Forbidden by Emma Nichols is a story about finding and embracing a love that transcends ethnicity, religion and traditional boundaries.

Ashley isn’t excited about celebrating her birthday in the humid atmosphere of the Syrian oil fields without family members or a lover to share her life. Ashley feels as though she is just going through the motions, drifting from one country to another and she feels isolated even though she is surrounded by dear friends and coworkers.

Ashley’s world changes suddenly when her ex-girlfriend begins to work on the oil rig. Should she give her ex-girlfriend a second chance or should she just forget the past and move on?

Iman faces her own troubles because she lives in a country where heterosexuality is the norm and going against tradition carries severe repercussions. Will Iman be able to accept who she is and will she be brave enough to express her heart’s deepest desires?

The Characters

Ashley is an engineer who works on an oil rig in Syria. She is the only female engineer among fellow expats and local Syrian men. Ashley is passionate about her job and she treats her coworkers as though they are her family. Ashley’s fun-loving and tender-hearted personality endeared her to me but what really won me over was her constant use of swear words and that had me chuckling and smiling throughout this story.

Iman is the local chef who works in the kitchen that serves the engineers. She is very shy and reserved but she also possesses such a nurturing and vibrant nature. My heart melted as I watched Iman come into her own as she expressed her desire to learn more so that she could enhance her cooking skills. I also wanted to comfort her as she struggled to come to terms with her sexuality in a country where homosexuality is seen as an abomination.

The Writing Style

The author swept me away with the breathtaking descriptions of the Syrian landscape. I also appreciated the way each character’s innermost thoughts and emotions were portrayed because I felt as though I was experiencing everything first-hand.

The Pros

I really enjoyed reading about Ashley’s demanding work life on the oil rig. I also enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the culinary delights that Iman created in the oil rig’s cafeteria. 

The Cons

This story contains issues of rape and violence towards women.

aprils favourite booksThe Conclusion

This story and these unforgettable characters will definitely remain in your heart for a very long time. Ashley and Iman are so awesome in their own way and these brave women decided to be true to themselves as they both tried to figure out how to explore the passion between them without compromising their safety. I was drawn to this book at odd hours in the night because I was really anxious to find out what would happen next. If you enjoy stories with a sizzling and complicated romantic theme coupled with a hint of danger lurking in the background, then this is certainly the story for you!

Excerpt from Forbidden by Emma Nichols

“I love cooking. It’s my passion,” Iman responded. The smile that formed, and the soft focus in her eyes, went some way to easing Ash’s apparent awkwardness.

Ash stared, captivated by the warmth in Iman’s light brown irises.

“You’re very good at it,” she said, the words broken, and her mouth dry.

“Maybe.” Iman continued to hold Ash with her curiosity.

Ash broke away from the intense gaze and stared at her fingers, picking at her nails. “Right, I’d better be off. Early start tomorrow,” she said.

“Yes, of course.” Iman lowered her eyes to the table her hands were resting on. She would be preparing breakfast in less than four hours from now.

“Right… see you tomorrow then.” Ash was already staring at the door she was about to dive through.

“Yes. I hope you had a lovely birthday Ash.”

The words halted her. There was something in the tone. “I did, thanks.”

Dashing out the door, she almost fell into the street, her heart racing. She’d only taken two beers and hadn’t even finished the first one. The balmy night air was doing nothing to help her to breathe. She stood for a while, trying to settle the jittery feeling, heightened by the burning sensation low in her belly.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781980642879
  • Publisher: Britain’s Next Bestseller

Emma Nichols Online

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About the author

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My name is April Adams and I am an accountant at a civil service office. Even though I read a wide variety of lesbian fiction, I enjoy mystery and thriller books the most because I love the state of suspense the stories have me in until the end and I find out “who’s done it.”