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Forbidden - Syrie James, Ryan M. James I was so excited to read this book, so maybe I had built it up too much in my mind. Maybe my expectations were too high.

Take the forbidden romance and the hero's sense of protection before happiness in Twilight (without the swoon), add in the dream-like states of Falling Under (without the swoon) and the angel elements of Unearthly (again, without the swoon), and what do you get?

I'm not sure. But I think it would be something similar to Forbidden.

Claire, a seventeen year old junior at exclusive Emerson Academy, has an overprotective mother and doesn't know anything about her father, except that he abandoned them when she was a baby. They move at the drop of a hat but have managed to stay in one place for the past two years. Not wanting to move again is the reason that Claire doesn't tell her mother about the visions she starts to have whenever she comes in direct contact with someone or touches certain objects.

Alec shows up on the first day of school, gorgeous and shy. Claire is instantly smitten, but Alec is hard to read. When Claire and her friends are almost killed by a wayward vehicle, Alec saves them, alerting them to the fact that he's not completely human. Turns out, he's a kind of angel Watcher, sworn to protect mankind. Except, he's gone AWOL and only wanted to live a normal human life when he met her.

The parallels to Twilight cannot be overlooked. The accident that he saves her from, her trying to figure out "what" he is and not caring if he's dangerous, the "tracker" being sent after her, and Alec's eventual choice to leave her in order to keep his promise to protect her. He even goes so far as to tell her that she can have a normal, "human" life if he's not in the picture. Which works for Edward and Bella because Bella is a human. You can't have a nice, human life when you're an angel half-blood that everyone wants. And if I hadn't read Unearthly, I wouldn't have understood what was actually going on with the whole Nephilim situation. Add to that the forced love triangle, the fact that she went to the dance with another guy the same week that Alec leaves, and the parts that almost read like horror scenes, and I'm left shaking my head.

There were one or two moments of swoon, where we could actually see the romance and get that they could be falling for each other. But you're going to have to go bigger than that if you expect your readers to buy into the whole "I will give up my entire existence for her." I don't know. I think this book had good ideas and a lot of potential but didn't live up to that potential. I'm underwhelmed.