4 stars

Category Romance Review: Forbidden Fantasy by Tiffany White

Forbidden Fantasy, Tiffany White, Harlequin, 1991, cover artist unknown

Harlequin Temptation #367

4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Book Burned Forever in My Memory

I burnt the beans!

Whenever I hear of Forbidden Fantasy by Tiffany White, a category romance from the 1990s, that’s the first thought that pops into my head. Then I recall the sweet twist which the plot hinges upon. An Editor’s Choice pick for the Temptation line, Forbidden Fantasy was a book I enjoyed, sure enough, although I wouldn’t rank it as an all-time great, even if it is etched in my mind.

The Plot

Zoe is in Paris trying to put as much distance between herself and a bad relationship–namely, her marriage to her ex-husband. He was a cop who spent too much time at work and too little with her, both physically and emotionally. So she left him behind and fled to Europe on a voyage of self-discovery.

Now Zoe’s got French friends and loves to shop in the city. On one of her forays, she realizes a handsome American man is stalking her. What starts as a flirtatious game turns into a sensual love affair. Grey is everything her husband wasn’t: a good listener who shares his feelings with Zoe and is eager to spend time with her. What’s more, he’s a sensual, giving lover who engages in erotic delights that Zoe could have never imagined.

Is this passionate romance the real thing? Or is Zoe’s past too much of a burden to overcome, and she simply is enjoying a rebound fling?

The sex scenes in this book are not graphic. They focus very much on feeling and desire. My attention was certainly captured by their sensual nature.

Highlights include Zoe’s French friend, who is “man-hungry” in an adorable way, plus Grey makes for a sexy hero. Zoe’s character is probably the least memorable of the three. All in all, this was a fine romance, and I would recommend it to readers looking for a quick bit of escapism.

No Beans About It

So about the beans. I was in 7th grade, home from school, sick. My mother worked about five minutes from our house, so she came home during her lunch break. The beans had soaked overnight, so she put them in a pot to boil. Then she sternly reminded me that they should simmer on low for a little over an hour. I nodded in understanding, and she left back to work.

My siblings were either staying late after school or daycare, so I had the house to myself for several more hours. I lay down in my upstairs bedroom and started to read this book.

At a little past 4, I heard my mother’s car pull in the driveway. Oh crap!

I ran downstairs. The house was filled with smoke.

My mother, who had a legendary temper, was infuriated! Not only would there be no beans to eat with dinner, but they had also burnt for so long the pot was ruined, too.

So, these must be some beans, you might ask.

Ehhh. They might be the best damn beans on Earth. My sisters certainly love them. As for me? Please don’t ask me to cook my mother’s white rice and pinto beans–or any other of her rice and bean recipes. For I’m sad to say when she goes, her recipes go with her. (Her Dominican cake with dulce de leche is another story.) Two of my sisters love her rice and beans but hate to cook, one loves to cook but is agnostic when it comes to beans, and while I enjoy cooking, I cannot stand the taste and pasty texture of beans.

Black-eyed peas, Pinto, black beans, cannellini, don’t care, I hate them all. God bless my mother; she worked hard to stretch a dollar and feed five kids, so rice and beans or “arro’ y ‘bichuela'” were a staple of my young life. Except for Fridays (then, we had eggs or bacalao–salted codfish–which I liked), and on special occasions, some kind of rice with some form of bean was always served as dinner.

Rice, I have made peace with. The evil legume, however, is still my hated enemy. Peas are fine, though, as long as they’re fresh. Lentils, I abhor. While I pose as an epicurean, my stomach is that of a three-year-old child, for I am a shamefully picky eater.

Final Analysis of Forbidden Fantasy

As long as I have memory, Tiffany White’s Forbidden Fantasy is a book I will never forget reading. Hopefully, if you pick it up, you’ll feel the same way, just for a slightly different reason.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

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