Saint by Sierra Simone
Release Date: September 7th
Genre/Tropes: M/M/Second-chance romance/Brothers Best Friend/Forbidden Romance
I can’t have Elijah Iverson.
I can’t have him because he’s my older brother’s best friend. I can’t have him because I broke his heart five years ago; because he’s now engaged to someone else—someone kind and dependable who deserves his whiskey eyes, his soft mouth, his fierce intellect.
I can’t have Elijah because I’ve chosen God instead.
The Bell brothers, though . . . well, we don’t exactly have the greatest track record with vows. But I’m determined to do this monk thing right—to pledge myself to a cloistered life and spend the rest of my years in chastity and prayer. But now Elijah’s here. He’s here and he’s coming with me on my European monastery road trip, and between the whispered confessions and the stolen kisses and the moments bent over an ancient altar, my vows are feeling flimsier by the day.
And vows or not, I know in my heart that it would take more than a good and holy monk to resist Elijah Iverson right now. It would take a saint.
And we all know that I’m no saint.
(This is the third full-length standalone in the Priest Collection, featuring Father Bell’s brother, Aiden Bell. You do not have to read Priest or Sinner to read Saint.)
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Why leave a life as a millionaire? Why leave a perfect boyfriend?
Why leave family and a cute, derelict farmhouse and sex—God, why give up sex?
Because if I hadn’t, that darkness spilling in through my farmhouse window would have taken me. I’d wanted it to take me. I was ready for it to take me.
And somehow I managed to crawl my way here instead, gasping like a drowning man who’d just clawed his way to shore. I managed to save my own life—or I managed to let God save my life.
Either way, that was the cost of surviving. My old life.
Elijah scrubs his hands over his head, sinking into the tight curls for a moment. It’s longer now; he used to wear his hair short, with crisp, immaculate edges. Another change I wasn’t there to see. I wasn’t sitting on the couch with him when he rubbed his face and mused about growing a beard; I wasn’t poking him out of the way with my toothbrush while he faced the mirror, posing this way and that to imagine longer hair. I wasn’t there in bed with him at night, my legs tangled with his, while he complained about his job or feeling bored with his work, I wasn’t there when he sold his first article or when he submitted a portfolio to Mode.
I wasn’t there, because I was here. Praying and chopping wood.
I wasn’t there, and this Jamie person was.
Elijah stands up, facing away from me for a moment, before he turns back. The sun abruptly shifts through a break in the clouds and drives back the pre-rain murk in the cloister, illuminating Elijah in a haze of gold.
If I were to make a stained-glass window displaying an image of God’s creativity and capacity for beauty, it would be this. It would be Elijah with an unshaven face and in those shorts, it would be his eyes in that dark gold-brown hue, it would be his mouth, that jaw, that throat. It would be a saint in low-top sneakers with a halo of Kansas sunshine around his head.
He pulls his lower lip between his teeth for just an instant before releasing it, and then he straightens up, looking at me with an expression that defies interpretation. Only his eyes seem beyond his usual control, blazing with a heat that might be fury or grief, I can’t tell.
“I loved you for a long time after you left,” he says. “I thought you should know that.”
He doesn’t have to say the next part, because I already know; I already know he doesn’t love me anymore.
And with a small nod, he turns and walks out of the cloister, the first spots of rain blooming on his shirt and his head bowed, as if in prayer.
About the Author:
Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
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