Forbidden Hearts by Corinne Michaels is a small town single dad romance that jumps the Shark.
GAWD!! I should have loved this book! Forbidden Hearts seemed to have all the elements I love: a single dad falling for his nanny, a grumpy character paired with a sunshine personality, the allure of a forbidden romance, and an enticing age gap.
With great anticipation, I delved into the book, hoping for one of my favorite reads of the year. However, my expectations didn’t quite match the reality.
Before I get full into my review I do want to talk about the disability rep in this book. Our Hero’s daughter Asher is deaf. They live in a small town in PA. It was so relatable about the lack of education to other in a small community. The fact that the family had to drive for support services. That the school and community did not do a great job with inclusion. All of this is incredibly relatable.
From the beginning, I struggled with the writing style. The author’s frequent use of elongated words instead of contractions, like “cannot” instead of “can’t,” created a sense of formality that did not quite connect with the characters. It felt somewhat out of touch, making it challenging to truly immerse myself in their world. The natural flow of conversation was missing.
Where was the witty banter. This choice in writing style ages the book taking out the whimsy in fun I expect in romance. I felt like the author was trying to elevate the book to being something it wasn’t- especially with a small town name of Sugarloaf?
Asher, was fine as a character. The coparenting relationship between him and his ex worked I great. It was nice to read a single parent romance where the ex isn’t garbage. I wish he wasn’t a cop. I am not a huge fan of police in my romance, it just isn’t for me.
Phoebe is young. She reads young. She is great with Asher’s daughter Olivia. But god could the girl make a decision. I did at times find her wishy-washy and indecisive not sure what she really wanted.
The last 3rd of the book really cemented my feelings on this book.
Here is where the author Jumped the Shark- like got the Fonz up on the water skis and went full in on it. Cheese and Rice!!
The last 25% of the book was a joke- like it did not even fit in with the characters. It was unnecessary conflict in the third act. It felt contrived and cheap, undermining the authenticity of the story. Rather than drawing me closer to the characters, this plot twist made me root for their union even less.
Despite having all the ingredients, I usually adore in a story, Forbidden Hearts fell short for me. The writing style and forced conflict kept me from fully enjoying the book and left me yearning for a more genuine connection with the characters and their journey.