Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: A Forbidden Love

A Love Forbidden (Heart of the Rockies - Book 2) by Kathleen Morgan

Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 310pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0800719715
ISBN: 0800719719

(Received for an honest review from Revell)

Kathleen Morgan on the WEB: Webpage, Facebook

Books In The Series: A Heart Divided (2011), A Love Forbidden (2012)

Coverart: Click on the image for a clearer,larger picture of the books in this series.

Excerpt from A love Forbidden


Moved by the desire for adventure and a yearning to help the Ute Indians, twenty-year-old Shiloh Wainright impulsively accepts a teaching position at the White River Indian Agency in northwestern Colorado. 

The new job, however, isn't what she imagined it would be, and Shiloh soon finds herself caught in the cross fire between the Utes, their unyielding Indian Agent, and the unrealistic demands of the US government.

Her unexpected encounter with Jesse Blackwater, an embittered half-breed Ute and childhood friend, only complicates matters as they battle their growing feelings for each other amidst the spiraling tensions threatening to explode into a catastrophic Indian uprising


Prolific Christian writer, Kathleen Morgan continues her Heart of the Rockies series with a book that transcends race and politics. A Love Forbidden not only takes on an inter-racial relationship but also the political turmoil and treatment of the American Indian tribes in the late 1870's. Morgan's attention to detail and warm, believable characters make this a stand out in the Christian fiction market. The theme is refreshing and original and portrays the struggle of the Ute people in a light some readers have never experienced.

Growing up one of my favorite subjects was history, even as early as grade school. And when it came time to learn about the Indians, I was excited and loved finding out about the kinds of houses they lived in and the kinds of foods they ate etc. I always loved the portrayal of the first Thanksgiving where the Indians and the Pilgrims ate together and forged a new relationship. As I got older and the stories about the Indians grew less favorable, I was sad. When I read about Wounded Knee and the Trail of Tears, I felt great sympathy for the Indian people. 

In my experience it has been rare when an author shows these troubling times in an authentic and believable light. Morgan shows the plight of the Indian nations in stark focus in this book and she doesn't favor the government. What happened to the Native American people was a travesty and I believe it should be portrayed that way and obviously Morgan agrees with me. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book, was the honesty in which it was written. Morgan doesn't shy away from the hard subjects like racial interaction and domestic violence. She looks those issues in the eye and tells the reader like it is. I like that kind of fearlessness in an author. It's hard to find, especially in Christian fiction. 

Shiloh is a really strong character. It takes a lot of courage to give up what you know for the unknown and that's exactly what this character does. She leaves her home and the comparative safety of what she is used to, to go to a place steeped in danger for one reason. She wants to make a difference. She is compassionate and understanding and she also has a deep faith. She trusts God to take care of her in this place and in this situation. The Bible encourages us to believe that God can take care of us in any situation. That doesn't always mean throwing caution to the wind, but doing things in a spirit of faith. Knowing that whatever happens is a part of God's plan. I think Morgan got that message across in a subtle but believable manner. She doesn't hit the reader over the head with it, but weaves it into the fabric of the story.

Jesse was also a very well written and engaging character. Being of mixed race, Jesse's struggles are monumental, especially during this time period. The prejudices that we know now are hardly comparable to what someone in Jesse's situation probably faced. I liked the fact that Morgan did make Jesse bitter or dark. He accepted his situation and made the best of it. He was resourceful and understanding. And sees the great danger that Shiloh has placed herself in. I liked his protective spirit and his love. The relationship is fraught with problems from the beginning. But isn't something worth having worth fighting for? A great love story!

There are many themes in this book, including forgiveness and each character struggles with this in one way or another. Morgan really showed restraint by not letting the secondary characters lead the book. This book focuses on the main couple to a great extent. The supporting cast is there and helps to move the plot, but they do not take over the story. The plot itself is such a driving force that isn't needed. This is a wonderfully written series that I believe Christian fiction readers and historical fiction enthusiasts will both embrace and fall in love with. The Characters are well drawn, the plot is action packed and relevant and the romantic aspects of the story are not cut and dried. Though readers kind of know what's going to happen with Shiloh and Jesse they will still be on the edge of their seats. Morgan makes you think she make take a different direction, even when readers know in there hearts she won't. That was the key to a great book in this case.

A Forbidden Love is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Kathleen was born in sunny Long Beach, California, one of four daughters of a career Army officer.
As a former Army nurse with a master's degree in counseling, she has lived in Germany, Korea, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, Louisiana, Florida, Washington, D.C., Alabama, California, and Colorado. 

She is married to a retired Army helicopter pilot and is the mother of two sons-one deceased- and stepmother to another son and a daughter, both of whom have been very busy making her a grandmother.
In her free time, Kathleen likes to quilt, play the Celtic harp, and be companion and caretaker to an aging English cocker spaniel. She is also a companion and the wifely caretaker to her husband, who is not quite so aged.