The Top Romances of 2016 You Should Not Miss

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Image via Mass Market Paperback

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

In this long-awaited book, which kicks off Jenkins’s Old West series, we’re introduced to Eddy Carmichael, a wiz in the kitchen who is striking out to San Francisco on her own with the dream of opening her own restaurant. Eddy meets a road block to that plan in the form of a con artist who leaves her to certain death in the Nevada desert, a death that’s averted when she’s saved by former Union soldier Rhine Fontaine.

As she recovers, Eddy isn’t oblivious to the fact that there’s chemistry between them, but he’s white, she’s black, and she has her goals to think of. Little does Eddy know that Rhine is passing, using the perception that he’s white to help the Black citizens of the town from his position of power. Eddy gets a job in town to rebuild her lost savings, but Rhine can’t stay away from her, and their relationship deepens as doe Eddy’s roots in a city that’s only a stopover for her. As always with Jenkins’s works, this fantastic novel features richly layered historical fiction and captivating romance in equal measure.

The progression of Eddy and Rhine’s relationship, and the many lenses through which it’s viewed, are handled deftly, and the ending leaves you cheering for what they gain through their love.