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REVIEW: Forbidden by Lila Dubois

Dear Ms. Dubois:

ForbiddenI purchased this book based upon the good cover and the first paragraph of Mrs. Giggles review. I didn’t read the rest of the review until I was done because I didn’t want to be influenced in the outcome of the book. Surprisingly, I had some of the same issues of Mrs. Giggles, only I would rate this book a bit lower. The main flaw, in my opinion, was the erotic part of this erotic fantasy romance.

The Priestess is one half of the power construct for The Land Between the Seas. It is middle earth-ean construct governed by two moons: Akita, the female and her larger male mate, Ishlay. The Land used to be ruled by the King and his consort, The Priestess. Unfortunately, a lesser King usurped the rightful ruler and destroyed the Priestess-Queen and her successor. Since that time, there has been strife in the land between the usurper King’s line and that of the Priestess.

There was interesting world building. The Priestess takes a small physical incarnation of the Goddess into her body. She alone brings the grace of the Goddess to the land. Her body is serviced and protected by the Zinahs.

They alone were the most trusted men of the Temple and the only people to ever touch the sacred body of the Priestess, but they paid for that privilege with their freedom.

The setup is compelling. In order for the Priestess to continue to call blessings upon her people: rain, sun, protection, the Priestess must engage in rituals. These rituals are, in large part, sexual. The Zinahs, 5 chosen men, offer up their freedom in exchange to protect and service the Priestess. In return, the Priestess must provide succor to all five Zinahs with equal measure. She is the goddess incarnate and therefore it is even forbidden for her to have her own identity let alone love on particular person.

The Priestess is rebellious. She has kept remembrance of her own name, Cryessa, and loves one Zinah over all others. Each time he is sent out to protect her people, she is fearful of his death. The immediate conflict of the good for all versus self satisfaction provides heightened tension.

The problem in creating a number of alpha males to be heroes in subsequent books was that the one chosen for this book seemed bland. In fact, other than his warrior skill, he had no interesting trait. The males served as more of backdrop than an equal partner to the Priestess. Many of the sex scenes in the novel made me giggle inappropriately as the Priestess would employ language more suited to a drill sergeant than the embodiment of the Goddess. The ending was too convenient and didn’t quite seem to fit with the character of the Priestess as you had built in the previous pages.

Your voice has promise that I would like to read more of in the future. I can’t help but wonder if some of the “erotic” were removed if this wouldn’t have been a great mainstream fantasy romance story. B-

Best regards,


This book can be purchased from Liquid Silver books.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 24, 2007 @ 06:40:34

    Haven’t read it, but I might. I love a good fantasy romance.

    But I’ve just got to say… that has to be one of the best covers I’ve ever seen.

  2. Jane
    Jan 24, 2007 @ 08:11:12

    April Martinez is the cover artist I believe. She rocks.

  3. Liz Denler
    Jan 25, 2007 @ 01:11:34

    Personally I loved Forbidden it totally worked for me
    And I can’t wait for the next Zinah book. i still could see them as dominant except for with the priestess

  4. Devon
    Jan 25, 2007 @ 07:00:04

    I thought the description of this one looked interesting at the LS site. I may just have to try it.

  5. TheDean
    Jan 25, 2007 @ 19:55:44

    There is a plot in Forbidden which puts it a cut above most and much of the visual imagery is unique and stunning. Influences on Ms. DuBois’ writing include perfect mistresses of the genre (it is up to the careful reader to discern these), as well as taking some spirit from emerging talents (K. Armstrong, MJ Davidson, et al). As her writing becomes more disciplined with each subsequent book, readers should look for more complicated interaction, involved plots lines and locations, and a tantalizing influence of history and anthropology.

    Since The Dean has been granted a view of snippets of the next text, I can assert that Ms. DuBois has not committed the JAK error or the Quill Pen and Parchment Roll error.

    From the Dean’s Desk

  6. Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary » Dear Author’s Best of 2007 Ebook List
    Feb 10, 2008 @ 19:55:50

    […] Forbidden by Lila Dubois (Fantasy erotic romance with good world building) […]

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