manuals for anything I buy.) I have a serious blindness when it comes to her books. You have heard of being color blind? I am Brockmann blind. I love all of her books. Even those, like Forbidden, that are not her best.
Forbidden, a reprint of her 1997 release, is the story of Cal and Kayla. They meet when Kayla rushes out to his ranch to tell him that she has received information regarding the death (or possible survival) of his only brother, Liam. Kayla has only just arrived in town when she is caught outside in a major storm. Tall, dark, and sexy comes riding to her rescue on the back of his horse. Mmmm, baby! They don’t even know each other’s name, but he just saved her life and the attraction is undeniable. But wait! Not only is Cal sex in a pair of cowboy boots, but he is a gentleman. After a steamy make out session he steps back, respecting the fact that she is nearly dead on her feet after barely surviving the storm. It is only as he walks away with plans to meet for dinner the next night that he tells Kayla his name. Oh no! Cal???!!!?!? THE Cal? The big brother of her not-quite fiancé who died two years ago in San Salutiano? The Cal she came to town to talk into going to San Sal to investigate the rumors that sudo-fiancé may still be alive? THAT Cal? Well, shit.
Long story short, with the revelation of their identities, they decide the budding relationship is forbidden (oooh! Name origin.) Together, as they search for clues to the truth about Liam, they fight their attraction. There is sexual tension, flying bullets, a wild motorcycle ride, sexual tension, a mysterious man, a shady military group, rebel forces, and more sexual tension.
It will be obvious to anyone who has read Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, that this is one of her earlier works. It has all the elements that make her stories riveting, but in a slightly underdeveloped infancy. You can see the potential and appreciate how she has developed as a writer. Cal is sweet and strong, but not quite as Alpha male as her SEALs. As with most novellas, I wanted a bit more. More story, more development, more of the characters. That is the nature of the novella and category romances for me. If there could just be another hundred pages...