Monday, June 30, 2014

The Saint Review




Title:  The Saint
Series: Original Sinners - The White Years
Author:  Tiffany Reisz
Release Date:  June 24, 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin Mira

My Rating:  5 Soul Consuming 's





Synopsis:

In the beginning, there was him.

Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn't want to break. She's sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they're apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can't be right.

But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets.

Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.
"You're not a normal priest, are you?"
He gave her a smile that hit her like a slap to the face and a kiss on the mouth all at once.
"My God, I hope not."

My Review:

Tiffany Reisz has done it again.  She has written another brilliant, complex, multi-layered story that takes us back to the beginning of it all - when Eleanor first meets Soren.  Nora is "almost sixteen" and Soren is the new, twenty-nine year old priest at her church.  Sparks fly when their eyes first meet and someway, somehow, they both know they share a profound connection that is destiny.  

She met his eyes and saw something flash in them, something she couldn't translate into words.  It was as if he recognized her, as if he'd seen her before somewhere and now tried to remember where.  She knew she'd never seen him before in her life.  If she had, she would never have forgotten him.
 
While I was uncomfortable at first with the idea of a relationship between this mature man and teenage girl, The Saint gave me the insight into Soren that I needed to know that he was a good man - that he always had Eleanor's best interests at heart, that he did not corrupt her as a young teen...although she certainly did her best to corrupt him!   Soren protected Eleanor - waiting patiently for her to grow up, guiding her spiritually as she matured into a beautiful young woman of twenty and also loving her enough to wait until she fell in love with a "normal" young man of her own age...thus allowing Eleanor to have a choice - a normal life with marriage & children or the life Soren could offer.  Which would she choose?

If there's one thing Nora has never been, it's "normal" or innocent (even though she is a virgin).  She was a troubled, rebellious teenager (no surprise there) when she set her sights on Soren.  She grew into a smart, snarky, competent woman who knew what she wanted and did what she needed to do to get it.   She is complicated and yet very "real".  I loved that about her.

Three words I couldn't imagine myself ever saying when I first started this series is I love Soren but I can say it now.  In fact, I loathed him for a long time, although I found him fascinating.  (My review of the first book, The Siren, can be found at The Siren Review.)


Soren is a multi-layered, complex man who has ghosts in his closet and darkness in his soul.  And yet, he is a beautiful, shining example of all that is good - a saint.  He challenges Nora and takes her to task when she strays off the path.  I thank Tiffany Reisz for giving us this view of the man underneath the collar of the priest.  He too is "real" with emotional flaws that can be traced back to his own childhood.  Make no mistake about it - he is a sadist.  Yet, he forces nothing on Nora but honesty, as he loves her enough to set her free...it's her choice whether she ever returns to him. 

There is only one thing that didn't work for me about The Saint.  While Soren & Nora fill the pages, it's all in the past.  Nora is with Nico in present time in this book.  It bothered me that she is apparently "in love" with yet another man, while she again declares her love for Soren.  I realize this relationship apparently works for them but I would have preferred to see her returning to Soren's arms - especially after all we learn in The Saint.  However, this book still mesmerized me, sucking me in again until I couldn't turn pages fast enough.  It's both funny and romantic.  It's filled with lightness and darkness - love and angst.  It really is a love story.  I feel a loss after finishing it, as I already miss these characters and can't wait for the next one.  A Must Read!

My Rating:  5 Soul Consuming ♥♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart...xxx

Sandra

Quotes:

"Why are you a priest?"  She dug her hands in the back of his hair.  Such soft hair and pale as spun gold.

"I love being a priest.  It's who I am.  And it's who I am because God wants me to be a priest."

"Are you sure?"

"If I had any doubt in my mind, do you think you'd still be a virgin?"
♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥

"So it's okay to desire someone as long as you don't act on it?"

"There are many situations when acting on one's desires is not a sin."

"Married couples, right?  They can have sex all they want."

"Married couples can certainly engage in sexual acts with each other."

"And..."  Eleanor waved her hand, hoping for more to the answer.  "Nobody else?  The rest of us are screwed?  I mean, not screwed?"
♥       ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥         ♥

"Sheep among wolves.  That makes the church sound dangerous.  You think we're dangerous."

"I think you're dangerous."

Eleanor sat back on her heels.  They'd been joking the entire time they'd been in the sanctuary, but what he'd said and how he'd said it?  That was no joke.

"Me?  Dangerous?" she repeated.

"You. Very."

"Why?"

"Because you want to be.  That's part of the reason."
♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥

"You're going to go through all this trouble for me, why?"

Soren looked back at her and gave her a smile that stripped her soul naked and put it on its knees.

"Because there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect you, Eleanor.  Nothing I wouldn't do to help you and nothing I wouldn't do to save you. Nothing."
♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥       ♥        ♥

"And now I know why I needed to become a priest.  Because God knew long before I did that I would need to be a priest to find you and help you and keep you on the right path.  And I will keep you safe even if it kills me."
♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥

"Eleanor, I could barely breathe watching you walk down the aisle today.  Do you know how much it hurt knowing you will never walk down that aisle to me?"

Tears burned her eyes.

"It hurt me, too," she confessed, and blinked the tears away.
♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥

"Little One, to be with me is to hurt."

"To be without you would hurt more.  It did hurt more.  You won't scare me off.  I'm not afraid of you."
♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥        ♥       ♥        ♥

"Have you ever had a dream feel so real that upon waking you thought you were still asleep?"  He took her hand in his.

"Once or twice."

"I felt like that the moment I saw you, Little One.  I dreamed you once.  I think I'm still dreaming."

4 comments:

  1. Excellent review, Sandra. And I concur on that last point about Nico. You hit the nail on the head!
    -Sunny

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    1. Thanks, Sunny. I tried to accept Nora with Nico but it still bothers me...however, Soren & Nora's story deserves no less that 5 hearts! :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Ruth. This is such a complicated series but I love it!

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