Forbidden (The Arotas Trilogy #1)

by Amy Miles

1 out of 5

Roseline Enescue didn't ask to become an Immortal, to have all of the guests at her wedding slaughtered, or be forced into marriage with a man whose lust for blood would one day ignite the vampire legend. Willing to risk everything for a chance at a normal life, Roseline escapes to America. Terrified her husband Vladimir will find her, Roseline enrolls as a senior in Chicago's elite Rosewood Prep school. Mingling with humans is the last place he would look for her. But her transition into the human world isn't easy. Mortal men flock after her while cutthroat girls plot her demise. Yet Roseline remains relatively unfazed by the petty hysteria until she falters into the arms of Gabriel Marston, reluctant MVP quarterback, unwilling ladies man, and sensitive artist in hiding. Troubled by the bond that pulls her towards the mortal boy, Roseline tries to ignore him, but Gabriel is persistent. As their lives entwine, Roseline begins to realize that Gabriel is much more than he appears. His ability to toss a football the entire length of the field and grind concrete into dust pales in comparison to the glowing blue cross tattoo that mysteriously appears on his forearms. Despite the forbidden bond between them, Roseline can't help wondering what Gabriel is: He's not human. He's not Immortal. So just what is he?

Roseline has endured over 300 years of her own personal hell, when she finally decides to break away from her violent vampire husband, or die trying.

I've done it again, haven't I... I've been seduced by a pretty cover, thousands of high ratings and a synopsis that promises more than- actually, scratch that.  There is no story beyond the synopsis; that's a more honest way of putting it.

The book starts off well, a young, well-to-do girl is bartered in marriage by her socially ambitious parents.  But her betrothed is none other than Vladimir Enescue, a vampire who slaughters the wedding party and turns Roseline to be his beautiful and long-suffering bride. (I think there was some mention of him being Vlad the Impaler, but you really don't have to worry about it, he's just the big bad in the background for most of the book)
Cut to 300+ years later and Roseline is finally escaping from her abusive husband.  She escapes the Romanian castle with a little help from her best friend Fane, then gets on a train and a plane and is soon "living" a new life in America.
It goes downhill from there.

Ok, I'll start with the plot.  Why?  Just plain why?
Why on earth does a 300 year old vampire go to high school?
Come on, in Twilight it's because the younger the family start out the longer they can stay in one place, pretending to be human.  In Vampire Academy, they are actually that young.  In Vampire Diaries, it's to stalk a girl.
Reasons.  Some better than others.
Roseline has absolutely no reason to go to high school.  Sure, she was 17 when she was turned, but she could probably pass for a stunning 21, be an adult and have no one question it.  Perhaps she could have gone because it was a major human experience that she missed - but she spends her entire time at school trying to be invisible, keeping her head down and stressing from any attention.

Even ignoring the inanity above, I did not get on with Roseline.  She is not likeable.  She's a whiney, selfish little madam.  She is moaning because all the guys are drawn to her vampiric super-hotness, and it's just so plain tiring.  Except for when she's internally miffed that she's not getting attention, when she is clearly vampire super-hot.
She spends so much time being beautiful-but-shallow; I find it very hard to believe she's spent three centuries being a down-trodden victim of domestic abuse.
Nor does the way she interacts with the boys concur with the way she has flashbacks to being a seductress.  Seductress?  Really?
Plus, is she really a vampire?  Does she really have a desire for blood?  Because the only time it seems to crop up is after the car crash.  (Don't get excited, the car crash has little to do with the plot or any actual action; it is just a machination for Gabriel to realise that Rose isn't human)

The supporting cast limp along.
Sadie "the best friend" deserves a mention.  She's like, totally alternative and troubled and dies her hair and everything.  She stereotypically hates the cool kids.  Except she sort of is one of them, is spoilt (and judgemental) enough to think that Roseline is weird for only having one car, plus the whole alternative look is merely a fashion statement, not a lifestyle.

Nicholae, the foreign exchange student from Roseline's home town, has a stilted role.  He's just wedged in there as an exchange student, who's a little quiet and not pretty.  That seems enough of a reason for Roseline and Sadie to treat him like shit.
Oh, but it turns out that he's actually a vampire hunter that had followed Roseline to make sure she didn't hurt any humans... oh for crying out loud - how come he could find her, when the big bad Vladimir with the deadly long reach couldn't?  How come Nicholae, a young and untested hunter, was sent alone against Vladimir's wife?
Deep breath.
(...and how come Nicholae was actually really hot in the end, and was only making himself look unappealing at the high school.  Answers on a postcard, please.)

Gabriel, the love interest, is a little better than the others.  But just.
He's a poor little star quarterback, going out with the most popular girl at school.
But really, he just wants to paint; and his choice of girlfriend is decided by his step-father.  Because, hey, that's what step-fathers are for - pimping out their teenage sons to their bosses' daughters.
But it turns out that Gabriel is more than he seems, he is more than human.  Oh wait, it says that in the synopsis.  Don't worry, you don't have to read the book to find out.

Just one more thought - four high school kids decided that they would follow their brand new friend to Romania, so they just got on a plane.  Because that's how families and parents work.

Dull.  Turned into a skim read.  Won't be continuing the series.
But it is free to download from Amazon, so go see for yourselves.

Goodreads link


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