Read Forbidden by Charlotte Stein Online


They say I need help. Another exorcism. This is not new. This is my life. Today, I expect to suffer at the hands of a man as warped by superstition and fear as my mother. A man who will torture me in order to save me from things that don't exist.But the man who actually comes to me is different.Killian is good and decent, and he sees what's good and decent in me. And I donThey say I need help. Another exorcism. This is not new. This is my life. Today, I expect to suffer at the hands of a man as warped by superstition and fear as my mother. A man who will torture me in order to save me from things that don't exist.But the man who actually comes to me is different.Killian is good and decent, and he sees what's good and decent in me. And I don't mean for it to happen, but every time he looks at me, his gaze sets me on fire. He brings me to the light, gives me back my life. For the first time, I see a future for myself.A future with him.I burn for Killian--a man who's intent on protecting me. On healing me.He doesn't get it. The only thing that can heal me is him. But Killian will soon be a priest. Untouchable. Forbidden.How can I ask a man to choose between me ... and God?...

Title : Forbidden
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062365118
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Forbidden Reviews

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2018-10-13 02:26

    3.5 "torn between 3 and 4" stars!As I said in my 'just finished reading' pre-review, I am so torn about how to rate this story. It's all the things I most hate about the New Adult genre, but it's everything I've come to expect from Charlotte Stein's writing!!Blurb...They say I need help. Another exorcism. This is not new. This is my life. Today, I expect to suffer at the hands of a man as warped by superstition and fear as my mother. A man who will torture me in order to save me from things that don’t exist.But the man who actually comes to me is different.Killian is good and decent and he sees what’s good and decent in me. And I don’t mean for it to happen, but every time he looks at me his gaze sets me on fire. He brings me to the light, gives me back my life. For the first time, I see a future for myself. A future with him.I burn for Killian - a man who’s intent on protecting me. On healing me.He doesn’t get it. The only thing that can heal me is him. But Killian will soon be a priest. Untouchable. Forbidden.How can I ask a man to choose between me…and God?My thoughts...One of the things I most love about Ms. Stein's writing is how she takes us deep into the heart and soul of her characters, which she does once again in Forbidden. That said, one of my least favorite things about her writing is how much we 'hear' rather than 'see' take place. We spend the majority of this book inside Dot's thoughts as she struggles to understand her feelings. While this gives us a deep insight into hers, it made the story feel very one-sided and left me wondering what Killian was truly thinking and, more importantly, feeling.The bottom line...Charlotte Stein is a brilliant storyteller in so many ways, and anyone looking for a dark, anxious, sexually intense New Adult read need look no further. If this story doesn't sound like your cuppa, be sure to check the author's back-list for a storyline more to your taste. Granted, many readers have a love/hate relationship with her - as her ratings will prove - but don't pass up the opportunity to find out for yourself if she's your kind of author.An ARC was provided by Avon Books

  • -y.a
    2018-09-17 23:27

    I honestly had no idea how I should rate this short book the moment I finished it. It is either a 3-stars or 4-stars depending on which aspects in book I looked for. But with the uniqueness of the plot, the pace, and likable MCs, it is a 4-stars .Killian is a young priest in training. Dot, a 20-years old woman, has been living under the roof of her religiously fanatic mom for years.It is a sensual story that is loaded with a forbidden love, a road trip, a sweet hero, and a likable heroine.The missing parts:I think if the author added Killian’s POV, and a better buildup leading to the ending, it would be a great read. This book is an interesting pick for fans of Charlotte Stein's writing style.

  • Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    2018-10-12 22:25

    FORBIDDEN took me by surprise. Charlotte Stein is an autobuy author for me so I didn’t really go reading the blurb before starting this book. I have total faith that Stein will once again write a story that is erotically charged and sensual in a very unique way. And she did. However, I don’t think I quite expected this.The story starts off quite dark with Dot being chained up and abused by her crazed mother. Her beliefs have totally taken over her life and she believes that Dorothy is possessed by the devil. It isn’t until her savior arrives that Dot sees a new light and gets a chance at finally living away.Dot recovers quite quickly and with the help of this priest in training named Killian, she becomes acquainted with the outside world again. Her time in captivity hasn’t made her an idiot. She still had morals and a great understanding of the world. Killian and her are a great match together, but what stays in their way is this potent lust they feel for one another. As someone working to being a man of God, Killian must resist those temptations, but it is hard to do when Dot’s curiosity continues to tempt him.Overall, this book was enjoyable but the conflict towards the end and the abrupt resolution did feel quite rushed. Yet it’s hard to dislike it when Stein spends so much time building the romance expertly.*ARC provided by publisher

  • Jean
    2018-10-15 22:42

    Charlotte Stein has that unique way of creating erotic stories that hit you in a way you don't expect.  Like the simplest of touches or looks have you melting and your heart thumping!I read this book so quick!  This short "erotic" story hooked me from the beginning.  Dot is being held by her psycho religious bound and tied up in a room for who knows how long.  Her mom thinks she is filled with the "devil" and pretty much has Dot convinced of that also.  When Dot is expecting a Priest to their home (to apparently exorcise her demons), she is pleasantly surprised by the man who appears, Killian.  And then he does something she does not expect, he unties her and takes her away from her mother and home.  She goes with him to a convent where they take care of broken and lost girls, while he is just finishing up in a seminary and about to take his vows to become a priest. Wow, for such a short story, it really affected me.  And that's what Charlotte does with her books.  There may not be much detail or character buildup, but her flow of words and the way she can evoke such feeling was just really great!  "Sheltered" will always be a favorite of mine by her, but she came really close with this one!  Loved it!

  • Lila
    2018-10-06 03:25

    Bare bones: We have one soon-to-become priest, Killian, and a girl who is held chained to bed by her overzealous mother because "she has demon inside of her." Priest is called to perform an exorcism, but Killian is horrified by conditions he finds Dot in and saves her.******Charlotte Stein is determined to tackle every high stakes romance scenario out there.As much as I love her books for that exact reason, I feel like premise of Forbidden was laced with such a burden and so many difficulties I was not fully convinced couple has a chance for functioning relationship when I finished it.It's not that I doubt Stein couldn't handle the challenge- it's more of a fact that I just don't think she had enough of a room to explore it.You see... this entire trilogy is meant to be set of three novella length stories. This is Stein's usual format, but in case of this book developing romance came at expense of addressing other issues that, in my opinion, should have been given more attention, considering Dot's lack of experience with...well, everything. This is a girl who doesn't know how to use remote, can't turn shower on, was convinced she has demon inside of her, thinks she is not just ugly but hideous, not to mention that all she knew about sex comes from reading Stoker's Dracula while she was still attending school, before her mother pulled her from it. Dot is only 20y old and Killian is several years older, but this was not about Dot's sexual awakening- this is her learning that what she feels has a name she can attach to it and not going to hell for feeling it. And it's not just her: Killian, being last four years in seminary, few weeks from being ordained doesn't really have much experience with love himself. And this perfectly ties to another thing about him:Stein's trademark first person pov was riveting like always, but it left us denied of another intriguing aspect of this relationship. When it comes to Man of the Cloth romance, what makes it taboo is the fact that his fate comes into collision with his feelings and it's such an emotional struggle, a powerful one. One worth exploring. I didn't get that from Killian. So, as much as I enjoyed Dot's journey of discovering sex and love, I was missing the part that would make me believe that choice Killian made at the end was difficult for him.So, like I said, there is just too much baggage.Where romance demanded baby steps because of all these issues, we got something that looks more like stampede running toward edge of a cliff.Mixed feelings about this one, but I know Stein can do much better.*Copy from author. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

  • GraceMyBookSnack
    2018-10-11 03:41

    Review also posted at My Book Snack3.5 StarsA short and sinful read!Forbidden is a short story that delves into a sinful subject. It begins with Dot being rescued from her hell. Right away you get to see the abuse she’s endured, and it’s not pretty. Killian is her savior, and he’s about to take his vows to become a priest. As Dot and Killian spend time together their feelings for each other just might cross into forbidden territory.One thing to keep in mind about Forbidden is that things happen quickly. It’s a short story after all. Dot and Killian are thrown in together immediately, and I wish there was focus in them getting to know each other a little more as I find them both to be interesting characters who deserve to be happy. Emotions are pretty instant.This is my first time reading anything from Charlotte Stein. I knew going into Forbidden that the subject matter was going to be out of my comfort zone a bit, but I was up for the challenge. All the tension between Dot and Killian was deliciously played out.

  • Jennifer Leighton
    2018-09-19 22:23

    I'm a sucker for forbidden love stories, and what could be more forbidden than the love of an (almost) priest? Charlotte has this way of writing 1st person POV that makes you feel like you're actually getting both POV's. I never feel as if I'm missing anything at all when I read her stories. She's a genius!

  • Cristina
    2018-10-05 22:28

    Too little dialogue and way too much monologue. I wanted to like this and I did to a point. It's quite short so you can read it in an evening. Overall, it's an okay read but I was expecting more.

  • Teresa Rapkin
    2018-10-16 21:23

    This was my first book by Charlotte Stein. I'm thrilled there is so much more for me to read! Visit Romance and Fantasy for Cosmopolitan Girls for more reviews!Forbidden, by Charlotte Stein is a story told in first person point of view. It begins with the heroine, Dorothy, (Dot), tied to her bed by her mother who is completely unbalanced. Dot is a young, beautiful woman, but her mother has been disconnected from reality for most, or all of Dot’s life. She took Dot out of school during adolescence because she believed her daughter’s maturation was not a natural process, but an evil one. Thus, she subjected Dot to numerous forms of abuse, including exorcisms.The story unfolds as Killian, the hero, saves Dot from the torture of another exorcism. He is only a few years older than Dot and just weeks away from taking vows to be a priest. He will have nothing to do with her torture, and removes Dot from her mother’s home.Dot has been physically and mentally abused, isolated and oppressed. She knows nothing of life and love, but Killian talks to her in a way that calms her. He answers all of her questions without accusation or judgement. Neither of them has ever been in a loving relationship, and both of them are unfamiliar with passion and romance, still they fall for each other. What follows is their struggle. Forbidden starts as a dark romance and transforms quickly but with angst, and ends beautifully. This was my first book by Charlotte Stein, and I intend to read more. She has a captivating and fiery tone, and I really enjoyed this quick read.“Tell me how I should be kissed. Tell me how.”“Like your mouth is a sweet, ripe peach at the end of a journey across a barren and brutal desert. Like nothing could ever stop your mouth from his. Like he would burn down the world just to feel you in his arms and put his lips against yours…”

  • Fable
    2018-09-20 20:21

    The only thing that disappointed me about this book is that I read it so fast! I wanted it to go on forever. Ms. Stein has such a wonderful way of putting you right in the moment with her characters, and after everything Dot had been through, I just wanted so badly for her to be happy. Killian was such a fabulous hero. Torn between duty and love, watching his muted (and sometimes not so muted) longing for the heroine was painful but also beautiful. The scene where he describes what he wants to do to her killed me. I could have used a little more heat in this book, but I thought it fit well with this couple and the theme. Oh yeah, the theme. Call me a pervert but I love stories where religious people are "tempted" into gettin' dirty. So double points just for that ;)Bottom line, I really loved this story and can't wait for Charlotte's next work! ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for honest review

  • J
    2018-09-25 01:28

    This was an okay read about a forbidden love between a priest in training and a horribly abused girl whose mother has taken exorcism to a gruesome level. The to-be priest rescues the girl. They both start having feelings for each other, starting acting them a little and then a lot. I won't spoil the ending but it seemed a little rushed and not nearly as deeply emotional as it could have been.Of course, my standard for priest/lay person romances is "The Thorn Birds" and I'm afraid this wasn't even close to the same league.

  • Jessi
    2018-09-23 02:22

    Engrossing & uplifting.Charlotte Stein’s introspective voice brings what is already a compelling story about a priest rescuing a woman from an abusive home to a level of artistry I rarely find in romance. I’ll give five stars to anything that entertains me and keeps me thinking about the characters after I put down the book. This one feels bigger than most of my 5-star reads in that every aspect of the book was so amazingly well done.ConceptCS hit me where I live with this one. As someone passionate about God, romance, Ireland, and female sexuality, this book hit all my buttons in the best possible way. It opens on a young woman tied to her bed. In point-of-view so deep I swear I was lying there with her, she anticipates whatever hell her crazy-ass mother has in store for her after summoning a priest to exorcise the filthy demons out of her. But when the priest arrives, he is far from what she thought he’d be. He is young, compassionate, and intriguing to look at. His name is Killian, and he’s a few weeks from taking his vows, so he’s not technically a priest yet.He cuts her bonds and literally carries her from her house, and as she watches the house get smaller and smaller, one of the best chapter endings I have ever read brought me to tears. Here is just a snippet:The breezy autumn air hits my fevered skin and I breathe out for the first time in years. The breathing out sounds kind of like a sob. It comes out loud at any rate —so loud I know he must hear it for what it is. But if he does, he gives no sign. He just keeps on walking to his car, while I look back over at the clapboard place I lived in all these years. Somehow I understand that I’m not ever coming back to it.-- (Kindle Locations 101-104)CharactersDot obviously has issues. Her mother abused her horribly. She has had very little contact with the world outside her house and her abuse. And yet, she is not stupid. She understands that she is being rescued. She has seen TV occasionally and read books, and she has a good grasp of the general operation of the outside world.For example, when Killian shows her the TV in her motel room and asks her if she would like to watch anything she says:“I wish I knew what I’d like most. I guess one time there was this spaceship show—” “Do you mean Star Trek?” “It could be that I mean Star Trek. I’m kind if afraid to say though in case that’s the most famous thing in the world and I’m the only one who doesn’t know much about it.”--(Kindle Locations 483-486)Part of why Dot is so endearing is that she knows she’s missing so much experience. She’s been extremely sheltered, but she’s not a fool. She makes quick deductions and adapts to the world outside her mother’s craziness like a champ.Killian has issues too. He has his reasons for pursuing a career in the church, but from Dot’s perspective, we see him battling an attraction to his charge. The attraction is sweet. Then it is hot. Then it is incendiary. It is just how powerful attractions are, and both Dot and Killian have reasons not to follow where it leads.But. They are pretty much powerless to resist it at the same time, such is its power.RomanceYep. There’s lots. CS has a style where an action occurs or something is said, and then her character thinks about it and thinks about it. She wonders at tone of voice and expressions and her own lack of experience. She doubts. She hopes. She squashes those hopes. She hopes again. And then she says something, and the dialog is such a perfect expression of all of that even though it’s only one sentence.With a lot of writers, being in a character’s head so much gets tedious. Never with CS. I didn’t find one unnecessary thought in Dot’s head. It was all vital to her development as a character, to the story, and to the romance.SexYep. There’s lots. Not always in action. There’s a lot of sex in Dot’s wonderings, insecurities, and hopes. There’s such sweet vulnerability in her desires. She’s a woman, but every sensual thought she has ever had has been run through the filter of her crazy mother. She is wanton. She is filthy. She is possessed. But really, she is normal, and it takes Killian’s compassion—and his attractiveness stimulating all those sensual thoughts—to help her learn that there truly is nothing wrong with her.Possibly my favorite snippet from the whole book shows this so much better than I can say it:Nothing could be more wicked, I think, and nothing could feel less like it is. Instead it seems divine to me, as sweet as the sky on a summer day and twice as open. Twice as bright.--(Kindle Locations 1495-1496).This is how Dot experiences sensuality after her mother has tried and tried to teach her there is nothing okay about it. Why the good experience? Simple. Killian.He’s a hero in more than just literary designation. To me, he’s a concept representing the hope that awaits when young people get inundated with religion gone haywire. God is good. Religion is good. Faith is good. Unfortunately, perversions of religious tenets abound. Charlotte Stein’s Forbidden is a salve for anyone who has emerged from stifling teaching to find that maybe what their pastor said is wrong. Maybe the guilt in their heart is coming from well-meaning but misguided people, not God. Maybe, just maybe, they are normal, and God is okay with that. Maybe they are worthy of love just as they are.If this idea resonates with you too, You Gotta Read Forbidden by Charlotte Stein.

  • Joan (official heroine hater)
    2018-09-29 01:38

    Another Charlotte Stein that I enjoyed but I wish it had been longer. I wanted to see and hear more about these characters. The last part felt a little to rushed to wrap it all up. This author isn't for everyone-her characters are often very strange/weird and the heroine's POV and inner monologue can be overwhelming at times. Normally, this would be something that would drive me nuts but for some strange reason, with this author, it just works for me.

  • Saunders
    2018-10-05 00:29

    illicitly good.

  • Christine
    2018-09-22 02:41

    This book was a little weird from the characters to the concept. Stein has an interesting way of writing that either makes or breaks a story. Unfortunately for this one, it just didn't work for me.

  • Ana
    2018-09-21 23:20

    Forbidden is the second of Charlotte Stein’s novels of longing and thwarted desires for Avon Impulse. In the first book, Intrusion, featured two characters deeply scarred by violence whose desire is paralyzed by fear. In this novel, the hero Killian is a young Irish seminarian months away from taking priestly vows when he learns of young woman held captive by her mother somewhere in the deep South, when the mother ask the priests in his Boston-area seminary to perform an exorcism.Dot has spent a large part of her life, confined and abused by her unbalanced mother, who has equated her daughter’s puberty and budding sexual interest with demon possession. Killian rescues Dot not just by carrying her out of her mother’s home, getting her medical attention, & finding her a refuge, but by he talks to her. His voice and words soothe Dot when she is at her most anxious. He answers her questions and refuses to condemn or stifle any of her bubbling curiosity. They can talk of innocent things for hours but they are both terribly aware of the taboo of doing more than enjoying each other’s conversation. Stein instills deep eroticism to intertwined hands, momentary touches, and the warmth of felt by two people desperately trying not to touch each other. What I loved:Stein is a master of first-person narration, and she doesn't disappoint in this novel. She is able to convey Dot’s progression from traumatized oversensitive tentative fearful anxiousness, to growing confidence and near-certainty about her feelings and desire. Dot’s feelings, desires and wants might overwhelm her at times but she learns to see them not sinful, dirty or wrong. She moves from passiveness to aggressiveness in believable trajectory.Limited by Dot’s point of view, the reader shares in her the confusion about Killian’s true desires and motivations. She comes recognizes his frustrated wants, reading his blushes, the clench of his fists, the way he holds himself taut. She see in him desire equal to her own, but is not certain of his own willingness to claim them. She recognizes that he is drawn to her thirst and enthusiasm for feeling but is conflicted and tortured by Dot’s unwavering awareness of him. I appreciated that the characters raised most the questions I would have had about their relationship. Killian questions Dot’s attachment to him, his fear of having failed her by not being able to hide his attraction and interest in her while she was under his care. Dot wrestles with herself as to whether she should feel guilty over Killian’s desire for her and how it conflicts with his aspirations.What I didn't:I felt that while the climatic conflict and ending were consistent with the story and brought to romantic resolution, I wished it had gone slightly differently. It felt abrupt to have the antagonist & lots of other dangling worries addressed off-page and have their tidy resolution reported in a single sentence.However if you want to be smeared with the squishy gooey feelings, immersed vicariously in new-found sensation and relish Dot’s self-discovery, Forbidden has that and more.4 starsI received a digital review copy of Forbidden from the author, Charlotte Stein.

  • Maria Rose
    2018-09-30 23:41

    I've learned to expect the unexpected from Charlotte Stein and this is another example of the quality of her imagination in creating a romance between an abused woman and the priest-in-training who saves her, a story unique in premise and plot. I confess (ha! appropriate for the priest hero) that I had some trouble with the first chapter, only because I am sensitive to issues of abuse in stories, and without giving away any spoilers this may also trouble other readers. But I persevered and found that once that was out of the way, the rest of the story was actually very sweet (with the requisite sexy of course). I liked both characters in the story. Dot is trying to find her way again out in the world, learning to change her perception of herself from what she's always known. The story is told entirely from her point of view and while Killian is her savior, she also develops real romantic feelings for him. Killian is tender and caring, horrified at Dot's situation and determined to make it better. He has issues with her feelings for him in that he believes they are not true - that they stem from him rescuing her and that this has coloured any thoughts of him in her mind. But he can't resist her either and between the two of them the chemistry ignites. Overall I quite enjoyed this story for it's uniqueness and sweet love affair. 4 stars.

  • ☕ Kimberly
    2018-10-14 01:25

    Espresso Review of ForbiddenIn Forbidden, we meet Dorothy “Dot” tied to her bed in her mother’s home. Mommy dearest is trying to save her and believes she is possessed by the devil. A priest is coming to perform an exorcism, but instead Killian appears a young man preparing to take his vows. She falls for him, and he struggles as he is tested. The tale took me through many emotions from sadness to anger as these characters went from trust to passion. I struggled, as I needed more development within the relationship. The passion and forbidden fruit I understood but I would have liked more depth. For such a short story, Stein touches upon some hot topics concerning faith and premarital sex.  Charlotte Stein touches the dark and shines light upon it.copy provided by publisher This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer

  • SuperWendy
    2018-09-27 21:25

    I liked this one quite a bit, although I wasn't in love with it like the last book in the series, Intrusion. I liked how nice the hero was. OMG, what a nice guy! And I liked that the author wrote a sheltered, somewhat naive and innocent, heroine without going all creepy with it. She doesn't come off stupid and ignorant and he doesn't come off like a creep-o who is attracted to her only for innocence. Stein does have a unique writing style and I felt she reins it in considerably with this story, which was positively restrained by her standards. However there is quite a bit of internal monologuing and I really, really wanted more dialogue. Still, it's an interesting story and I enjoyed reading it. Looking forward to the next novella in the series.

  • Jackie
    2018-10-04 20:25

    Not my favorite Stein novella, but still worth reading. A young woman who has been continually abused and incarcerated by her God-fearing (read insane) mother is rescued by a seminarian who has been called by the mother to perform an exorcism on her evil daughter. Killian, the almost-priest, is kind and considerate, and Dot, the young woman, knows that she'd probably develop feelings for anyone who took her away from her horrific mother. Killian brings Dot to Boston, where she lives with other young women the church supports, and where she occasionally sees Killian. Turns out, though, that Dot isn't the only one who's been nursing a crush...Didn't care much for the book's ending, but Dot's tight POV, and the tortuous longing of forbidden love makes for compelling reading.

  • Ana Trofin
    2018-09-25 01:24

    One word review: interesting! an almost priest rescues a scared girl and together they discover love. Well a lot of things happen, there's fire, there's a great road trip and most of all there's acceptance and nothing is forbidden anymore :)

  • Tara
    2018-10-01 22:32

    This is definitely for people who like this kink, because there isn't much else to it, and very little sex, though it is still very sexy.

  • Emma
    2018-10-03 00:29

    2.5 stars. Ok story but short (144 pages). Disappointing that the rest of the book (nearly 80 pages) was full of extracts for other novels.

  • Rowena
    2018-09-23 00:44

    3.5 stars

  • Elisabeth Lane
    2018-09-24 20:28

    The basic premise of Forbidden is that heroine Dot has been abused by her mentally ill, religiously Catholic mother for her entire life. We get the idea that Dot's about 20 years old. And apparently this mother has somewhere found priests willing to try exorcisms on the heroine to drive out the demon that her mother says she has. It's unclear whether these were all Catholic priests or other types of religious folk. I had a little trouble with this setup, mainly because exorcisms haven't been at all common for a very long time, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, though I suppose if they'd occur anywhere, they'd happen in Louisiana where this book is set. But generally speaking, finding an exorcist would be, well, quite a task? I actually knew a Catholic exorcist once, but he was ancient then and is dead now. And despite the fact that he and I didn't agree on much, he never, ever would have taken her mother's word on this girl being possessed. I just had a little trouble talking myself into the idea that there would have been multiple priests in her past who could have been talked into trying such a thing. But the setup is what the setup is and it's Charlotte Stein so I was willing to suspend disbelief, go with the idea that it could happen one time, and press on.Enter Killian, the young seminarian three months from, I guess, ordination? Well, ordination doesn't generally work like that. He's apparently around 25 years old maybe. Which doesn't really compute since it takes at minimum 8 and a half years after high school to become an ordained Catholic priest. Plus through a quirk of my job history, I've known a lot of people discerning calling to priesthood. The reason Killian has for becoming a priest would be a red flag for any advisor. I'd have told him to pray some more, see a counselor and look into other ways of helping the mentally ill because that's not quite what being a priest is about in Catholicism or anywhere else. At least, not the only thing. Certainly not the main thing.But okay, so leaving aside the question about whether, in my mind, Killian should have been considering the priesthood at all, and the circumstance of their meeting, we get to the romance. Dot has been forbidden to do lots of things including eating candy and watching television and reading books. And definitely anything "carnal" was out of the question. So she has been very sheltered and is curious about lots of things. The idea that she is now "allowed" basically anything she wants is very freeing for her. The idea that she might be allowed to want Killian is slow-developing, but in Stein's inimitable style, they blunder toward being together, a device she repeats in nearly every book and which I love whole-heartedly.But Killian has reservations, as well he should. First, he is about to take vows of chastity and is supposed to be living as though he had already taken those vows. He doesn't think that sex is a sin exactly, but he does think sex is a sin for him. Which it, well, is. He doesn't think in terms of damning his immortal soul, but that's basically what we're talking about here in terms of Catholic theology. At the very least, he'd have to confess it. Whatever you think of the Catholic church's insistence upon priestly chastity (and I don't think much), those are the rules. Second, Killian has saved Dot from a very gruesome situation and he has done so in the operation of his duties as a soon-to-be priest. And while he does pause for half a breath to consider whether their relationship is based on him being her savior, he is easily convinced when she tells him she wants it.I had real ethical challenges with this. Under no circumstances should a priest, Catholic or not, ever put himself or herself in that kind of situation. It's the same as a teacher sleeping with a student, a therapist sleeping with a client, a boss sleeping with an intern. It's forbidden for reasons of power and influence, even if it's only perceived. And while sometimes bucking these "thou shalt nots" works for me in romance (it did in Jeffe Kennedy's Under His Touch), it didn't totally here. While the other social and sexual mores that this novel rebels against are perfectly reasonable and rational in my mind, this one isn't. There are good reasons why sexual contact is forbidden between spiritual counselors and the troubled people they're counseling. If Dot had been in therapy or been given anything more than mindless platitudes from the Sisters of the halfway house where she's staying and the romance developed over more time, perhaps I could have excused it. Maybe. But it happens over the course of three months where she moved from one sheltered environment to another. It just seemed like a situation ripe for development of excruciatingly unhealthy codependence. But the trope we're working with here is "forbidden love" so it feels churlish to complain about it.It's not the first time I've had this problem with a romance. When I reviewed Alexis Hall's Liberty last month, that was basically one of my two problems with Ruben as a character. He's intended to save Milord's immortal soul (or at least keep him from being burned alive) and instead he winds up having sex with him. But those stories were always going to be about Picadilly and Byron Kae for me, not Ruben and Milord, so it wasn't a deal-breaker. And fantastically, I like the idea of sex being used as a curative, restorative process (I have a D&D character based on this concept, in fact), but at least in my opinion, it's not a picture that fits very well within the framework of Christian theology and certainly not within Christian ministerial ethics. If either of these were real-life situations, I would be squalling to the rooftops. And it seems that it's not so easy to let go of for me in fiction either. In both cases, the characters in question are not-quite-priests, but it's a semantic distinction that holds no power for me. Any Christian put into a position of spiritual advising shouldn't then go and have sex with the person they're supposed to be helping. Introducing such powerful physicality to that interaction feels dangerous to me.All of that said, I still really enjoyed the book. As usual with Stein, the sex is super hot. It plays with the shame of forbidden love in really interesting ways that worked for me because explorations of guilt and sex where sex comes out on top always work for me at some level. Plus Dot has the almost supernatural ability to read Killian's every twist of a mouth and lift of an eyebrow, which sometimes seems contrived in romance, but sadly, makes perfect logical sense for a survivor of abuse. When reading a person's mood becomes necessary to survival, you get really good at it. And the poverty described in the book also rang true for me. Having all the choice available from a large shop when all she has ever had before is threadbare clothing completely overwhelms Dot, a fact that Killian understands even when Dot really doesn't. Also, Stein's voice is so powerful. She is a master at writing characters who are understood to be very odd on the outside, but their internal landscape makes complete sense of their oddness. It results in incredibly empathic reading and I can never resist any of her books because of it.So, leaving aside theological, ethical and logistical questions, I liked the book. Even though I had qualms about how it all plays out, the overarching theme of nothing being forbidden appealed to me. Especially in this case--the case of someone who has been so harmed by what her horribly misguided mother thought of as church teachings. For Dot to get her happy ending with the man of her dreams was immensely satisfying. And sometimes in romance, that's enough to get me out of a pretty deep, dark hole.Disclosure: Charlotte Stein and I have a friendly Twitter relationship and I received a complimentary copy of Forbidden for review purposes, though I also bought a final copy.

  • Sm
    2018-09-28 01:40

    told from Dot's POVthere is definitely some uncertainty around the whole rescuer-rescued dynamic, but they manage to work through it in their own way (view spoiler)[ and I like that she manages to stand on her own in her new life and that she makes the decision to go on her own to the bus station, after the crazy old man chases her away, even though she's scared to be without Killian(hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[ she grew up with a crazy mother and is battered and innocent, but resilienthard to know what is as-is and what is filtered through her innocenceFather Lucas is crazy senile and tries to break them up, but they persevere! Killian does not desert her and they make it to Ireland loved Stein's humor "All I got is words from books about foggy or misty or heated eyes, like desiring someone is closer to a weather report than a feeling"and truth morsels "People choose to do what they do, and they can choose not to" (WORD!) (hide spoiler)]

  • Beanimous
    2018-09-21 20:20

    I always believe, in order to appreciate Charlotte Stein's book, the reader must be in a proper head space and mentally prepare themselves before embarking on the journey.Reading her book, is very much like embarking a journey, for me. One rarely finish the journey completely the same. Charlotte changes my head, she always does. There something she does with her words that changes my brain, the way I think and the way I write. It is very uniquely Charlotte, and although I sometimes don't always rate her books 4-5 stars, it never change the fact that her book is different, refreshing, with interesting characters and intriguing.This book is the same, I can't say that I really enjoyed it, but it is one of those book I will remember.

  • Tiffany
    2018-10-06 03:41

    In case I haven't said it enough: Charlotte Stein owns my romance-loving soul. Forbidden is a story about a taboo romance but it's also so much more. Ultimately, it's about one young woman's liberation. She has lived her whole life until now with others telling her what she is and who she should be. Finally, now, she gets to choose for herself. The main female character, Dot, has an insanely religious mother. Her mother reminded me a lot of Carrie's mother in Stephen King's book. Essentially, Dot's mother is convinced that Dot is possessed, so she sends for someone to exorcise the demon from Dot. Enter Killian, who's not quite a priest but almost. When he arrives in Louisiana, he pretty much takes one look at Dot--(view spoiler)[who, courtesy of her mother, is tied up and basically being starved (hide spoiler)]--and he gets her the hell out of there. He saves her life, but he's far from the idyllic knight in shining armor. The place that Dot has known as home, the place she's leaving, is so dark and tainted. She isn't sure how to approach life away from what she has always known, but her soul is convinced that she has to get out.Dot is a fascinating character to me. Her mother's religious fanaticism has colored Dot's every thought and movement, yet Dot still believes the thing she somehow knows to be true: that there's got to be more to life than this hellhole her mother has confined her to. The dogma of her mother--all hellfire and damnation and sinfulness--starts to fade as Dot and Killian drive up to Boston, where Killian is a seminary student. As they get to know each other during their trip, they fall into a comfortable space with each other. From the beginning, it's as if they already know each other--like they have an established friendship that keeps things from being too uncomfortable between them. As they both become aware of their increasing physical attraction, there's plenty of sexual tension. And despite the fact that they don't appear to have much in common on the surface, they seem to have a basic understanding of each other in a world that doesn't understand either of them separately. The book is also fraught with an absolutely intense sense of longing that, for much of the book, positively smolders between Dot and Killian. It's like they're constantly grasping for each other but can never quite reach because Killian always pulls away. (view spoiler)[So when he finally lets go, it's amazing and glorious and I just highlighted so many passages in this book and can't stop gushing over it. (hide spoiler)]As I mentioned, the book is very much Dot's book. It's a discovery of herself--who she chooses and wants to be, as opposed to what has been preached at her and drilled into her brain and body for all her life. That autonomy, her free will, is almost its own character here. Killian's back story is also touched on and I would have liked to learn more about his past, (view spoiler)[especially his experiences with his father (hide spoiler)]. But given that this really feels like Dot's book, I didn't mind so much that his history isn't the primary focus. Of course, the romance between Dot and Killian is also a strong focus. But I really appreciated Dot's journey from an unsure victim to a stronger, confident woman. The ending of the book, in addition to the epilogue, is worth the heartache that's so thick within various parts of the story. The resolution of the book is such a reward. I know that I'll revisit this book in the future. I highly and enthusiastically recommend it. I received an advance review copy of this book from the author.

  • Andrea
    2018-09-25 21:38

    ** 2.5 stars **Forbidden definitely delivered another interesting story from Charlotte Stein. I'm always interested in books that examine the impact of religion on sexuality, so in that respect, I liked Forbidden. There were a few issues that held me up, though. First, I'm not sure that Dot could be so thoroughly changed in the time allotted in a novella. There was just too much baggage and I'm not sure someone with her background could go from thinking she would go to hell for even thinking a mildly dirty thought to extreme dirty talk in a matter of weeks. I mean, the girl didn't even know what the name for a radio was. It sounds like the wind if the wind was a song. It pours right out of his little doodad—you know the thing everyone has with all the songs on it—and I swear I fall in love right away.Another issue is Dot's dialect. All I can taste is him, courtesy of the flickering licks he makes over my lips and the ones I get to do back. I get to just about f-u-c-k his mouth with my tongue and he don’t care nothing about it. I reckon he likes it.I am from the South and yes, I know there are many people in the South who do not use good grammar. They also drive me crazy and I just prefer not to read it. And then....there were lines like these:I swear to God he’s wearing jeans like he just did some fancy thing that jeans-wearing people do.His cheekbones are so big and manly I could bludgeon the counter guy with them, and I’m liable to do it.But his lips are just so soft and mean at the same time—a slash through the middle of some plump piece of fruit—and his tongue is so awesome at licking. <--- I'm pretty sure all tongues are good at licking. THAT IS WHAT THEY DO.Course I nod with all the vigor in the world and say yes in capital letters and all surrounded by gold.I think about it so much my mind overflows and makes a mess all over the floor.His hair is so black spaceships probably get lost in it.They sound rubbed raw and sort of rude, like his thoughts aren’t full of chicken soup or soothing hugs.I guess the author is trying to make Dot sound as ridiculous as possible. I feel like I need Google Translate for idiots.

  • Lacy
    2018-10-11 02:23

    This is a very complex book, it's full of sadness and the torture of a young woman's soul at the hands of her insane mother, who is rescued by a man that has been working towards taking his vows as a priest. Very taboo and I was trying to figure out how does this turn erotic, how is the author going to pull you into that erotic story line with such tragedy at the beginning. “They say I need help. Another exorcism. This is not new. This is my life. Today, I expect to suffer at the hands of a man as warped by superstition and fear as my mother. A man who will torture me in order to save me from things that don’t exist” ForbiddenDorothy (Dot) has been living in a nightmare with her mother, who believes that Dot is evil and possessed by the devil. Dot is kept from society and basically held prisoner by her mother. She is told that a priest is coming to perform an exorcism, but the man that shows up ends up rescuing her and turns out not to be a priest but intends on taking his vows soon. Killian is horrified when he finds Dot, it also brings up painful memories of his own past that he still is having a hard time dealing with.“I burn for Killian - a man who’s intent on protecting me. On healing me.He doesn’t get it. The only thing that can heal me is him. But Killian will soon be a priest. Untouchable. Forbidden.”Dot and Killian's relationship grows, Dot begins to discover herself as a woman who is filled with passion. Killian begins to question himself, if the road that life has led him on is the right one. I know it's hard to imagine how does this story turn into one filled with passion, but it does there is a lot of dialog between Dot & Killian which draws you more into this book. The sexual tension between them at times makes you feel as though you can't breath. Charlotte Stein has a way of putting words down on paper, it reminds me of an erotic dance. I think Forbidden is one of those books that you have to read for yourself and see how you feel about it, I just wish that it was a little longer.