Forbidden Hearts by Corinne Michaels

Forbidden Hearts

Posted on June 12, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 9 Comments

Forbidden Hearts is the first book in Corrine Michael’s newest contemporary romance series. Readers familiar with the Arrowood Brothers series will be happy for the chance to revisit the town of Sugarloaf. In Forbidden Hearts, Michaels delivered a wonderful small town, age gap, grumpy/ sunshine, single dad romance.

Forbidden Hearts by Corinne MichaelsTitle: Forbidden Hearts
Author(s): Corinne Michaels
Series: Whitlock Family #1
Also in this series: Broken Dreams , Tempting Promises
Published by BAAE Publishing on June 5, 2023
Pages: 398
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Source: Publicist
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

First rule of being a nanny? Don’t fall for the single dad, even if he is smoking hot.
But that’s exactly what happens when grumpy small-town sheriff Asher Whitlock reluctantly hires me to take care of his daughter for the summer. Neither of us is thrilled with the arrangement, but he’s desperate for help, and I need the money for grad school this fall.
All we need to do is keep our distance and remain professional . . . turns out, that’s easier said than done.
Instead of focusing on my future, all I see is the strong jawline, crystal-blue eyes, and rock hard body right in front of me. We try to resist each other, but we end up crossing every line until I’m in his bed.
I tell myself it’s just this once.Okay, twice.All right, every night.
But it’s got to end–he’s fourteen years older than me, with a kid and a stressful job. Have I mentioned my dad is his boss? Then there’s the past I’m trying to forget. Secrets aren’t easy to keep and mine are getting too big to hide.
Walking away is never simple but when I do, I can’t look back.
Even if it means leaving behind the man I was never meant to love.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.



The story hooked me from the first page. This was such an interesting setup. The story introduces Asher, a police officer, and a single father to Olivia. He co-parents with his ex, who is his best friend. They were never in love with each other. Asher finds himself in need of a nanny, who is experienced with ASL, when his ex needed to go on an overseas work assignment. When his boss suggested he hire his daughter, Phoebe, Asher wasn’t keen. The last memory he had of her left him with a poor impression of her capabilities to care for his daughter. But what choice did he have and besides, it would be a temporary arrangement?

Phoebe is home from college earlier than expected. She’s looking to make some changes in her life after a humiliating experience, which she has no intention of revealing to her dad. When asked to be a nanny for Asher’s daughter, she balked at the idea, mostly because of her history with him. However, she intends to prove her maturity and her capabilities.

Forbidden Hearts is a beautiful love story. It features the unlikeliest of couples given their history and differing personalities. Phoebe is the outgoing and full of life, while Asher is the more serious type. I had fun getting to know each of the characters and getting to know the town of Sugarloaf. Phoebe and Olivia shared a wonderful connection. They became close and their relationship grew into one of friendship.

Learning the reason for Phoebe’s need for a change broke my heart. We see how women are discriminated against in situations like these. The way Asher stepped in to protect her after learning about the situation melted my heart. This was a testament to his true feelings for her. If there were any doubts, he loved her that action of itself removed it all.

Phoebe’s strength and determination shined throughout the story. The way she continued pursuing her dreams despite the humiliating setback. Their slow burn romance was sweet and steamy. Asher and Phoebe’s chemistry fell off the charts. It was fun seeing Asher trying hard to fight his attraction to her. Especially with her staying in his house. Talk about temptation. I loved how their relationship developed, and seeing them grow closer was a delight.

The banter between Asher and his siblings brought some levity to the story. The fun side of Asher came out during these moments. This was further magnified in his interactions with his daughter. These scenes had me smiling.

Now, as much as I enjoyed the story, it disappointed me in not providing closure regarding the situation in Phoebe’s life. The individual in question was not appropriately dealt giving them the opportunity to mess with somebody else’s life.

So this was a great start to the series and I am looking forward to the next book. I recommend it to fans small town contemporary romance.

Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

About Corinne Michaels

Corinne Michaels is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romance novels. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love, and she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak before finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Corinne is a former Navy wife and happily married to the man of her dreams. She began her writing career after spending months away from her husband while he was deployed–reading and writing were her escapes from the loneliness. Corinne now lives in Virginia with her husband and is the emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children.

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading
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9 responses to “Forbidden Hearts by Corinne Michaels

  1. I love that grumpy single dad trope and that small town setting! I recently read my first book by Corinne Michaels–Say You Want Me–which I really liked. So I look forward to checking this one out soon, too. 😀

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  2. I agree! This does sound really good for a small town age gap romance. Hopefully that villain will get theirs in one of the following books.

  3. This sounds like a fabulous read here! Sounds like the author handled the small town elements well. I can see why you had issues with certain aspects being resolved. That can bother me too when there is no apparent justice for wrongs done.

    Lover of Romance recently posted: Week 2 of June Releases of 2023