A Taste of Sin (Secrets in Edgewood Book 1) by Kate Hawthorne #Audiobook #LGBT #Review #MMContemporary

Erryn reviews ‘A Taste of Sin (Secrets in Edgewood Book 1)’ by Kate Hawthorne. The ebook was published March 20, 2019 and is 270 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Christopher Rourke.  It was released November 30, 2020 and is 7 hrs and 12 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Why I read this book: I’m always up for a new author.

I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.

Reed’s days are full of unexpected surprises – pretty par for the course as the principal of the only Catholic school in a small town, but there’s one surprise he wasn’t prepared for, and that was Dominic O’Halloran.

God help me, I want you.

Dominic has spent decades thinking about the life he could have lived. What if he’d not been an orphan? What if he’d been adopted? What if his best friend Reed hadn’t been torn out of his life when they were teens? But as an adult, he’s focused on the things he can control – his faith, his calling, and his pride.

If you still want me, then I’ll have you.

Finally together after a lifetime apart, Dominic and Reed find themselves in a state of emotional upheaval, complicated by the rules of their religions. Reed is terrified of losing his soul, and Dominic, his heart, but neither of them are willing to give up on the second chance they’ve been given without first enjoying a taste of sin.

Forgive me, Father; it appears I’ve sinned.

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My Review:

Reed and Dominic were in foster care together.  They were as close as brothers could be and their worlds were torn apart when Reed was adopted.  Dominic never heard from him again.

Years later, Reed is the principal of a Catholic School.  He lives a solitary life, pushing down his homosexual urges.  Image is everything, and the church is very clear on its teachings.  Being gay is a mortal sin.  Then one day he encounters Dominic in a local fast-food joint and he’s stunned.  He’s never forgotten his foster brother, but he also never expected to see him again.  Especially in this town far from where they’d met.

Dominic is a priest, although not in the Catholic church.  He is a respected member of his community – a leader in his congregation.  He is also shocked to see Reed, although there is some resentment there.  When Reed was adopted, he disappeared and Nic never heard from him again.  He was hurt.  Really hurt.  Only later in the book is it revealed what happened behind the scenes.

The two men are attracted to each other and while one is free to pursue the relationship, the other is forbidden. Well, perhaps forbidden is too strong a word.  But Reed knows he’ll lose his job.  A job that means everything to him.  Or so he’s always believed.  As he struggles with his attraction, Nic feels like he’s being taken advantage of.  Reed wants all the benefits of a secret relationship (read: sex – a lot of sex) but wants none of the responsibility.  Nic has no interest in being in the closet.  He’s out and wants his parishioners to know it’s okay to be gay.  He encourages the kids to start an LGBT group and is pleasantly surprised when Reed sends a young woman his way for spiritual guidance.  The young woman believes she’s gay, and there’s no place for her in Reed’s world.

Yet as many problems that plague the relationship, neither man can let go.  As Reed says to Nic, “I just want to be allowed to love you.”  Basically a plea for understanding.  When the two get some time alone, it’s clear they were meant to be together.  But then they return to Edgewood and it looks like their relationship will be on the down low again.  I might have despaired a bit.  But this is a romance, thank goodness.  This book struck a chord with me – two men who just want to be allowed to love each other.  I struggle to tolerate churches where flock members are rejected because of who they are.  Needless to say, I was interested in how this book was going to find a happy resolution.

I’m intrigued about where this series is going, and will eagerly anticipate the next book.  Finally I have to mention Christopher Rourke.  He’s a new-to-me narrator and I have to say I enjoyed his performance.  I hope he narrates any subsequent books in the series.

My Rating:

9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars

Goodreads | Twitter @KateWritesWords| Website

Born and raised in Southern California, Kate Hawthorne woke up one day and realized she had stories worth sharing. Now existing on a steady diet of wine and coffee, Kate writes stories about complicated men in love that are sometimes dirty, but always sweet. She enjoys crafting hard-fought and well deserved happy endings with just the right amount of angst and kink.

From estate sale shopping to shoe worship, there’s something in at least one of her books that’ll tickle your fancy.

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