ARC provided by author to facilitate this review
There are many rules a priest can't break.
A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.
I've always been good at following rules.
Until she came.
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.
I am a priest and this is my confession.
I was excited to team up with my friends Anna and Jess from Martini Times Romance for this hilarious and irreverent buddy read & review. We read the upcoming Priest by Sierra Simone, the book that’s got everyone buzzing. (And with good reason). We decided on at chat-style review so that you all could see our reactions play out in real time. What follows is the uncensored (and fairly filthy) discussion we had about Priest, as narrated by Anna from Martini Times.
**SOME MILD SPOILERS AHEAD**
Narration provided by the dirty mouthed Anna.
Anna: I’m loving this!
We all agreed to break down the 25 chapter novel into 5 parts. We would read 5 chapters and then discuss what we’ve read. Well some bitches couldn’t stop reading…. Jess, I’m calling you out.
Jess: Chapter 6…they are going to hell. Oh my…are they going to burn. Hurry the fuck up, you bitches. Better grab an extra pair of panties!
To say that didn’t light a fire under our asses to catch up would be an understatement.
Mo: Oh Snap!!!
Jess: Better make it two [pairs of panties].
Jess: And I quote: “…her pussy wasn’t just wet either- it was fucking quivering, pink, and soft, and quivering right in front of my face.”
Jess: How many Hail Marys does that get ya, Mo?
Jess: A fucking gazillion.
Mo: Shit. I better go get my Bible.
Jess: And your priest.
Jess: Who’s going to hell?
Anna: His [Tyler] mouth makes me horny, hahah.
I shared this while reading somewhere in chapter 4:
And because Jess is a speedy wench who can’t stop when she’s supposed to and has kept reading…
Jess: Keep reading
Jess: That’s child play. Keep reading.
So, when me and Mo finally get to the infamous chapter 6…
Anna: }:-) Hollllllllly fuck!
Anna: That was insane. I seriously hadn’t read anything that hot in like…ever. EVER, I tell you!
Mo: Holy shit.
Mo: I have to read faster. Or move out.
Jess: LMAO. Keep reading.
Jess: I mean, they haven’t even had sex yet.
Anna: It is TMI to tell you that I’m already horny as fuck? Bawhahaha.
Mo: we’re putting that in the review
Jess: Fuck yes, slut bag, shut your dirty mouth.
And so it’s now here in print for you all to read. But in my defense, this book was on fire hot. It couldn’t be helped.
Anna: A book hasn’t done that in a looooon time. No Shame.
Anna: I’ll just ask for forgiveness.
Jess: I am not your priest. Or priestess. Talk to Mo.
Anna: Fine, preaching to the choir. 😛
Anna: Father Mo…
Jess: Bow at my alter, bitch.
Anna: I’m not worthy.
Jess: Damn right.
Anna: Seriously. This is good shit.
Mo was a little bit behind the two of us, so while slow poke was catching up…
Anna: You know, I was thinking at around chapter 3 how much I was digging the fact that this wasn’t just priest porn… but that there was actual depth to it… I had spoken too soon.
Anna: No…take your time. Soak it in. ACK
Jess: Chapter 10
Anna: Stop, you dirty whore!
Jess: Chapter 9 brings a fucking three fire alarm.
Randomly, Mo chimes in…
Mo: Who says that to a PRIEST?
Anna: A dirty filthy girl.
Jess: Have you seen the shit he [Tyler] says back?
Anna: Like I said…she’s [Poppy] egging him on!
Jess: That fucker [Tyler] says fuck more than I fucking do.
Anna: Hey, he’s still a man.
Jess: Just wait. $20 bucks that he taps that ass. Literally.
Anna: This is how I feel while reading this book.
Anna: Hopefully rubbing one out to chapter 6.
Jess: Good grief, you filthy mouthed whore.
Finally Mo chimes in…
Mo: Oh God… the piano. This is it, isn’t it?
Jess: Yes. Say your Hail Marys now.
Mo: I’M SO EXCITED!
Jess: A moment of silence for Mo. Bow your head Anna.
Mo: WELL THEN
Jess: So let’s discuss. We all agree that was hot.
Jess: The insta love shit is a buzzkill for me.
Anna: No one is really saying they are in love though, ya know? More like lust.
Mo: She’s [Poppy] definitely under his [Tyler] skin, though.
Jess: It’s not lust. Lust would not be okay. Lust from falling in love would be more acceptable. Forgivable. A lot of people are going to hate it, because just like you said, Anna, they’ll think it’s lust and not love.
Anna: It’s a quick read, so things are gonna move a little fast. I’m keeping an open mind so far.
Jess: I think that will kill the book. She [Author Sienna Simone] didn’t take enough time to develop the emotional side of their relationship before diving into the freaky hot sexy time.
Anna: Tyler’s feeling guilt for allowing Poppy to kill his resolve.
Jess: He’s a priest for fucks sake.
Anna: For all the wrong reasons. He only joined out of some sick form of penance for allowing another priest to molest his sister.
Jess: A priest that, out of the gate, is throwing F bombs and fantasizing about this women he doesn’t even know.
Anna: We’re all sinners, but I get your point. 😛
Jess: I expected more resistance, and it’s not there because the book is short.
Anna: It’s porn with minimal plot. If the author had taken the time to cultivate more realistic feelings, it would make the “love” aspect so much better.
Mo: I think we’ve still got time for development here, though.
Anna: But you gotta give the author props for her mad “non” sex scene skill.
Mo: I’m seeing a crisis of conscience coming, but they won’t be able to resist the draw to each other.
Anna: Exactly Mo, That’s what I’m getting as of chapter 7.
In reference to a specific scene in chapter 6,
Jess: Tyler on his knees and the “I’m sorry” made my belly hurt. I want more of that. That prologue brought the burn and feels. I want it all to be like that.
Anna: OMG! I know. Jesus that prologue was almost hypnotic.
Jess: So far, I’d give this book 3 stars.
Anna: Tyler knows his faults. He’s never acted sanctimonious, never claimed to be holier than thou. He sees himself as a modern man. Not like a priest of the old days.
Jess: Calling Poppy “Lil’ Lamb” makes me gag.
Anna: Ode to Twilight. Haha
Anna: You’re a buzz kill…
Mo: No, I like it!
Mo: It’s like he’s constantly reminding her that he’s a priest.
Anna: I like it! Sounds like he’s on repeat to remind himself of that fact.
Jess: I don’t think Poppy has forgotten. She gets off on it. Cough cough…Anna…
Anna: Poppy said it aptly enough: “You’re a good priest, Father Bell,” she said, her hand moving down to explore lower, cupping me. “But you’re also a good man…”
Anna: You know, they’ve been coming together for weeks now, talking deeply to one another, opening up, which creates a fast bond in my opinion. I think it’s working in this story…so far.
Jess: It doesn’t for me.
Fast forward to the next day. Jessica has finished the story while Mo and I still had some reading left.
Mo: I’m enjoying it a lot.
Anna: Yeah, the “love” is rushed, but if I don’t overthink it, I have to say I’m thoroughly entertained.
Mo: I LOVED being in his head when they had sex on the altar.
Anna: OMG, me too! It was incredibly well written and respectful…well as respectful as having sex on an altar can be. To them, it was more than just a fuck.
Mo: And his inner dialogue about the whole thing being holy to him… **shivers**
Mo: My devout husband would divorce me if he knew I was reading this! LOL
Anna: Oh man. I told my hubby all about it. I’ve very Christian, but I can’t help but like what I like…
It didn’t take us much longer to finish the book.
Mo: Solid 4 stars. Yum, yum.
Jess: 3.5 stars.
Anna: 4 stars.
Mo: I can’t get it out of my mind. I may re-read in the very near future.
Jess: It’s the sex. It was hot. The rest, meh.
Mo: Damn skippy.
Jess: The author has potential for sure. I hope to see her put more thought in the ending in her next book.
Anna: I agree, Jess. She has a solid idea, would have LOVED to see more of the story flushed out.
Jess: And not rush it. Long books are okay by me if they’re well written. For the storyline, I think Priest was too short to develop much.
Mo: Yeah, there are some areas that she could have delved more into. But I think she was really ballsy in her approach to the story.
Jess: The sex ate up a lot of the pages.
Anna: You find that in a lot of erotica. That a main reason why I don’t read too many of them.
Jess: The prologue and chapter 1 had me all worked up, and then it didn’t live up to it.
Anna: I need more than sex, and this gave a great glimpse into romance. Just wanted a little more on that front.
Jess: I think my biggest issue was that I wanted him to be more like a real priest…and he couldn’t help himself because he loved her.
Mo: And Poppy really threw me at first. I was all, “who DOES that?” LOL
Jess: He fucked her well before that, and at the very beginning he was not priestly. So I needed that to be established before he went all dirty.
Anna: He was a priest but abandoned his morals at the first sound of Poppy’s voice.
Jess: I love romance. Romance with hot sex is even better. But sex without romance is just not for me.
Anna: I get that he was tempted, but I would have liked him to be a little more “priestly” and not cussing every 5 seconds…at least put on a mask that he had some scruples LOL.
Mo: On that same note, I know/knew priests who are like that. They’re regular guys when NOT behind the altar.
Jess: Was this a debut novel for the author?
Mo: No, she has a historical series.
Mo: It’s not like priests just walk around in their vestments, spouting Scripture all day. They drink, they curse, and they watch ball games in the rectory.
Jess: My pastor would never curse.
Anna: People have this ideal of who their pastors/priests should be. It’s a lot of pressure. I think Sierra Simone did a good job of showing us that there’s more to the man than his “job.”
Mo: I think so, too, Anna.
Mo: And honestly, I don’t feel like he was ever supposed to be a priest. He was never truly called to be one.
Jess: Seriously though, there was very little shown to us about him that made me believe he was priest.
Mo: I would have liked to see the author go more into that.
Jess: But no, instead, Tyler did Poppy on the altar anyways. It was too farfetched.
Anna: That’s the feeling I go too, Mo. I thought Tyler had reacted to his sister’s situation and felt like he had to become a priest to “right a wrong.” He went into the business without a true calling.
Mo: He decided to enter the priesthood in rectum to what happened to his sister.
Mo: In REACTION. OMG
Jess: “In rectum”
Anna: That’s going in the review…. BAWHAHAHA
Mo: I’m dead. I have died…LMFAO
Jess: Well he [Tyler] did go there too, didn’t he… With sacred anointing oil.
Mo: That part had me squirming BIG TIME. I was all, “Oh, this is SO wrong.” I was reading through my hand over my eye!
Anna: At least Poppy was considerate enough to buy lube for their next time.
Anna: Did Poppy seem a little two dimensional to anyone else? She was all “Woo is me, my parents are so rich that I had to act out and live on my own without their money. But in order to get by, I had to become a stripper…”
Jess: I think of Poppy as a secondary character. This story was about Tyler, not her.
Anna: I know, Jess, but I think Poppy needed to be more of a person with personality and not a “mary-sue.”
Mo: You know, this story almost came off as a like a love triangle…..Tyler, Poppy, and God.
Anna: That’s a good way of looking at it, Mo.
Jess: I kept thinking to myself, “I am going to hell if I keep reading this book.” It really felt blasphemous at times.
Anna: Yes! My mama would be so ashamed, knowing I read this. I think some people will be turned off by the subject matter.
Jess: And in saying that, we are going to hell.
Mo: Oh, for sure, Jess. The author crossed the line and went about 9 miles past it!
Jess: the Bible thumpers will have a field day.
Mo: This definitely will NOT be well-received by some, and I anticipate it getting tasked over the coals in reviews.
Jess; Christian Grey is an altar boy compared to Tyler Bell.
Anna: I think the author is going to get an ear full for sure from her readers. She had balls for writing this type of story.
Mo: She did.
Jess; She can write. There’s no disputing that.
Anna: What was your FAVORITE sex scene? Name the place only.
Jess: I refuse to answer….on the chance I may send myself to hell.
Anna: Mine was the altar scene. It was so emotional and kind of all consuming.
Mo: Mine, too, I think.
Mo: One thing I LOVED was the reverential way he talked about Poppy, and them being together.
Anna: In his mind, they were married. I found that beautiful.
Jess: My biggest issue is I didn’t feel them being in love. In heat, yes, but not love. I will say it again, I hate insta love.
Anna: This story was so profound, but lacked the depth of love that would have made this an easy 5 star read. I also felt that Tyler was more into Poppy than she was into him, but I think that may come from limiting the story to 250 pages and first person POV.
Mo: I would have liked to see Sierra Simone expand more on her characters falling in love, for sure.
Mo: Tyler totally made an idol out of Poppy.
Jess: I think for people to accept this subject matter, the author has to give us convincing “love’ before the altar sex. Otherwise you walk away from it feeling slightly dirty and asking for absolution.
Mo: If she went true dual POV, Sierra could have shown us that more, them falling in love.
Anna: Did anyone else get kinda tingly when reading about Tyler’s confessor? I’d love to read a book about him.
Jess: I wonder what the author will write next. Will it be another forbidden romance, or something more traditional? I would love to see her write an MC [Motorcycle Club story].
Anna: Can she be gritty enough for an MC, though?
Jess: She wrote a priest having sex at the altar of a Catholic Church….
Mo: Dude. She wrote about a priest using chrism for lube so he could give it to his girl in the butt. She could do an MC.
Jess: I don’t think there’s a line for the author.
Mo: Nope. It doesn’t exist.
Jess: What did you think of the ending?
Anna: I think it went as expected. Well, the epilogue anyways. Tyler and Poppy had spent a year apart. I was hoping for more than what we got at their reconciliation.
Jess: It was rushed and fell flat for me. Too cookie cutter for the subject matter.
Anna: A lot happens in a year. I don’t see how the ending was realistic at all. I felt let down a little bit.
Mo: But I think the author was showing us that no matter the circumstance, they were supposed to be together.
Jess: I didn’t feel like Poppy had resisted temptation at all. She pushed Tyler into it.
Anna: She played the snake in the Garden of Eden.
Mo: She totally did.
Jess: She was. I don’t think I like her.
Mo: The ending worked for me because I felt like Tyler was going into it expecting to say goodbye, but once he was with her, he knew he couldn’t be without her.
Anna: Yeah, it was sweet. I liked the ending. But when you analyze it after the fact, it was totally rushed.
Jess: Back to Poppy. Really, how much do we know about her that makes her likeable?
Mo: That’s the thing…we don’t know much about her at all. Priest is really HIS story, not theirs.
Mo: On another note, should we mention how this book has caused me to give up wearing underwear? LOL
Anna: Oh man. LOL. It’s be nice to blame this book on that, but I hadn’t worn them in a while.
Jess: Dirty bitches. How are we friends?
Anna: Cause we’re filthy animals.
Thus we come to the conclusion of our buddy read. We hope you enjoyed our filthy insight and understand that while there were things we would have liked to see done differently, Priest is still a great read.
Jess- 3.5 stars
Mo & Anna – 4 stars
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