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Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket by [Stone, F.]
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Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 363 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Review

The plot is wonderfully crafted with well-developed characters, nonstop suspense and a good twist to the ending. The setting and political environment make an effective backdrop and I found the Muslim elements very interesting. Ms. Stone adds to this an improbable but beautiful romance. MSEreads

If you're looking for a story that will transport you, this is it. From the very first chapters, my heart thundered along with Eliza's--the foreboding in her gut to what becomes an all-out crisis. The characters are well drawn and believable with intriguing depth. I got a clear sense of Eliza's and Sharif's backgrounds along the way, but the story stays focused on the moment. It takes talent to achieve that, and I'm sure a LOT of hard work.
Equally impressive is the research that went into this book. I've followed the author's blog, so I know she did her homework and enlisted input from experts to create an authentic world. All that research paid off. The cultural elements as well as the legal intricacies feel so real. Forbidden has twists and turns that'll keep your mind whirring. Just when you think you have something figured out, a surprise awaits. The romance between the two leads builds up at a satisfying pace. These are two adults in dire circumstances, not insta-lovey teenagers, and Stone keeps them true to character throughout. There are beautifully written passages along the way to drive their intense emotions home. by Lila

I loved how the author made Islam more understandable to non-followers of the religion. We learn that it is a religion of peace. Kudos to Ms. Stone for shining this light. by Lilicaspace

I felt the story tension, the sense of unease that permeated the air. It is that fear you don't want to acknowledge or admit to yourself. It is when you know, at your core, that things are going get much worse despite the horror you've already experienced. It is a sort of self-denial that allows you to act through horrendous, high-stress events, crisis after crisis, despite the deep terror within. That is the feeling that the author captured making Eliza's PTSD all the more engaging. by Juneta Key

About the Author

On our cattle ranch, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing - humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton's Emergency Services. For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels. My creative DNA shocked me when I was driven to write a dystopian / paranormal / romance novel, The Guardian's Wildchild. After taking several writing courses, I presented the manuscript to Omnific Publishing who published it in 2011. Just when I thought I could get my life back, another story took me prisoner - Forbidden. I couldn't believe there was this kind of story within me and desperate to be told. I resisted. It was futile. Retired and focused on home life, I'm back to being a mom to four pets and one husband. We travel and taste the excitement of other cultures. In between adventures, I've dabbled in water color painting, photography, needle work, gardening - the list goes on. In my next life, I plan to explore the cosmos. I've learned a few things in my seventy years. Thoughts are powerful. Intention is everything. Passion is the key to success.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1069 KB
  • Print Length: 363 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0995150907
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Romance Under Fire (12 Dec. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N2TNTS5
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #793,599 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book starts with a couple of flashbacks to 2013 and 2020 to set the scene. We then meet Canadian paramedic Eliza who has just arrived in the Middle East at Samarra airport in RIPT and is waiting for the rest of the volunteer team to arrive from the US. Eliza has suffered with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for 4 years since being the sole survivor of her family when a tanker crashed into her car.

The team then set off in their bus with a police escort but it is a trap. There is a massacre. Somehow Eliza survives and is then under the police protection of Captain Hashim Sharif. When the Police Chief and Mayor arrive, they insist on a cover-up and Sharif, a devout Muslim, is forced against his will to keep Eliza hidden in his apartment. Over the days they begin to bond.

In his investigations, Sharif discovers that the killers were supposed to have killed him too. But things get worse. With the CIA on their way, Sharif is ordered to execute Eliza, else his family will be in danger. What will Sharif do and who are the killers?

When asked to review this book, I had been initially concerned that it wouldn't be my kind of thing, as it is set in 2047 and in general, I'm not a huge fan of futuristic reads. But I was proved wrong. I really enjoyed this book.

Disclosure. This is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a difficult review to write because there are some really good elements to this book. The author has obviously researched extremely thoroughly. She has also put a huge amount of work into this novel and it is clear that she cares deeply about her characters and about her story.
The plot is a good one and there is plenty of drama here to keep the reader entertained and the two main characters certainly lend themselves to a potentially explosive and compelling romance. There is a good mix of conflict and attraction between the two.
The setting and the story-line are timely and the idea behind the story is sound.
However, in my opinion the novel needs another edit. There are too many issues with both the story and the writing itself that should have been picked up and improved upon prior to publication. There are places where the writing needs tightening. There are common issues like exposition, unnecessary dialogue tags and awkward prose that need a thorough going over.
I also felt that some of the characters were a little stereotypical. And I wasn’t convinced by the ‘seer’ aspect of the story. It felt under-developed and unnecessary.
I do hate to be negative, and I’m sure there will be a lot of readers that will really enjoy this novel. But for me, it needed an extra polish.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you’re looking for a story that will transport you, this is it. From the very first chapters, my heart thundered along with Eliza’s—the foreboding in her gut to what becomes an all-out crisis. The characters are well drawn and believable with intriguing depth. I got a clear sense of Eliza’s and Sharif’s backgrounds along the way, but the story stays focused on the moment. It takes talent to achieve that, and I’m sure a LOT of hard work.

Equally impressive is the research that went into this book. I’ve followed the author’s blog, so I know she did her homework and enlisted input from experts to create an authentic world. All that research paid off. The cultural elements as well as the legal intricacies feel so real.

Forbidden has twists and turns that’ll keep your mind whirring. Just when you think you have something figured out, a surprise awaits. The romance between the two leads builds up at a satisfying pace. These are two adults in dire circumstances, not insta-lovey teenagers, and Stone keeps them true to character throughout. There are beautifully written passages along the way to drive their intense emotions home.

Readers who like suspense with a strong element of romance will love this story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Suspense 27 May 2017
By Jennifer Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At a time when terrorists are perverting the tenets of Islam to pursue their sick agenda, it was welcome and interesting to read the life-affirming aspects of Islam in this story.

Eliza MacKay is a Canadian paramedic joining an American Habitat for Humanity mission to the Middle East. As she tries to calm down in a strange land, she tells herself,

"This is 2047. Women don't wear the burqa now. They even hold government positions."

I like this future! There has been a civil war and a realignment into the Republic of Islamic Provinces and Territories (RIPT).

When the Americans get ambushed and murdered, Eliza survives. Under orders to cover up the massacre, police captain Hashim Sharif wonders who this lovely blonde really is. Sharif grows to care for her, and he protects Eliza from those who want her dead.

Eliza has endured the pain of losing her family in a car accident--a trauma she can't fathom. She thinks the black-haired captain is gruff and untrustworthy at first, but she does admire his deep faith.

"She listened as the ancient city of Samarra woke up. The haunting musical sound of the Muezzin called the devoted. With each of the four daily prayers, the city's ambiance shifted. An air of tranquility was palpable.

Even Eliza, who had no religious convictions, sat in quiet contemplation, deeply moved. She stilled her mind's chatter and waited.

Waited for a thread of wisdom to be shared by The One Most High. Waited for merciful revelation of why she had survived and her little boys had suffered and died.

She eavesdropped on Sharif's prayers. The change in his demeanor struck her. He became like a child singing songs of praise to an adoring father. His devotion to Islam and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad appeared to be based on genuine love, rather than fear of Allah's punishment."

Sharif is troubled himself. His ex-wife left him, and his children are with his father in order to keep them safe. He doesn't know which of his superiors to trust.

The slow burn of romance between Eliza and Sharif is just what each needs to heal and strengthen. I loved how Sharif incites Eliza's anger to help her confront her fear of driving again.

"Women shouldn't be allowed to drive anyway."

Eliza stared venomously into his face. "What did you say?"

"You heard me. Women shouldn't be allowed in the driver's seat. Haven't got the brains or the skill."

She glared at him. "You'll pay for this, I swear."

Sharif sneered. "And you call yourself a paramedic. A paramedic that can't drive! Do all your patients die waiting to get to the hospital?"

Hehe. But my favorite part of the story is the last third when the action kicks up. I thought the long buildup to the exciting action could have been tightened a bit.

I also enjoyed Feather Stone's debut novel, The Guardian's Wildchild, and I'm intrigued by similarities in characterization between these two novels: a feisty heroine who tests the patience of a stern, uniformed man (who is fighting for his children).

It's obvious that the author poured a great deal of love and research into this story. Bravo!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Suspense-Thriller That I could not put down until the last page. 17 Feb. 2017
By TheJadedKat Addicted to Kindle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an engrossing story that sucks you in from the first pages. It’s intense, living up to the “word” thriller. It was like watching an action-thriller movie in my head, which is the way books play out for me if I can really fall into the pages living the story through the characters. The writing is that good.

The blurb tells you about the story so I am not going to try to do that. It gives you a good idea of the story without giving away the exciting parts that keep you turning the pages.

The thing that fascinated me about the character Eliza MacKay was her PTSD and seeing how the author used it to push the story forward, create conflict, obstacles and weave a character that I cared about. The authors use of deep point of was wonderful giving me enough so I related to the character in some sense as I read.

I did not like Captain Sharif at first but he grew on me, making me care just as Eliza had from the first page. I understood him immediately due to the author’s skillful writing. That beginning feeling of dislike and then changing my feelings made that character arc relatable and powerful for me in the story.

These characters are forced to make choices in situation’s created and orchestrated by others that challenge the very core of who they are, what they believe and their own survival in a political-religious arena that has you holding your breath with all the intrigue surrounding them.

I felt the story tension, the sense of unease that permeated the air. It is that fear you don’t want to acknowledge or admit to yourself. It is when you know, at your core, that things are going get much worse despite the horror you’ve already experienced. It is a sort of self-denial that allows you to act through horrendous, high-stress events, crisis after crisis, despite the deep terror within. That is the feeling that the author captured making Eliza’s PTSD all the more engaging.

I would give this book a five-star rating plus. F. Stone is a skillful writer garnering my admiration and fandom. I received this book as an ARC copy free for an honest review and part of the Mystery Thriller Week. However, I could not resist going back to buy her first book, The Guardian’s Wild Child, craving to experience that same sense of adventure and character development again. (Pssst–the first book is .99 cents, right now!

Forbidden was a gripping, high-stakes, high-tension, outstanding read with a touch of romance. This author just made my top ten authors list. Judy, please write more soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Deserves more than 5 stars 29 May 2017
By Phoenix Rainez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When reading FORBIDDEN by Feather Stone I was taken on an exciting journey of sights and sounds, culture and customs of a country I knew nothing about until I read this story.

Her writing was so descriptive I followed in the footprints of the two main characters, Eliza Mackay and Hashim Shariff, as they fought for truth and their lives, amongst endless corruption and deceit. The author pulls you into every detail of the cruel tragedy that brings them together. You experience every moment of anxiety and fear that Eliza and Hashim face and can't help being touched by the feelings they keep locked away fearing rejection.

Throughout this story you are kept on the edge of your seat.
A fast paced story where every word on the page comes to life as if you're  watching a film, a film that I would be biting my nails with my heart racing.

I was amazed when reading the acknowledgements to see how much research went into writing this story and although fiction the author has included factual descriptions in her scenes involving weapons, culture and traditions.

After reading The Guardians Wildchild by Feather Stone I had no doubt that Forbidden would be an exceptional story too and I was not dissapointed. Feather Stone is an author I will be following and looking forward to reading her next book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Page turner. Great plot and characters. 16 Feb. 2017
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love a good thriller, when it grabs my attention. I don't always go for them, but this book definitely peeked my interest. Another thing about this book that intrigued me was Sharif's character. I am always eager to read about multicultural characters. I find them fascinating to read and learn new things.

This book is different from most suspense/thriller books I've read. I take in every aspect and enjoy a good story that gets my blood pumping. (Because I am friggin' lazy and get my share of exercise through the books with active characters.) Page turner. Great plot and characters. First few pages had me wanting to cry. I will be honest. It was those moments alone that gave me insight to where Sharif comes from. I definitely recommend you checking out this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twists within twists 9 Jun. 2017
By Vicki Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a thrill a minute ride this book takes you on. The characters are futuristic and totally awesome. I loved that times had allowed for more freedom for women. I kept following the story and each time I would think it was getting to the conclusion I drew, it would slam-bang me into another direction.

The love story part was really well told and I was happy with the relationship of these two different people. I found this to be a creative and unique storyline that kept me intrigued and on pins and needles.
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