Review: Absolution (Sinful Temptation #2) by E.M. Leya and Nicole Colville

Although this is book two in the collection, it can be read as a standalone or the first in the series.

For most of his adult life, Jon dedicated his life to the church, finding solace in helping others, but there has always been something missing. Up until now, he's been able to push that aside and move forward, letting everyone think he's happy and doing what he loves.

Ash doesn't want to continue with life. Left behind to live a cold and empty life after his partner died in a tragic accident, he doesn't see any future for himself. He goes through the motions of living, but inside he’s ready to give up. All that's left behind is the anger and hurt he has inside him.

Finding comfort in each other's company, the two men struggle with emotions, guilt and fears about the future. Confiding only in each other, they grow closer, both denying the bond building between them, and a past that won't let them move on.

Jon has been a priest for years now and is seemingly happy. He has doubts and fears and uncertainty, but he's keeping all that locked up tight inside. What else can he do? He doesn't know anything besides what inside the church walls.

At his close friends wedding, he meets Ash. Ash who is drowning in sadness and guilt. The loss of his partner is tearing him up and he's doing nothing to stop it. He's running from his sorrow and plans to continue. Until a photography job at the church comes up and he decides to stay put for a bit. 

Ash and Jon work together for this project and start to become friends. Ash places one term on their friendship, no talk of his late partner. Though Ash was obviously struggling, Jon was, too. He was stuck in a rut. He's dedicated his entire life to the church and really doesn't give himself any room to breathe.
"You're human, Jon. No one expect you to be perfect. You have needs, desires, wants and craving just like the rest of us. Just because you wear that collar doesn't make you immune to everything. Give yourself a break, and by that, I mean a real break. Take a few hours for yourself every now and then."
Ash really helped Jon come to terms with his own unhappiness. He pushed Jon out of his comfort zone and showed him what it means to live.
"Sure enough, there was Jon, but not the Jon Ash had spent the last three weeks with. This Jon... this Jon he actually saw."
During all this self-realization, there was no negativity towards his priesthood or the church. Jon had no regrets, just some soul searching. His faith never wavered and I liked that it stayed strong throughout. Jon is a man of God through and through. He's good and kind and selfless. I loved him from the beginning.

He and Ash healed each other and were strong for each other. I simply adored their romance. It was just lovely. The way their working relationship grew into friendship was so natural. And once that was established there was so much tension between them. They knew it was there, but what could they do? Jon was a priest! And Ash was still in love with someone else. What a mess. What an angsty, delicious mess. 

They were very open about their feelings. There were no misread signals or misunderstandings. They pretty much knew where the other stood and that was refreshing. At about the halfway mark, I was expecting this to be a solid 4.5 (maybe even 5) read. But then I found there to be too much talking. Too much openness. How many times did they need to talk about their feelings? About Jon's priesthood and Ash's partner? There's really only so much you can say. So they had the same discussion over and over. I was so bummed with the redundancy because I was enjoying the first half so much. Not only did I get bored with the same conversation, but it didn't read like two guys to me. There was no need for over 400 kindle pages. The talking and talking and talking didn't do anything to move the story forward.

Regardless, I really loved Jon and Ash. I won't be forgetting them anytime soon.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...must admit it didn't jump out and grab me but I've put it on my maybe list, for when I'm in the mood for a lot of talking.