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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review: Forbidden by F. Stone

This is a gripping, page turner!
by F. Stone
File Size: 904 KB
Print Length: 385 pages
Publisher: Romance Under Fire (December 12, 2016)
Genre: Suspense, Romance
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0

Year 2047, City of Samarra, capital of the Republic of Islamic Provinces & Territories
Fifteen American travelers have vanished. Surrendering to Mayor Aamir's demands, a devout Muslim and police captain becomes the reluctant keeper of his city’s bloody secret – and the witness, Eliza MacKay. Captain Sharif is horrified to discover that if he exposes the cover-up, his family will suffer dire consequences.
The CIA has the lying Sharif in their cross hairs. Sharif’s only hope is to prove his country's government is free of guilt. Secretly, he hunts forensic evidence. Cryptic messages, backstabbing informants, and corruption threaten Sharif’s resolve to see justice served. When he discovers the shocking truth, he and MacKay become the targets of a ruthless killer.
Sharif is tortured by his attraction to the impetuous Eliza MacKay. In spite of her struggle with PTSD, he’s drawn to her vivacious personality. Islam forbids the intimacy he craves. In desperation to save Eliza, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

Eliza, a Canadian paramedic, traveled to the City of Samara to work with an American Habitat team. Eliza struggles with crippling PTSD episodes as she tries to recover from a traumatic loss a few years past. The Habitat convoy is diverted to a police compound where they are massacred. The real police engage the terrorists at the last minute, rescuing a terrified Eliza. Captain Sharif, a devout Muslin, takes Eliza into custody, first to confirm she wasn’t part of the attack and then to keep her safe.

Sharif’s superiors threaten his family if he doesn’t cover-up the killings and silence the sole surviving witness. Sharif struggles to find a way to save Eliza, even acting behind her back. Eliza respects Sharif’s dedication to his faith and to his duties as an officer of the law. She knows that he is trying to protect her but she doesn’t appreciate not being privy to the plans to hide her away.

Sharif is forced to lie to the CIA agent who arrives to find the bodies of the Americans and bring in the killers. Sharif must intensify his efforts to obtain proof of the corruption in his own government as the CIA agent holds him under suspicion.

Sharif and Eliza grow in friendship as they share close spaces and learn of each other’s vulnerabilities. Eliza knows that she does not fit in Sharif’s world and any relationship between them is forbidden. Sharif, who has convinced himself that he is not worthy of love, struggles to maintain his strict code of honor even as he is drawn to the brave, impetuous Eliza. Can they find the strength to acknowledge their love, assuming they can survive the multiplying threats to their freedoms and their very lives?

The plot is wonderfully crafted with well-developed characters, nonstop suspense and a good twist to the ending. The setting and political environment make an effective backdrop and I found the Muslim elements very interesting. Ms. Stone adds to this an improbable but beautiful romance.

The primary characters are real, flawed and courageous. It was natural to root for them to beat the enemy and accept their love for one another. I also liked the secondary characters and would like to read more about all of them. There were some typographical errors but the story is well worth reading. I hope to try more of Ms. Stone’s work very soon. I highly recommend this story to readers who like action packed suspense with romance.

I picked this up in December from a source new to me: Reading Deals. This qualifies for 2017 TBR and “F” in 2017 Alphabet Challenge.


  1. Thank you, my dear reviewer, for your beautiful comments about my novel, Forbidden. I am so pleased you enjoyed it. Blessings
    F. Stone / Feather Stone / Judy Weir

  2. I'm not a super fan of action but I'm glad you enjoyed this one :)

  3. Great review that echoes what I was fortunate to read at the critique stage, when Feather Stone / Judy Weir read my manuscript. I would add my recommendation to this one.

    1. Thank you, Roland. Wishing you great success.

    2. And deserved success to you as well.


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