Release Day Blitz and Review: Priest

Title:  Priest
Author: Sierra Simone
Published: June 29, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic


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 only.***

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      5 hearts

I knew before I started this book that it was going to get to me.  I was going to have all the feels and I would have no control over my reaction.  It was a toss-up between dying to read and dreading to read because of all that feeling.  I don’t want to make the review about religion and all the ongoing issues in the Catholic Church because, honestly, the book is about so much more than that.  But I feel I need to explain my frame of reference before I begin.  I was raised in the Lutheran church.  I have family and close friends who are clergy.  I am still very active with the church.  And ironically, my husband is Catholic, and I can relate to his religious upbringing as well as my own.  I am aware of how it is to be on the other side of the clergy persona. Not the side the parishioners see each week but the Father, Husband, Friend, Child, Brother side of their life.

So, Priest, by Sierra Simone, is indeed about Father Tyler Bell and his encounter with Poppy Danforth in the confessional.  Poppy is looking for something and she is hoping maybe the church is what she needs in order to absolve herself of her guilt over past wrongdoing.  Without knowing, Tyler is also seeking something.  The conflict that ensues is life altering.  Tyler Bell wants Poppy as he has never wanted anything more in his life.  The sexual chemistry is instantaneous and almost volatile.  The two come together in a very taboo scenario.  The Priest should be off limits, the church building should be off limits, Poppy should be off limits, their growing love should never happen.  But here in lies the true point of the story.  It is not about the Catholic religion or the constraints of the Priest.  It is about being human.  It’s about our wants and desires.  It is about our ability to love another person with all of our heart and be ok with that overwhelming feeling.  It is about trusting in ourselves to make the right choice in our lives and not have guilt about that. 

We see this story from Tyler’s POV.  I loved meeting the secondary characters hearing his description of them.  I was happy to see Sierra portray God as I know him: loving, caring, and forgiving.  I liked both Tyler and Poppy—both their humanness and their sexuality.  You can read this book and be affected by how erotic the story is.   Believe me, Father Bell has got it going on—dirty, kinky, sexy!  Snippets that will make your heart go ka-thunk, ka-thunk!  But I hope you also read the story and understand that all people deserve love.  If that means it comes to you when it is least expected or when it has been forbidden to you because of your vows, you are still deserving.  Those that choose to lead us in our faith journey may have God’s ear, but they too are human. 

 Father Bell’s parting sermon:

“In a way, it’s easier to dwell on sin and guilt than it is to dwell on love and forgiveness—especially forgiveness for yourself.  But that’s what’s been promised to us, and I for one, will not refuse God’s promise of a full, love-filled life.”

So….this is a love story—not a religious taboo story.  Read it.  I hope you’ll fall in love with Tyler and Poppy.  I hope you’ll find love in yourself. Be sure and show Sierra Simone some love while you’re at it!

*I received an ARC of this title for an honest review.

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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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