Before you start: Have you read Jane Eyre? Did you like it? Well The Forbidden Wife followed Jane Eyre to a Tee, which is great if you love Jane Eyre (which I do) but awful if you’re looking for new surprises (I was and there wasn’t any).

Heroine: 18 year old Ashley Jones is an orphan who grew up in the foster care system. She’s got lots of debt and so desires jobs that include room and board. She’s pretty perceptive and has a lot of insights on people’s behavior because of her upbringing. Working as Jack’s live-in assistant at Blackwood Manor is her ticket for something better, even if it’s located out in the middle of nowhere on the moors.

Hero: 30 something Jack Marchant is working on a novel about his experiences in the military where something bad happened (but is never explained). He suffers a lot from bad dreams which might be indicative of PTSD (but again never specifically stated). He wants Ashley, his little oddball, something fierce, but the trick is making her realize she wants him and can have him.

Wife in the Attic: Or in this case the cruel wife in a coma. She tricked Jack into marriage with a fake pregnancy, which he honored even after finding out because he didn’t want her to swindle him out of money for a marriage that was only 3 months old and also because his pride demanded he make it work anyway.

Review: I wanted Forbidden Wife to do more. If it explored more emotional depth out of Ashley and Jack it could have been a solid update on Jane Eyre. I found this review of the story hilarious because it really tells it like it is.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: The Forbidden Wife (Harlequin Presents)

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