Monday, January 30, 2017

Led By A Bishop | Take Me To Church

"I am stronger than my fear."
--Katie Ashley, The Last Mile

Genre
: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Signet
Pages: 336
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Previous Books in Series: Vicious Cycle & Redemption Road 
Find on: Goodreads | Amazon

My Thoughts

The Belle
I fell for the Vicious Cycle series after the first book and this final installment completely fits in with the previous books. This relationship was a bit more complicated than the previous books and I really had no idea how Katie Ashley was going to make this work...but she did.

An undercover ATF agent and the youngest of the Malloy clan start off with sparks and it only continues to catch fire from there. I loved their banter and their ability to sense a kinship with one another that allows them to open up to one another. Much to their own chagrin. They are both used to being very closed off so when they find themselves word-vomiting their pasts to each other it's disconcerting...and super fun to read.

I don't know what it is about this series and this family but I adore them. Their camaraderie, their loyalty, their giving of shit to one another. It's beyond endearing. I loved the breaking down of walls between Sam and Bishop. And I loved Bishop going after other goals than the motorcycle club.

The Beast
I felt that the drama and violence in this book was a bit over the top and one major plot point that allowed the main characters to get together was a cop-out. It didn't change my rating and I just went with it but it felt too easy.


Reserved Seating
If you like motorcycle clubs, a hint of forbidden love, and sexy banter...this book is for you.

"Maybe it wasn't the celibacy gene...
Maybe it's just that I was always waiting for you."
--Sierra Simone, Priest
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages:354
Publication Date: June 29th, 2015
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Find on: Goodreads | Amazon

My Thoughts

The Belle
I had heard good things about this book from very trusted friends...I'm not sorry, I'm not gonna lie, they had me at 'priest falls in love with a woman.' Bam. Done. Gimme gimme gimme. One of my favorite series EVER is The Original Sinners by Tiffany Reisz soooooo ipso facto I needed this book in my life. While there were a few things that bothered me, overall this book was great.

The forbidden romance was off the chain. The struggle was real. The temptation was of the Eve caliber. And it was hot, hot, hot. While we only get Tyler's perspective--for the most part--the connection and lust is very real and very quick but they still start off as friends. Poppy wanders into Tyler's confessional and really needs somebody to talk to. He is fascinated by her voice and her story. Tyler struggles with his feelings for Poppy because duh, he's a priest. He doesn't understand God's plan if he's meant to be with her or if this is a test. Growing up Catholic and being Catholic, I definitely understood where he was coming from. The Catholic guilt is a real thing. But never, ever did this book come off as preachy or pushing religion down the reader's throat. I loved this.

While I expected a forbidden romance going into this book, I did not expect to have such thought-provoking plot points. Tyler's internal debate really opened up a lot of internal dialogue about my thoughts and beliefs. I have never been a believer that priests and nuns shouldn't have carnal relations or marriages. I think it's silly and antiquated and unnecessary. But those are my own thoughts and opinions so I'm moving on. I love how the author wrote this aspect of the book in such a respectful and intelligent way. It could have gone so wrong but it didn't. Her author's note in the beginning is actually really beautiful and she explains how she loves the Catholic church even if she is no longer a part of it. I appreciated this as a reader and a Catholic. There's a lot of animosity and hate towards the Church so whenever it's dealt with in a respectful yet open-minded manner, I'm super excited.

The pacing of this book was on point. I did NOT want to put it down. I had to see what was going to happen next. The chemistry was engulfing the pages with how hot it was. You guys...YOU GUYS! The sex scenes were ON ANOTHER LEVEL of hot. It was a look around sheepishly while sitting alone because it was so hot. The loose BDSM element was so fucking hot. I loved every second of and while a lot of the time the sex in books gets redundant and uninspired to me, this was not the case. It was amazing and I don't use that word lightly when it comes to sex in my books that I read.

While this book won't be for everyone, if you love a little forbidden romance of a taboo nature, you should check this out. It's very respectful and handled very well and while there's just a bit--more than a bit--of blasphemy going on, it didn't bother me. But be warned, Tyler likes to get...*ahem*...creative with some Church things.

The Beast
The only parts that had me eye-rolling a bit was Tyler's fascination with Poppy's ability to be both smart and pretty. It actually really annoyed me how surprised he was that a beautiful woman could also be extremely intelligent and able to work and support herself. He didn't say it in those detailed words but he kept harping on the fact she was beautiful AND smart. The insta-love also didn't feel completely organic to me. I don't mind insta-connection but this felt a little too easy. A man who takes vows like those of becoming a priest I feel would have had a little more hesitation. While Tyler mentally self-flagellated himself constantly, it still felt a little rushed.

Oh, one more thing. I swear, I really liked this book but y'all know I'm honest to a fault in my reviews. When Poppy talks to Tyler about sex, her vocabulary is so incredibly crass and blunt that I just cannot believe a person would speak like this to anybody they don't know very well. Not to mention he is a near stranger who is also a man of the cloth. You people know me. I love swear words. I am blunt as hell. I talk about sexual situations very openly and with colorful words but if I kind of think that if *I* wouldn't' talk to somebody a certain way, nobody would.

Reserved Seating
If you love forbidden romance, HOT sex scenes, and the Catholic church...this book is for you.

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