Driven by a resilient aspiration to help Indians, especially the Ute Indians whom she’s had personal contact with over the years; twenty-year-old Shiloh Wainwright accepts a position at the White River Indian Agency in 1870 northwestern Colorado. She’s expects to have a fulfilling, autonomous life on the frontier while teaching the Ute children.
When she arrives, however, Shiloh finds a much more reluctant group of people than she was initially presented with. The Utes are rebelling against the government’s demands, the Indian agent is unyielding, and she’s in the middle.
And then she crosses paths with Jesse Blackwater, a half-Ute man that she was friends with as a child. Her memories of him are vivid and painful, as prejudice and cruelty were the reasons for his departure. She’s shocked to find her youthful attachment is now a full-fledged attraction – but his loyalty to the Utes makes any sort of relationship between them unconventional – and in this climate of anger, dangerous…
A Love Forbidden has a heart-wrenching beginning that leaves a powerful impression and connection between Shiloh and Jesse that helps to build the chemistry later on. The racial tensions, lack of trust and rumblings of an uprising are an ever-present background to this hesitant, moving love story.
Shiloh is a kind, compassionate person but she is not without fault – she comes across as authentic. And Jesse’s pride, animosity, and resentment are deep enough in his soul that only the grace and love of God can help him find peace. They are a pair that truly has to overcome many obstacles, both physical and psychological.
The story touches on multiple issues of family, identity, love, and forgiveness. A Love Forbidden presents a strong attraction that is matched with emotional and intellectual understanding, which makes for a great romance! Though the end felt a little rushed to me, I found this to be a very nice story in a very sad time.
Definitely a great choice for readers of Christian fiction, romance, and historical novels!
*Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
*I received a copy of A Love Forbidden from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.