Wednesday, July 1, 2015

REVIEW: Priest by Sierra Simone

Priest cover

 Synopsis: There are many rules a priest can't break. A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God. I've always been good at following rules. Until she came. My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again. I am a priest and this is my confession. ***Priest is a standalone, full-length novel with an HEA. For mature audiences

Kindle Edition, 247 pages
Published June 29th 2015
Source: Author in exchange for honest review

Shel: You know what? I tend to be so freaking long winded and rambly in my reviews so I'm going to try to keep it short and sweet. Here's what you need to know (outside of the synopsis...for the love of full disclosure, READ THE SYNOPSIS): 

Shel: Sierra Simone is no joke when it comes to alpha men and erotic sex scenes. She does not hold back. No orifice is too good to get attention. And the dirtier the better, when it comes to pillow talk (and confessions, and fantasies). So, since I know you're probably wondering about the sexy factor: YES, it's gonna steam you up with its sexiness. Court: I think I am still fogged up all over. Hot doesn't even begin to describe it. And with the underlying forbidden aspect of the hero of our fair story being a obviously get that, I hope. Big no-no, obvs...but we like that I guess. So, the best parts of this book were probably the first half's steamy scenes. 

Shel: As you can see by the synopsis, this novel would qualify as 'forbidden romance', right? I mean a Catholic priest having consensual sex with a potential parishioner is taboo within the confines of the religion, so I think this qualifies. Did I mention the hot sex? Oh. Yes. I did. So, what else about this novel? Well there's the entire guilt and shame spiral of both Tyler and Poppy as they both have these feelings and do these things and know/feel that shouldn't. They are like magnets that have such a strong attraction to each other they just cannot stay away. Court: Forbidden romance. Such conflict in Tyler's desire to be a man of the cloth, and be the man who God wants him to be all while being everything that his church needs him to be. I appreciated these parts, a lot. 

Shel: Obviously, it's not an easy struggle. There are things like faith and love and feelings and sex involved. There's also an ex. And importantly, the impact of what they're engaging in and how it'll impact so many people. Each of them has to figure out who they are together and apart and how they should exist in this world and it takes this from a sexy/forbidden romp and guides us into some deeper questions--involving theology and purpose and family. Never fear, though, this is more fun than it is existential crisis and before you know it, we're speeding ahead to more sexy times and the possibility of a HEA. Court: Right you are. I didn't ever feel so dark and lonely that I wasn't enjoying what I was reading. There is self reflection, but not a book so bogged down in detail that I was bored. 

A few loose ends before I send you off to your room to read: This is mainly a singular POV, told from Tyler's perspective, but Poppy has a few scenes told solely from her. I'm not sure if those worked for me as they sometimes felt so jarring, but I get what why there were there. Also, Tyler talks a lot about being a feminist ally, among other things, and I felt a little mixed about that too. On the one hand, I liked that it was important to him. On the other hand, it almost felt like an afterthought--I didn't see a lot of development of that side of him, so it almost felt like a distraction. Court: I noticed he said that all of the time. I felt that was sometimes him trying too hard...because of the other things that he liked to do and be in control of everything. I'm not sure if that was true to him, or catering to who he thought he should be. I didn't like that to be honest. I also have to be honest and say that the ending felt super duper rushed, and I feel it dimmed in comparison to how strong the beginning is. 

Shel: So, it looks like I failed in my mission to keep it short and sweet. SORRY. I guess I could've just said: if you're looking for a forbidden romance with some seriously hot sex scenes involving a priest and his love interest, the guilt and shame that comes with the sex, some theology, and feelings? Take a few hours to read Priest. Court: I am glad I took these hours, because Sierra can seriously write the heck out of love, and feeling conflicted and all things forbidden in more ways than one. 

  Priest Teaser 
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 About the Author 

Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
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