Forbidden (The World of Nightwalkers #1)
From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes this first book in The World of the Nightwalkers—an exciting and sensual new spin-off series in which the Bodywalkers, an ancient race of the night, battles the evil forces who prey on them.
The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn't turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.
When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers
I can honestly tell you I had no clue what to expect when I began this new series by Jacquelyn Frank. Being a loyal Frank fan I assumed I would love the story like I have always enjoyed her novels. There is always such rich imagery and imagination in her worlds. I have read all of her series starting with the Nightwalkers and was thrilled to begin this spin off series. Before I get into the details about the story itself I will say that I just loved the Prologue. That little glimpse of past characters and a small lead-in to the connection between the new and old series, was just what was needed to whet my interests. Now on that note, time to tell you what I loved and maybe just liked about the new Bodywalkers series.
The story begins with Docia, a sweet but slightly naïve woman walking to work and arguing on the phone with her older and considerably overprotective brother. Rather sadly Docia is mortally injured and travels into the ether where Docia comes face to face with an unknown entity. This being offers Docia a simple choice: live or die? Docia of course is not ready to die and jumps feet first into the unknown, accepting this “ghost” into her body and together they venture from the ether back to the real world.
When Docia returns to the world of the living, she is faced with the truth of the choice she has made. Her soul is slowly blending with this Bodywalker and expanding her understanding of herself and the world around her , with the unfortunate side effect of people now out to kill her. Healing from her ordeal, Docia escapes her overbearing brother for a brief walk and is attacked by a knife-wielding thug. Luckily, she has a savior on her side.
Ram (inside the body of extremely handsome and virile Vincent) rescues—or kidnaps depending on viewpoint—Docia and takes her to the safest place he knows, the local safe house of the Bodywalkers. Believing that Docia is now housing the spirit of the Queen of the Bodywalkers, Hatshepsut, Ram is determine that he will protect her from any and all dangers inside and out of the world of the Bodywalkers, so that she is alive and ready for the return of the King Menses.
As they are repeatedly thrown together in extremely intense and terrifying circumstances, Ram and Docia both feel a sizzle erupting between them. Ram resists the heat he feels for Docia, believing he is betraying his king and best friends by feeling this way about her. But as time goes by, Docia/Hatshepsut and Ram/Vincent succumb to their desires and discover a startling truth. Docia isn’t who he thought she was. Dealing with new truths, captures, escapes and a slightly ditzy Djynn, the H/H face the changes in their world and the changes within themselves with courage and aplomb, reminding us that the best solution to any problem we face is our own will and inner strength.
The passion between Ram and Docia runs hot as the two of them grow together and individually. The love connection is definitely secondary to the changes in the overall world of the Bodywalkers and the coming of Menses back into the real world. I will say that when the connection finally sparks, the love scenes are intense and detailed, as we all expect from Ms. Frank. And definitely don’t leave you disappointed.
As a side note, Docia’s brother Jackson is an extremely integral part of this book, mainly because he’s the Hero of the next book. A good bit of time is spent on Jackson and how he deals with the details of his missing sister and his relationship with Marissa, the police psychiatrist in charge of keeping him in line. Normally I don’t care for so many passages in a book that don’t deal directly with the H/H, but in this case I know that the buildup was integral to the series and it was so well written that I didn’t really mind. Plus, really, the way Forbidden ends for Jackson is worth every second of distraction from the main storyline.
Overall a very good story and the beginning to an awesome series. Can’t wait for Forever, book two in this series coming soon and I sincerely hope that the series continues for a while like the Nightwalkers series did. Another hit Jackie! Just keep ‘em coming.