Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Between Sinners and Saints

Title: Between Sinners and Saints
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-121-1
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating:  Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Levi would be hard pressed to say which he loved more, surfing or sex.  Living and working in Florida gives him plenty of opportunity to enjoy both.  When an injury sends him to Jaime, Levi begins to wonder if there might be something more waiting for him. 

I loved Ms. Sexton’s Between Sinners and Saints.  Coming in at around 372 pages, this novel is anything but a light read. However, it will hold your attention till the very last page.  Because of the book's length, the reader never experiences the feeling of being rushed through the men’s relationship.  The reader is given the time to learn about the characters as they learn about each other, as well as themselves.  Levi is a player in every sense of the word and sometimes, his actions rubbed me the wrong way.  It soon becomes clear, though, that Levi’s actions are the result of his ongoing conflict with his family.  Jaime is a massage therapist who, after many years, is still recovering from his tragic past, and sometimes does not always succeed.  Readers will find Jaime the easiest of the two men to be drawn to.  The way he tries to cope with his problems made me want to hug him. 

The men’s’ transition, from acquaintances to friends and finally lovers, occurs in a realistic, but not always smooth, manner.  Their problems stem from the issues in their lives that they have no control over.  For Levi, those problems center around the religious beliefs he was raised with and the fact that his being gay makes him  a sinner in the eyes of his family and church.  The author does a good job passing along the Mormon philosophy without becoming extremely preachy.  Ms. Sexton also keeps the realistic vibe flowing when she has Levi and his family reconciling.  Jaime’s problems are worse than Levi’s in many ways, something that the young surfer comes to understand.  Sexually abused by a family member, Jaime learned to trust no one.  The many different emotional and psychological levels that Jaime goes through are very realistic and the author keeps this in mind while sending the men on the road to finding their happily ever after. 

Needless to say, the road Levi and Jaime follow is not an easy one, and more than once, one or the other has a setback.  Yet, this only makes the story more compelling and, by the time it ends, the reader will be more than satisfied.  I would strongly recommend Between Sinners and Saints to any fan of the M/M genre and will be reading this story again in the future.

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