I finally found time on my holidays to read Forbidden. What a wonderful story of love, passion and adversity. This hit the spot for me because I love to read books that feel like I am looking in on everyday people and their joys and struggles. This story took place in the year of my birth and showed homophobia as the crime that it is. Although we have a long way to go, I want to believe that such love can be celebrated without fear today! Thank you for sharing your passion!
Forbidden by Matthew Freake is a profound telling of true love in the face of adversity. Things were quite different in our world in the 1950's regarding who could love whom in terms of gender and race. Anything out of what the general populace thought was "normal" was despised and considered illegal, and violence was the way of the land - all you have to do is search the internet and you'll find prime examples of the horrific behaviors committed against people who were deemed "different" by others. We've made leaps and bounds in society today but still have a long way to go.
The only real issue I had with Forbidden is that Nathan's feelings were more vibrant than Alex's throughout the entire story. The unequal level almost gave their romance a one-sided feel. Even now, I'm still not sure that Alex loved Nathan as much as Nathan loved him. I truly felt Nathan's love but Alex seemed distant - maybe it's because of the time in history - Alex forced himself to be cool and aloof to avoid "suspicion." This didn't detract from the story, it's just something that I noticed as I was reading along.
Forbidden reads more like a diary than a story. which is a different from anything else I've read. The way that Matthew wrote the story gives it a realistic and believable quality that is so important to me. I felt the uncertainty, the joy, the pain, and ultimately, the devastation.
Forbidden by Matthew Freake was the first LGBT Romance I have read (other than a YA Paranormal Romance with some LGBT characters). I've also never really read from the romance genre either, unless it was a romance second and some other genre first. For my first toe dipping into this world, I enjoyed it. The author handles dialogue well, and is masterful at conveying the emotions of the scene, I always knew what the emotional "read" of scene was supposed to be. Like other reviewers, I felt a little unattached and removed from the characters (more like I was watching them instead of living it with them) but there was the beginnings of good hooks and I would like to see what this author writes in the future.
I enjoyed that it was a period piece set in the fifties, but would have preferred the setting to be more integral to the story, I was left feeling like it was a back drop to the romance between Nathan and Alex and not a focal point in and of itself. Some more setting description of the locations, and going into greater depth about the fashions, and the rail road worker lifestyle would have enhanced the story for me. Right now it's a pretty back drop, but the history lover in me yearns for it to be more than a pretty face.
I wish the book was longer, and the romance was slow down a little, I think that might have helped me form a better attachment to Nathan and Alex. If it was longer, I would have liked to learn more about the other workers. But as far as complaints go "I wish it was longer" is a good one, it means that I wanted more of the story, and more of the authors words.
Overall, great book, and I am happy I read it. We need more diverse voices this day and age. I would love it if this author decided to tackle some YA LGBT fiction too, as I think a lot of teens would benefit from it.
Lindsay (pulled from Amazon.com)
So I just finished reading Matthew Freake's Forbidden. I must start by saying that I am not generally an avid reader of stories written around romance in anyway shape or form, finding myself leaning more towards post apocalyptic stories (zombies, plagues etc. yup hokey I know) but I wanted to expand my reading and this peaked my interest. As an overall read I have to say the writing style was fantastic. I found the flow of the read very easy which is nice, because jumping into any type of different story is difficult. The relationship that grew between Nathan and Alex was well developed, it worked well in the story, and most importantly I believed it. I found the setting gripping me into the story, having the setting so close to home was interesting to me. The difficulty in writing a story about a same sex relationship and placing it in a time in history where that world was enveloped in hate and secrecy and distain must have been monumental but Matthew did a fantastic job. I must say I knew the ending wasn't going to be all "sunshine and puppy dogs" but I wasn't prepared for how quickly the characters were going to pull me in, being a shorter book, and I was much more saddened at the end than I was ready for, which was part of the point of the story. Love found/Love lost. All in all a fantastic read, well written, the characters were all fantastic and easy to relate to. And I would definitely recommend this book to anyone like me who is not a fan of romance novels, because this was not a "Harlequin Romance," but the story of real love developed and grown and lost. Thanks Matthew for a great read and for making my transition into a different genre easy.
James Mace (pulled from Facebook)