ARC Review: Sinner by Sierra Simone

Zee and I told you about our lust love for Sierra Simone's Priest in our review here. That book has become our Gold Standard for exceptional smut paired with soul-searching depth in an erotic romance novel. So we were understandably thrilled to learn that Father Bell's big brother, Sean, was going to get his own tale. 

We didn't know what to expect from Sinner, we just knew that we had to have it, so we jumped all over the chance to be a stop on Ms. Simone's release day blog tour and to get our filthy hands on the book a few days early. Come with me through the jump and I'll tell you all the dirty details about the second installment in the saga of the Bell Brothers. Okay, that's not true--I'm not going to give you spoilery details, but I will tell you why I loved it, and if you loved Priest you'll want to pick up Sinner, too. 



So, I'm just going to get out of the way the one thing I did not enjoy: the age difference. I don't like huge age differences in my romances, so that carried a lot of eye rolling with it for me. And it was extra squicky that Sean was super turned on by Zenny's youth and almost-innocence. Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, but that shit does not work for me, and I judge dudes who kink that way. 

However, I was able to overlook that detail and see that pretty much everything else about this book was terrific. A likeable hero who undergoes an amazing character change in the course of the book, just because he starts to see the world through other people's eyes. (I must take a second to appreciate a hero who reads romance novels, adores his parents, and tries to take care of everyone he loves. Sean Bell is a terrific character.) A feisty heroine who knows what she wants and goes after it, even if she does lie to herself a little bit. A riveting look at faith and religion that even this skeptic can appreciate. Wonderful side characters and plots unrelated to the central love story, with a scene that absolutely devastated me (ugly crying at midnight on a workday. Thanks, Sierra Simone!). And, of course it's a Sierra Simone novel, so there is plenty of hot sex, but each and every scene moves the plot along and feels necessary, not base titillation. 

This book was a lot of things. The implications of Sean and Zenny's relationship were myriad, because of age, race, familial relationships, and religion. Exploring all of that was absolutely riveting and Sean's character growth made the book unputdownable for me. But what pushed this into the five star range for me was the painfully realistic scene that made me ugly cry. While I'm not a fan of May-December romances in general, the depth of Sierra Simone's story let me overlook that and take a truly stunning journey. I can't wait to read about the next Bell Brother. 

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