Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Forbidden by Christina Phillips

Berkley Trade September 2010 336 pages

Historical Erotica by Christina Phillips


First in a new erotic historical series of magical heroines and sexy warriors.

Carys knew from the moment she first spied on Maximus in his naked barbarian glory that he was a dangerous Roman centurion-his taut, battle-scarred flesh marking him as a fearless warrior. But her desire for him was as undeniable as it was illicit.

Charged by his emperor to eliminate a clan of powerful Druids in Britain, Maximus never expects his mission to be thwarted by the clan's ethereal princess, Carys. Falling under her spell, he doesn't realize her true heritage-until he captures her heart as well as her body.

Now Carys and Maximus must overcome the devastation of war and face the ultimate sacrifice if their forbidden love is to survive.



I have read a few eroticas, I find they tend to fall under two distinct categories. One is various sex scenes, one after another held together by the thinnest of plot threads, or the richly, dense, character and plot driven story that is smoking hot.

This book falls under the latter category. Of course, it helps that I adore anything to do with ancient Rome, I have seen BBC's I, Claudius, HBO's Rome, Starz's Spartacus. And the hero's name is Maximus!! (visions of Russell Crowe's Gladiator dancing through my head)

I love how Christina immerses us so totally in that ancient world, where almost everyone was barbaric, but also so honest and true. To the Romans, honor is everything, no more so than with Maximus. He leaps off the page, foreboding, virile, all male, all the time.
I haven't read anything quite so scorching as Carys, the Celtic princess, watching Maximus bathe
in the river. She is caught, and the attraction between them sizzles and crackles.

Maximus is there in Britain to contain a faction of Druids, of which Carys is one. She conceals this fact from Maximus, he believes she is a Celt woman of simple origins. Regardless, she should be off limits, but neither can stay away from each other, putting themselves in jeopardy to be together.

The villain Aeron, a High Druid of Carys clan, desires Carys for himself, he is effective as an avenging former lover, thoroughly slimy and loathsome, making you cheer for Maximus and Carys forbidden love even more.

Maximus, is in a word, stunning. He speaks plainly, and does not tiptoe around what he really wants. Yes, he tosses the 'f' word around, and the historical jury is still out if that word even existed back then. I am not that fussy I am going to parse what slang was used when. The conversations were real, and to me, true to the times.

I loved the slow growing trust between the two, a connection that went deeper than just the raw, scorching sex. To me, THAT is a excellent erotica. As they fall in love, they reveal more about their pasts, and families. Maximus is expected to go back to Rome and marry well, not for love. To produce heirs, close his eyes when bedding this stranger, and think of Rome.
Maximus decides he wants more. He wants...Carys.

It all culminates with the revelation of Carys true tribe, and a fantastic showdown with the villain. A lush love story steeped in a fiery physical heat that will ignite the pages. I was enthralled and totally caught up in this wonderful story.

I read Christina is a debut author, if this is any indication, I await more from her!

4 out of 4 Stars for the book

KOVER KUDOS: OMG. The cover...rocks. That IS Maximus, just as he is described in the book.
I can see Clive Owen playing him in the movie! LOL! I pictured that guy through the whole book. Oh yeah, the female looks like Carys. Gorgeous cover.

4 out of 4 stars for the cover


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great read, I like Ancient Rome too, and it being steamy, is a plus! Thanks for this!


Karyn Gerrard said...

You will enjoy this, fine, fine read on many levels!

Anna Campbell said...

Karyn, so happy you loved this book too. I thought it was great - and man, did those two generate some heat!

Christina Phillips said...

Karyn, I'm thrilled you enjoyed reading Forbidden! Thank you for the fabulous review :-)

Karyn Gerrard said...


You recommended it, so I knew I would love it and I did. I don't often write reviews on books I've won, but I had to with this!!
Heat?? *sizzle* Cheers~

Karyn Gerrard said...

Christina, thanks for stopping by and for linking to my review from your site!!
Wonderful read on all levels, look forward to more from you!