by Sierra Simone
Release Date: June 18, 2015
Book #1 in the Priest series
Number of Pages: 354
Ages 17 and up
CW: mentions of sexual abuse & suicide
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.
This story was everything I expected, but not what I expected at all. Through the last few years, I’ve seen this book come up in conversation quite often. I knew I had it on my Kindle, sitting there waiting for me. Once again, my read along with the Fated Mates podcast (I’m only on season 2 while the show is in its 5th season) got me to finally read this one. While I did expect this book to delve into the taboo (which is obvious by its title), I didn’t anticipate how much soul-searching the main character would do. I’m a cynic when it comes to religion and expected Tyler, the priest, to throw everything over once he fell in love. Instead, I felt the author respected the reality of the struggle. Which means this story wasn’t as quick of a read as I anticipated, but it had much more depth.
I’m not bothered by insta-love, but I know many people are. This story definitely has an insta-love feel. Yet, I also felt the connection between Poppy and Tyler from the start. As long as that chemistry is there, how quickly they fall doesn’t make a difference to me.
Tyler is the kind of priest I can get behind. Not because he broke his vows, but because he truly cares deeply about his community and helping people. Regardless if someone was a member of his church or even believed in a higher power, he was always ready to lend a hand if needed. This is one of the issues with when he met Poppy, he was so concerned with hurting his community; both on a local level and overall with the Catholic Church. Tyler could easily turn himself into a martyr, especially once Poppy came along. It was a welcome surprise to find there were some in his church family that didn’t want to see that for him, that truly wanted him to be happy even if it was not in the role he was presently filling.
It was harder to get to know Poppy as this story was told from Tyler’s POV, but it’s obvious she is a caring person and was looking for inner peace with some decisions she made in her life. Poppy never purposely hurt anyone and only ever wanted to make the world a better place. While working to do that, she was also running from her past. Again, not that she did anything wrong. But she had to come to that realization for herself and she sought out the church to see if religion could help her find her way.
I can’t end this review without mentioning how spicy this book is with Poppy and Tyler not able to hold back their attraction, no matter where they are. That could make this story a no-go for many, so be forewarned. Many situations in this story will be viewed as downright blasphemous to some.
I think I read this. It sounds familiar. Might have been a little more taboo than I was comfortable, but I do remember being surprised that I didn’t hate it. Great review! I’m glad it worked for you.
It’s definitely not for everyone.