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Forbidden: An Under the Skin Novel by [Stein, Charlotte]
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Forbidden: An Under the Skin Novel Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in An Under the Skin (3 Book Series)

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Length: 208 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1168 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Red Impulse (27 Jan. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K53D446
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #351,898 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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Forbidden’ is the second book in Charlotte Stein’s ‘Under the Skin’ series. It’s an apt title: it sparks all sorts of salacious thoughts. Don’t we all want things even more when we’re told we can’t have them?

Well, wanting a soon-to-be priest might be fairly close to the top of most people’s lists of things they can’t have; however, our hero and heroine meet under extraordinary circumstances and their relationship develops in an intense and unusual way. Charlotte Stein is the queen of awkward, sexy erotica. That sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it really does. Her previous books are funny as well as being sexy as hell and I love that.

Stein has diverted from her usual style with this ‘Under the Skin’ series. I felt the books have more character development and emotion. The stories are darker and more lyrical than her previous ones. There is some truly beautiful writing here: words and phrases that made me sigh and go straight back to read again. Killian basically seduces Dot (and the reader) with his gorgeous words when he describes Dot:

“That light in your eyes always calling to me and the way it burns when I come.

How can I not when you are as lovely as the sun on some December day?”

She seems to be intent on setting a certain atmosphere and exploring more serious themes in these books and that works for the most part. It took me a few pages to get into the Southern American dialect of the narrator, a young woman called Dot. I just wasn’t expecting it and it jarred a little initially. One of Stein’s talents though is to make the reader care about her narrator. Dot’s voice is clear and honest and soon drew me in. She is in turn innocent and sensual.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

What can I say, I am a big fan of Charlotte Stein so I was expecting to love this book and I wasn't disappointed. It's sexy and raw and packed with emotions. The book starts with Dot tied to a bed, not an unusual place for an erotic romance, except that it is her mother that has restrained her. A priest is on his way to exorcise Dot's demons, except she doesn't have any, and when the priest arrives he does what Dot least expects and takes her away from her torment. Killian is a man only weeks from becoming a priest, a gentle and good man who saves Dot from her terrible life and reassures her that all the things she has been told are wrong are only normal. You see where this is going. Anyway, I don't want to spoil the fun! All i will say is that the 'forbidden' side of the book is handled really well with neither Dot or Killian coming over as corrupting influences. Rather they find themselves through each other.

This book reminded me a bit of Sheltered - another book by Charlotte Stein. If you like this and haven't read that one I recommend!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I am without doubt a Charlotte Stein fan. Whilst I think Intrusion is slightly better I still loved this book. I love that Charlotte can write all the things that go through our minds in a way that makes them deep and funny.

Great read.
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Charlotte Stein, again, gives us totally compelling characters and plenty of the right kind of tension. 5 stars from me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking 25 Feb. 2016
By Justirishgirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dot's story is an interesting yet a heartbreaking one. Dot is a girl who is abused and neglected by her mentally ill mother. Her mother keeps her confined, limiting all contact with other people. Her mother thinks that she has a devil living inside of her that needs to be exorcized. Killian is a young soon to be ordained pastor who has heard of how Dot is being mistreated. He rescues her and takes back to Boston with him so she can be cared for.

The problem is that the story is from Dot's point of view only. The picture that is painted is sometimes inaccurate as her ability to read people and situations is sometimes wrong. It took me awhile to differentiate between her fantasy and dreams and reality. Also Killian never felt real to me and the forbidden element was not felt. Hearing his voice would have helped with both of those things.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing & uplifting 17 Feb. 2015
By Jessica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Charlotte Stein’s introspective voice brings what is already a compelling story about a priest rescuing a woman from an abusive home to a level of artistry I rarely find in romance. I’ll give five stars to anything that entertains me and keeps me thinking about the characters after I put down the book. This one feels bigger than most of my 5-star reads in that every aspect of the book was so amazingly well done.

Concept

CS hit me where I live with this one. As someone passionate about God, romance, Ireland, and female sexuality, this book hit all my buttons in the best possible way.

It opens on a young woman tied to her bed. In point-of-view so deep I swear I was lying there with her, she anticipates whatever hell her crazy-ass mother has in store for her after summoning a priest to exorcise the filthy demons out of her. But when the priest arrives, he is far from what she thought he’d be. He is young, compassionate, and intriguing to look at. His name is Killian, and he’s a few weeks from taking his vows, so he’s not technically a priest yet.

He cuts her bonds and literally carries her from her house, and as she watches the house get smaller and smaller, one of the best chapter endings I have ever read brought me to tears. Here is just a snippet:

The breezy autumn air hits my fevered skin and I breathe out for the first time in years.

The breathing out sounds kind of like a sob. It comes out loud at any rate —so loud I know he must hear it for what it is. But if he does, he gives no sign. He just keeps on walking to his car, while I look back over at the clapboard place I lived in all these years. Somehow I understand that I’m not ever coming back to it.-- (Kindle Locations 101-104)

Characters

Dot obviously has issues. Her mother abused her horribly. She has had very little contact with the world outside her house and her abuse. And yet, she is not stupid. She understands that she is being rescued. She has seen TV occasionally and read books, and she has a good grasp of the general operation of the outside world.

For example, when Killian shows her the TV in her motel room and asks her if she would like to watch anything she says:

“I wish I knew what I’d like most. I guess one time there was this spaceship show—”

“Do you mean Star Trek?”

“It could be that I mean Star Trek. I’m kind if afraid to say though in case that’s the most famous thing in the world and I’m the only one who doesn’t know much about it.”--(Kindle Locations 483-486)

Part of why Dot is so endearing is that she knows she’s missing so much experience. She’s been extremely sheltered, but she’s not a fool. She makes quick deductions and adapts to the world outside her mother’s craziness like a champ.

Killian has issues too. He has his reasons for pursuing a career in the church, but from Dot’s perspective, we see him battling an attraction to his charge. The attraction is sweet. Then it is hot. Then it is incendiary. It is just how powerful attractions are, and both Dot and Killian have reasons not to follow where it leads.

But. They are pretty much powerless to resist it at the same time, such is its power.

Romance

Yep. There’s lots. CS has a style where an action occurs or something is said, and then her character thinks about it and thinks about it. She wonders at tone of voice and expressions and her own lack of experience. She doubts. She hopes. She squashes those hopes. She hopes again. And then she says something, and the dialog is such a perfect expression of all of that even though it’s only one sentence.

With a lot of writers, being in a character’s head so much gets tedious. Never with CS. I didn’t find one unnecessary thought in Dot’s head. It was all vital to her development as a character, to the story, and to the romance.

Sex

Yep. There’s lots. Not always in action. There’s a lot of sex in Dot’s wonderings, insecurities, and hopes. There’s such sweet vulnerability in her desires. She’s a woman, but every sensual thought she has ever had has been run through the filter of her crazy mother. She is wanton. She is filthy. She is possessed. But really, she is normal, and it takes Killian’s compassion—and his attractiveness stimulating all those sensual thoughts—to help her learn that there truly is nothing wrong with her.

Possibly my favorite snippet from the whole book shows this so much better than I can say it:

Nothing could be more wicked, I think, and nothing could feel less like it is. Instead it seems divine to me, as sweet as the sky on a summer day and twice as open. Twice as bright.--(Kindle Locations 1495-1496).

This is how Dot experiences sensuality after her mother has tried and tried to teach her there is nothing okay about it. Why the good experience? Simple. Killian.

He’s a hero in more than just literary designation. To me, he’s a concept representing the hope that awaits when young people get inundated with religion gone haywire.

God is good. Religion is good. Faith is good. Unfortunately, perversions of religious tenets abound. Charlotte Stein’s Forbidden is a salve for anyone who has emerged from stifling teaching to find that maybe what their pastor said is wrong. Maybe the guilt in their heart is coming from well-meaning but misguided people, not God. Maybe, just maybe, they are normal, and God is okay with that.

Maybe they are worthy of love just as they are.

If this idea resonates with you too, You Gotta Read Forbidden by Charlotte Stein.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equal parts pain and beauty make for an amazing love story. 16 May 2015
By C. Allen-Riley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a tricky thing to marry physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a religious fanatic to a tender, yet erotic love story, but Stein manages to do it. And she does it well.

Dot and Killian's story isn't an easy one, but in its pain is a kind of beauty you don't see often in a romance. Forbidden is a story that's stuck with me long after it was over. There's something incredibly satisfying to see both characters rise above the pain inflicted on them by others (and themselves) to reach a place where it's not only okay to love each other but also themselves.

Two of Stein's greatest strengths as a storyteller lie in her stunningly skillful use of language and her ability to strip layer after layer from her characters (and often her readers) to reveal their deeply hidden truths. While this is true of every Stein book I've ever read, it's especially evident in Forbidden.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love is healing 30 May 2016
By GoddessPhD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The mistress of erotic poetry, Charlotte Stein, writes with such an openness and deep point of view that I immediately get drawn into her stories. Forbidden is about a priest-in-training, Killian, rescuing a young woman, Dot, from her mother’s religious zeal.

Stein creates Dot’s character as someone who’s been shaped by her mother’s abuse, but is still capable of seeing the new and freshness in life. Every experience is new to her and she finds an unfiltered joy in the simplest of things. While her mother may have punished/beaten Dot’s budding sexuality, Killian (being the hero that he is) shows her that feelings are natural and nothing to be ashamed of. I love this about him.
Ultimately, I enjoy Stein’s stories because she writes from a place of love as healing. That misfits who misfitted all their lives are capable of finding other misfitted people and finding love.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was freaking awesome. I told myself I was just going to ... 29 Jan. 2015
By KittyKat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was freaking awesome. I told myself I was just going to read one page (I'm really good at stopping) - but there was no turning back after that first page. It was a race to the finish even though I wanted the book to last forever. It was riveting and sexy and kinda weird and really awesome. I love Charlotte Stein's books, but this one blew me away. I read late into the night while my husband was at work and when he came home apparently I'd left all the lights on downstairs, the oven on, the salsa out of the fridge, and half a beer abandoned on the end table near the couch. Apparently I wandered off with my book up to the bedroom and completely forgot about real life. It was a sexy book induced coma. I highly recommend reading this book and not turning on the stove, oven, or iron before you start.
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