Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: romantic suspense; insta-attraction; professor/student; forbidden relationship; band of brothers; found family
Tia Louise’s Forbidden, the final book of her Hamilton Heat series, brings a complete and compelling end to the saga covering its four books. Wrapped in that favorite forbidden professor/student trope, Louise does what she does best: infuses an interesting, albeit predictable story into the steam of her characters, Dirk (Hutch from book 1’s little brother) and Reanna (his student with a secret). What readers love about Tia Louise’s storytelling is her capacity to draw up eroticism into her stories that provide titillating entertainment. Dirk and Reanna are instantly attracted to each other, and Dirk’s fight to stay away from Reanna is absolutely futile. Here’s the thing…if you love $ex with a side of story, this book and its predecessors are your reads. I have to admit, though. I found the predominance of Reanna and Dirk “hitting it” distracting. Don’t get me wrong. I love Tia Louise. Her Fight for Love series still echoes in my mind. But I’ve struggled with the Hamilton Heat series because it seems it is intended to infuse as much eroticism into its books, forgoing, at times, character development. This has been difficult for this reader because decisive and intentional character development is important. Louise can plot a story well, and she can draw on eroticism to increase the chemistry of her characters, but I needed more from Forbidden to believe that Dirk and Reanna wanted more than $ex. And believability is necessary for a forbidden, age-gap romance.
Tia Louise’s Forbidden provides a lovely ending to the threaded plotline of this series’s books. It entertains you while steaming your glasses…and other things. What it won’t do is tell you the “why” behind her characters’ choices. It will, however, underscore one of my favorite tropes: the found family. These qualities conspire to create a story that will entice but might not sustain your attention if you are looking for a bit more emotional development between its characters.
In love and romance,