Reminiscent of both X-Men and Alias, Forbidden Mind is simultaneously thrilling and heartbreaking, full of shocking twists and turns that continually took me in directions I never expected. When beginning Forbidden Mind, I assumed that the book would inevitably hold danger and perhaps some mortal peril, but what I wasn’t expecting is how dark the story quickly became. Kinrade includes some pretty serious, heavy themes and subjects in Forbidden Mind, and it’s not for the faint of heart. While this book does include the paranormal, it’s the depravity of the human heart, the moral and ethical compromises people are willing to make, the blind-eye that people are willing to turn, the selfishness, the complete lack of compassion for fellow human beings that drove the darkness in Forbidden Mind. And I found it fascinating.Sam, the main character, was a girl I could connect to. Her apprehension about her assignments, her longing for a normal life, her love for her friends, her fear of acknowledging that her safe haven might be hiding secrets are all things I can understand. She is a mentally strong character, clear-headed, rational, and brave. I admired especially her ability to stay calm under immense strain, and it’s a skill that serves her well. Once it becomes clear what’s actually going on with Sam and her future, the awful circumstances this girl finds herself in completely broke my heart. Kinrade did an excellent job creating an immensely sympathetic character in Sam; she made me care and had me crossing my fingers and wishing on stars that Sam would find a way out of her horrifying situation. The romance in this story, between Sam and Drake, caught me off guard yet again. It is an extremely unconventional relationship than what is normally presented in the books I read, and though I don’t want to give too much away, I will say it’s an extremely satisfying and very intimate romance. Both Sam and Drake are victims of horrible circumstances, but they have a bond that no one can sunder. They find strength, support and hope in each other and it’s heartbreaking and beautiful to see how they attempt to overcome their traumatic situation together.The only detractor of this story, in my opinion, is that the length of the book compromises some needed development. Forbidden Mind is actually more of a novella or short novel in length. While it does work for the story and while the writing is excellent, a little bit more space for development would’ve just made it just that much more. Particularly in two areas – that of better establishing Sam’s mystery organization and also her realizations that Rent-A-Kid might not be wholly on the up-and-up. Now it could be that Kinrade was trying to keep Rent-A-Kid somewhat concealed in the shadows – faceless and nameless. Sometimes the unknown is scarier than what’s known, and I certainly don’t need to know everything. But nevertheless, I felt that the organization’s credibility as genuinely dangerous threat, how far reaching they are, how formidable they are, could’ve been established a bit more at the beginning without compromising anonymity. And now we come to Sam’s realizations. Without revealing too much to you, Dear Reader, her belief that her home was no longer the safe haven she once thought felt rushed, a little forced, without foundation and out of character. It would’ve felt more natural to have a longer introduction in which she had mounting suspicions that then appear confirmed. These are relatively minor issues though that take place near the beginning, because once the story gets past this hump and gets rolling it’s very well-paced and well-developed right to the extremely exciting ending. Overall, Forbidden Mind is a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment.