This particular series is one you can jump into mid-stream and never know you missed the first book. I didn't have the opportunity to read book one, "A Heart Divided," and didn't realize it until just now. I love it when an author does such a good job of including back story that, as a reader, we don't feel left out!
In "A Love Forbidden," the main character, Shiloh Wainwright, decides to go into Colorado Territory to educate the Ute Indian children. The book is set during the time the U.S. government was hustling American Indians out of their native homes and into reservations. Battles ensue, and tension is high. Meanwhile, Shiloh comes back into contact with Jesse, a man she met many years ago when he worked at her parents' ranch. As half-Ute, half-white, Jesse doesn't easily fit in and their relationship promises to be rocky right from the beginning. It gets much more difficult when the Utes attack the American fort, massacring the agency employees and taking the women hostage. Shiloh is one of those women. As was common at that time, as a captive she was about to be taken as an unwilling "wife" of one of the Indian warriors. In the nick of time, Jesse steps in and takes her as a wife instead. At this point, the story really begins for me. As a married couple, they must work through many issues, including that during a battle he chooses to fight with the Indians against the white man, which is Shiloh's people. Other issues include the fact that Shiloh feels a great need for a church wedding, while Jesse feels that the Ute way of taking a wife is perfectly acceptable and refuses to a wedding white-style.
Unbeknownst to me, the book is based on a true story. I appreciated the author writing the story as if it were entirely fictional, then clarifying in the end which points were factual. This allowed me to dive into the story without constantly second-guessing which parts were fact versus fiction.
I highly recommend this book, and by extension, the first book "A Heart Divided," which I haven't yet had a chance to read. I was able to do some research and saw the plot for "A Heart Divided" looked very exciting.
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.