Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review: A Beautiful Sin

USA TODAY BESTSELLING authors, Terri E. Laine and A.M. Hargrove bring a new full-length standalone, Contemporary Romance novel.

Since I was a boy, my desire was to marry the church. To give my vows and life over to God despite the corruption in my soul.
I am a sinner, the embodiment of temptation, or so I’ve been told.
Yet, I’ve never touched, never kissed, never sought the company of another until her.
She is my weakness, my salvation, my downfall and my freedom. Our sins are bound tighter than fate.
My name is Canaan. I am an ordained Roman Catholic priest, forever and always.
Her name is Haven. She may be my destiny, my destruction.
This is not a love story, but rather a confession of all my sins.

Warning - A Beautiful Sin is a forbidden romance that blurs lines between passion and religious faith. Please be warned, the subject matter may be offensive to some readers.

Add to your TBR on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1U2Vidn

4 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

Canaan has known since he was a young boy that he wanted to become a priest.  It was his passion in life.  This book starts off with a glimpse into the life of a fourteen year old Canaan.  You get to see just how important his Faith is to him.  How passionate he is about it and about one day joining the priesthood.  But we also see a moment in his life that will make you sick with knots in your stomach.  It was the moment where I knew that this story was so much more than a forbidden romance.  As a grown man who is now known to others as Father Canaan, he carries around a secret that is like a ten pound ton of weight on his shoulders.  And as the reader you know what his secret is.  You know because when you see him as a young 14 year old you know that, that was the moment that broke him and has caused him to be the damaged man that he is today.  Yes he loves what he does and where he is in life but deep down he is still very much a broken man.  While he has dealt with his past in his own way, when he is called back to his hometown everything comes back to haunt him. 

Haven is just as broken as Canaan but for different reasons.  Or maybe in ways the are very much the same.  Haven’s life took a turn for the worst when her mother passed away and schwas sent to live with her aunt and uncle.  She wanted nothing more than to escape the devil himself but until she was 18 she had no choice but to stay.  She is now all grown up living on her own and trying to make something of herself.  She is a very talented artist and is on her way back to her hometown to display her art.  While excited about showing off her art work she is afraid of running right into her past, literally. 

Canaan and Haven went to school with each other but they didn’t really know each other.  They had one encounter when Canaan was 14 and since that day, Haven has hated him.  She needed help and he turned her away.  He thought he was saving her that day but in truth he only made things worse for her.  Haven sees that he is nothing like the person she expcted him to be.  She is actually very fond of him and also very attracted to him which she knows is so wrong for more than one reason.  But she cannot help it.  She is drawn to him and I think you can say the same about Canaan when it comes to Haven.  But there is no way that they can have anything more than a friendship.  Can they?  Hmmm you will have to read this one to find out. 

I could not wait to read this book.  I love a forbidden romance, but what I drew me in was the nature of the relationship and why it was forbidden.  I have only read one book where the main hero is a priest.   It is not the typical forbidden romance that I am normally used to reading.   As much as I was drawn to this book I also wasn’t 100% sure it was something I would be able to get through.  Not only was I raised as a Catholic, but I also went to Catholic school.  And this may sound weird but for me to see a priest as someone other than a priest didn’t seem possible to me.  I was afraid I wouldn’t feel the connection to the hero or feel the attraction that the main characters have towards each other.  And I can sit here and say that I had nothing to be concerned about where this story is concerned, because I felt the undeniable connection between the two main characters.  I felt it all with them, so much so that I was rooting for them to come to terms with their feelings for each other and be able to act on them.  That’s not wrong is it?

I really enjoyed this book.  The beginning was a little hard to get into because for me it was a bit slow at times.  I think it was because when it came to Canaan’s point of view it dealt with his job and hi faith more than anything.  I personally wanted more when it came to his past.  I didn’t need details but more emotions from him about it.  I felt that there were one or two things that I wanted more of an explanation for which would explain his emotions and actions in the present day.  

With that being said when Canaan and Haven start to become closer and you see the feelings that they are starting to have this story picks up.  For me the second half is what made this book and what I loved about it.  I felt the connection between them.  They had these easy way about them.   Even if they couldn’t be more than friends you knew there was an attraction and connection.  You could feel how much Canaan cared about Haven and wanted to protect her.  And it wasn't just because it was his job as a priest to do so, it was because he truly cared about her. 

I loved Haven and what I loved even more was her relationship with her best friend.  They have been friends since they were kids.  She has been with Haven through everything.  They have an amazing friendship that made me smile and laugh.  I loved the discussions that they had about life and men, especially when it came to Father Canaan. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  And the epilogue was simply priceless.  It left me with a huge smile on my face.  It was perfect!!!

About the Authors:
A.M. Hargrove:
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, USA Today bestselling author, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So she made a quick decision to quit her job and reinvented herself as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author. 
She fancies herself all of the following: Reader, Writer, Dark Chocolate Lover, Ice Cream Worshipper, Coffee Drinker (swears the coffee, chocolate, and ice cream should be added as part of the USDA food groups), Lover of Grey Goose (and an extra dirty martini), #WalterThePuppy Lover, and if you’re ever around her for more than five minutes, you’ll find out she’s a non-stop talker.

Terri E. Laine:
Terri E. Laine, USA Today bestselling author, left a lucrative career as a CPA to pursue her love for writing. Outside of her roles as a wife and mother of three, she’s always been a dreamer and as such became an avid reader at a young age.
In her early years, she and her best friend would tell each other stories over the phone when they were bored. They called them their "soap operas" and generally revolved around whatever boy they liked at the time.
Many years later, she got a crazy idea to write a novel and set out to try to publish it. With over a dozen titles published under various pen names, the rest is history. Her journey has been a blessing, and a dream realized. She looks forward to many more memories to come.

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