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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.

415 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 7, 2021

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Sierra Simone

82 books15.9k followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,971 reviews
Profile Image for Nark.
650 reviews1,016 followers
May 20, 2022
“i already love him like how forever feels. i already love him like eternity is in the rearview mirror. i love him like everything.”

2 stars…

✦ this is a book about Aiden, who’s a monk. he used to be a party boy, who would always make people laugh, who always joked around, who wasn’t ever serious.

✦ while he seemed like an always bright, carefree guy - Aiden was actually suffering from severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

”sometimes people who laugh the loudest and reach for life the hardest are the ones closest to the darkness.”

✦ Aiden is a definitely a complicated character. almost the whole book was written from his POV, so we really got to experience all his deepest thoughts. he was masochistic on a deep level.

“i am the opposite of turned off by the potential suffering - i crave it, i crave it to the point of masochistic desire. suffering can be good; suffering can be essential.”

✦ you definitely feel for him as the reader, but ultimately i still couldn’t fully connect with him.

✦ we find out early on in the book that Aiden left his boyfriend Elijah very suddenly without even saying goodbye one night to become a monk.

✦ we don’t really know the full reason why for a while. it slowly gets fed to you as the reader and then Aiden actually finally tells Elijah everything towards the end of the book.

“that is the cruelest thing about depression: it is at the edge of speech, at the very edge of what words can shape and describe.”

✦ this was definitely beautifully written. HOWEVER, i tend to want more showing than telling in the romance books i read. instead it was “i showed him this & that; we did this & that.” well okay… how about you let me actually SEE IT?

✦ i was craving more dialogue, more simple interactions between the mcs. they did have a lot of beautiful, deep conversations about religion, depression, sexuality, celibacy, etc, BUT no one talks about ONLY shit like that in real life.

✦ where were the cute conversations that make me swoon and root for the couple?? 🙄 i just needed something more, since i did read this book purely for the romance.

✦ i had a hard time seeing exactly WHY Elijah and Aiden were so in love. frankly i wasn’t fully convinced of their love or their connection. i just didn’t fully feel it. therefore, i didn’t even care about the smut or the dirty talk. i honestly skimmed most of it.

✦ i felt the tension and the longing in the beginning, but once they started getting together, it was kind of lost for me. i sadly didn’t feel that same tension and their need for each other anymore. it almost seemed like they would start kissing and groping each other out of nowhere. there was no appropriate build up.

✦ i also felt a very disconnected from Elijah, because we only ever got his POV from his articles. i wish this book had an actual dual POV. i feel like that would have improved this book a lot.

✦ this also had a lot of religious talk (DUH, obviously!! what did you expect, Nark???) and it did get tedious at times for me to be completely honest. but that’s my own fault - reading a book about a monk, like OBVIOUSLY there will be a lot of religious talk…🤣

✦ this book also felt TOO DAMN LONG. and that’s coming from a person who’s read numerous series that are like five thousand pages multiple times.
February 27, 2023
this story was beautifully written, and I connected to Aiden’s character in so many levels. I adored how this book explored love, religion and mental health. Depression was described in one of the best ways i’ve ever seen in a book. I loved Aiden & Elijah’s characters, I also loved getting to see glimpses of Sean & Tyler. My favorite in the series. <3
Profile Image for Llakshmi.
387 reviews293 followers
September 13, 2021
if you keep skipping chapters, it’s not that bad🤷‍♀️

It’s me not the book.

i changed my mind. 2 stars. I read @Nark’s review and I really didn’t read enough of this to give it 3 stars.
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,520 reviews820 followers
August 28, 2021
This Forbidden tale of unrequited love just tears at your moral tapestry one thread at a time. It's lusty, it's passionate and oh so deliciously hurting. As I shed my tears to its chants, fold my hands to beg for deliverance from this acute heartache, I get a glimpse of how God designed love to be. In its purest form, it's a different gate to the same heaven and its all thanks to a writer like sierra.
Standing at the crossroads of Religion and Human sexuality, It's profoundly religious, deeply spiritual and solemnly sacred in feel, I almost felt I was committing a sin as my eyes kissed the words written on these pages. I somehow feel cleansed, baptized, stripped to my soul.
A monk is traveling with a man he's still in love with, and you get to walk in their footsteps, peeking voyeuristically at their stolen moments inside the crumbling cottage, on the hill on a blanket, hidden around the yew and especially on the altar.
It's a psalm of passion, hymn of lustful lyrics, prayer of tortured hearts. All you can do is Recite and let it revereberate inside of you, touch Kairos.

"I’ve been living in Deep Time these last two weeks, in medieval monasteries where monks sing prayers thousands of years old and where Aiden looks at me like I’m a human hymn. For a handful of days, I have been suspended with him, and maybe even with God, inside that fullness, all my dots connecting, hovering, shimmering."


Sierra always manages to surprise the readers with her overpowering, deeply emotional stories and this one is no different. It's both majestic and humble in content. Austerity of monastic life against the grandeur of European countryside is so rich and colourful, it feels sacriligious to encroach upon the the tranquil beauty of lavender fields.


"It’s like I’m looking at everything through stained glass, warped and bubbled and shaded in vital, jeweled hues."

Aiden has shed his colourful life of parties, women, money and drugs to Don the polyester scapular and robes of a monk. Crossing the threshold of disturbed, noisy impulsive life of a millionaire playboy to the Stark, rigidly structured life In the Hermitage and the contrast is so wide, it seems like a non starter since onset.
But Aiden surprises himself with his adaptability becuase he is now put in the corner of his own soul.

Cognitive Dissonance


There's an embarrassment of riches in terms of natural Vistas and bejeweled sentiments. And amidst it all are two people who straddle on dual worlds of social splurge full of excesses in every form and the darkness lurking in the periphery, always threatening to suck them down the rabbit hole.
Sierra brings the vaccilating hearts to a standstill for 5 years and in the interim is the passage, the journey, the quest for the true calling for both Aiden Bell and Elijah Iverson.


"It’s been four years and six months of trying to let Elijah Iverson go."

They are reluctant companions in their voyage around the world to look for purpose and peace and ironically it's at last found hiding inside them. They just need a lesson in patience to discover it. Let it come TO them instead of going AFTER it.
To question all their What Ifs and explore the nooks and crannies possibilities of finding a way back.

"It’s huge, vast, bigger than grace and larger than sin,
I’d rather the sting of repentance than the anguish of wishing. Wishing for the rest of my life that I’d used every hour of these last days with Elijah."

I don't have to explain the phenomenon that is Sierra, her talent needs no validation from a lowly, albeit obsessed reader like me, but I have to tell you this. There's no way you will be unchanged or untransformed after experiencing this story of Aiden Bell.
My soul transformed without my knowledge and I'm definitely richer having just walked through this miraculous book. There's no more words left in my pitiful vocabulary to perfectly articulate the meteoric impact this book had on me. I've been her greatest fan always but I keep falling deeper and deeper in love with her writing with every book.
What an honor to witness her work during my lifetime.
10 stars for Many Ways to the Well
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Profile Image for Renae Reads.
442 reviews322 followers
August 26, 2021
***I received an eArc from the author in exchange for an honest review.***

Breathtakingly Beautiful and Haunting.... are my initial first impressions of the epic love story by Sierra Simone.

Saint is a forbidden second chance romance occurring between a monk and his ex-boyfriend. I had never read anything like this story before and I was not disappointed. This complex and meticulously written story immediately transports you into a world that is full of undeniable beauty while unraveling a complicated romance.

Another fascinating aspect of this story is its main character. Aiden Bell is an enigma. He hides many of his inner thoughts and feelings due to his devotion to his faith, in which he has found a sense of peace. His entire world is shaken when his ex-boyfriend, who he left without a word five years ago, returns to his life.

Elijah, Aiden's ex-boyfriend, is a writer who decides to write an article about the monastery's brewery. This assignment was a great way to force Aiden and Elijah to confront their unresolved past while revealing the true reason for Aiden becoming a monk.

Saint is one of the most emotional and thought-provoking love stories I have ever read. Aiden is a character who keeps many of his true thoughts and feelings hidden. Throughout Saint, you are given small hints as to his reasons and motivations for joining the monastery, so discovering the severity of his mental health struggles was a challenge to read. I applaud Sierra Simons's ability to write a realistic depiction of mental health struggles and the complex experience of distorted thoughts.

Alongside Aiden's deeply personal struggles his romance with Elijah was executed to perfection. Their undeniable chemistry and yearning for one another made for an addictive read. Alongside the romance is Aiden's quest for finding a balance between his love for God and Elijah. Seeing how he comes to his final decision was a fascinating process that was inevitable.

Overall, Saint takes you on an unforgettable journey. A journey of questions and learning to follow your heart. Aiden Bell stole my heart and his love story left me speechless.
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,074 reviews10.5k followers
September 11, 2021
I wanted to love this SO MUCH. Priest was hot but Sinner was solid gold. And Saint has all of my favorite tropes combined into one. I sadly though just couldn't find myself invested in Elijah, Aiden, or their romance.

If you've read Sinner, then you'll know that Aiden and Elijah (Aiden's older brother's best friend) got together at the end of the book. Saint takes place over five years later, after Aiden breaks Elijah's heart and runs away to become a monk. Now, Elijah is engaged to be married and he wants to write a story about Aiden, his fellow monks, and the beer that they brew. This throws our former lovers together in close proximity and even though Aiden has taken a vow of celibacy, he's never been able to resist Elijah, the love of his life.

Sierra Simone is a wonderful writer. Her writing is thoughtful and evocative, and throughout this series she's usually been able to weave religion and romance seamlessly together. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like she succeeded in the way that she did with Priest and Sinner. In the first two books, I was impressed by how she was able to balance romance and religion, but here? There was so. much. religion talk. I had to start skimming all the introspective parts because there was just too much of it. It led to the story dragging out and at the same time, I wasn't connecting with the romance either. Also? For a Sierra Simone book, I was underwhelmed with the amount of steam. It's definitely slow burn, which I wasn't expecting.

I did enjoy Aiden's whole character arc and transformation from billionaire playboy to stoic lumberjack. I felt for him and his experience with depression. I loved his fellow monks, the friendships he has with him, and how much he learns about himself thanks to them. It was just the romance that was a let-down. I would have loved more chapters in Elijah's POV – maybe that would've helped me connect with the romance more.


We’re getting an M/M romance from Sierra Simone!!!!! There’s apparently a monk?? And a second chance romance 👀
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,059 reviews12.2k followers
September 13, 2021
I can’t stop the tender shoots and slender, seeking roots of him, and I am his garden, his soil, his place, and it would be wonderful if I wasn’t supposed to be the garden of my god instead.

I live for the Bell siblings. We've met Tyler Bell, the priest. We've met manwhore extraordinaire, Sean Bell who fell for a nun and his best friend's younger sister. And now it's Aiden's turn. If you've read the previous two books, then you remember Aiden is the wild younger sibling. And if you've read Sinner, then you'd also remember the shocker of learning that he's been having a secret affair with his brother's best friend. That was definitely a delicious plot twist when I read it.

And now we meet Aiden Bell five years later, as a monk but also a man that never got over the love of his life.
Aiden,” he says softly, and I relish hearing my secular name from him, because it was the name that belonged to him, to his lips and thoughts and even his fingers when he was scolding or flirting over text or email.

If you've read anything by Sierra Simone than you know this author's incredible ability to pack a heck of an emotional story that's interwoven into scorching romance. This book was no different. The sexual charge between Aiden and Elijah is woven into every page, especially because it's forbidden. Elijah may have loved Aiden once and had his heart broken by him, but he's now an engaged man. And Aiden has given himself to god.

It was clear the amount of research that Sierra put into this book with her detailed story telling. However, I also felt like parts of the book did drag a bit for me and had a little more detail than needed. I found myself skimming a bit about midway through the book.

The romance, in typical Sierra Simone fashion, was EVERYTHING. It was packed with emotion, it was erotic, it was sensual, it was beautiful, and it was so satisfying. I found myself hurting with them. I found myself grieving their relationship with them. And I found myself loving with them.

This was easily my favorite book in the series so far. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, prepared me for the twist and reveal at the end. And now I'm desperately hoping that we get a certain someone's book next because OMG!!

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Crystal (Crystalreads2) .
828 reviews710 followers
August 23, 2021
Saint has lead me into temptation, and I want to stay there.

I love, Love, Love this book. I thought I was ready for Aiden Bell; however, I was far from ready. I didn’t expect this book to be so emotional and much more intimate than the author's previous books.

Aiden up and left his millionaire playboy life behind to join the life of a catholic monk. Leaving behind the love of his life, Elijah. Without any explanation. Five years later, he still struggles with his love for him. One faithful day, he sits in front of Elijah and continues a painfully beautiful and steamy journey.

Sierra Simone has such a way with her writing. The worlds flow effortlessly off the pages. It shows how much research she did into living a life of a monk. I found this book to be very spiritual for being fiction.

Saint is a slow burn, forbidden, MM Romance, and my favorite in the series. It’s heavily based on religion, so it may not be for some people. I am honored to have read this, and Sierra Simone wrote about such an extraordinary love. I savored every minute; Saint is a one-click book and a must-read.
Profile Image for Purrfect Novels.
49 reviews26 followers
June 30, 2023
3.5 ⭐️


What if… this book was shorter than the other 2 in this series? It took me too long to finish this book. I felt like I was reading the same things over and over again.

One of the main reasons why I could only give 3.5 stars was that Aiden Bell didn’t care whether Elijah Iverson was engaged or not before & after kissing him in the hermitage. Okay, Elijah did break off his engagement after the kiss, but Aiden did not know this for a long time which means it doesn’t really matter whether Elijah did or did not break off his engagement because Eiden Bell did not care in the first place.

Additionally, I don’t know if you guys have noticed it or not, but Aiden never mentioned anything about Tyler’s baby. He talked a lot about Sean’s babies but never about Tyler’s baby. As you may already know, at the end of Midnight Mass, Poppy got pregnant again after a miscarriage, so I was wondering if she miscarried again.

Sierra Simone stated that at the end of this book, she will definitely have a book about Father Jordan in the future. Why do we get a book about Father Jordan first (who is not one of the Bell brothers) and not about their youngest brother, Ryan Bell? Also, does that mean Father Jordan isn’t as holy as he seems? 😏 (I also feel like Father Jordan was watching Aiden & Elijah in the ruins, lol.)

Priest series ranking:
Priest: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Midnight Mass (a novella): ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sinner: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Saint: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Profile Image for Leslie.
1,129 reviews234 followers
September 12, 2021

⭐️⭐️/5 Stars 🤷🏻‍♀️

DNF. Time of death: 58% ish. Usually I either don't rate ones DNF or I rate them one star. I'm giving this two because I started out enjoying it and I think it did have potential. Ultimately though, it didn't work for me and I could not make myself finish it. 😭

(As you can see David Tennant is distraught too.)

Guys, I think this one is partially on me because I let my excitement get out of control and expected too much. Otherwise I think I would have just felt meh instead of extra disappointed. I was excited because I really enjoyed two out of the three New Camelot books. (Those two being American Queen and American Prince. The last one was, in my opinion, a big mess.) My favorite part about them was, not surprisingly, the relationship between Ash and Embry. Most of the time I wanted to kick poor Greer out of the way. 🤣

The same thing happened to me with A Lesson in Thorns but with that one I never continued past book one. 😬

This was very early in my m/m reading and I don't know if I would feel the same reading them now. Which relates to one of my issues with this book that I'll mention below. But anyway, I liked them so I was psyched when I saw Sierra Simone was going to write an exclusive m/m book. I liked that it was going to be about a monk and that it was a second chance romance. It sounded deliciously taboo and I was so ready to feel all of the angst and yearning. So imagine my dismay when, after a solid beginning, I found myself feeling more like this:

Followed by this:

Then this:

And finally this:

As fun as gifs are and as often as I rely on them completely instead of words for my reviews, I am going to list why this didn't work for me. Hopefully I don't run out of steam. Or maybe it's better if I do? (For you all and for my health. 😬)

❌ This was TOO long and full of TOO much purple prose filler. Is that a thing? There were endless descriptions of monastery life, nature, making beer, picking lavender, praying, churches and cathedrals, tying shoes, and so on and so forth. Ok the last one wasn't real but you get my point. My brain alternated between wanting to explode and wanting to shut down completely. Sierra can write beautifully but this was too much. It would have been better and more meaningful if she had applied a lighter touch and chopped out a good chunk.

❌ It felt extremely m/f to me. It's always hard for me to explain what I mean when I say that. Something about the tone and the vibe. That's what I meant when I say that I don't know if I would feel the same way about the books of hers I liked, if I tried them today.

❌ The angst and yearning I hoped for? The pining? I felt none of that. It all felt flat to me.

❌ I didn't connect with Aiden and Elijah as characters or as a couple. Sierra told me over and over again that I should but I didn't. I don't think it helped that Aiden was the POV we were primarily stuck with. There were small parts with Elijah via his journals or articles but they were sparse and this created a bigger disconnect. Of course it may not have helped at all since I found both of them boring and bland. But we'll never know.

So there you have it. I think I had more thoughts originally but I tired myself out. Typical. I think it's time for my Saturday nap. I've done nothing to deserve one but it's happening. 😴
Profile Image for aleksandra.
484 reviews714 followers
May 4, 2023

“You’re so beautiful. It’s like you’re so beautiful for me, just for me,”

"And anyway, I already love him like how forever feels. I already love him like eternity is in the rearview mirror. I love him like everything."

Well, it was definitely something I have never read before. I actually started this book once, but I wasn’t in the mood for this type of story. I'm glad I stopped reading it last year because I feel like I wouldn't have appreciated this book as much as I do now.

The book isn't for everyone, but it's definitely for me. I mean, the story is about an ex-millionaire turned monk who meets his ex-boyfriend after 5 years and ends up going for a trip with him, which you can probably guess how ends. It’s a HEA.

This is just an outline of the story, because the meaning it’s much deeper. The book is told from Aiden’s perspective. His character actually really spoke to me, he is visibly struggling a lot with his life, depression, monk lifestyle and demons from his past. Throughout the book, we see him struggling inside with himself.

"I am the opposite of turned off by the potential suffering—I crave it, I crave it to the point of masochistic desire. Suffering can be good; suffering can be essential."

When Elijah shows up to meet him and reveals he is getting married, the story really begins. Aiden gets the proposition to travel to Europe and Elijah decides to join him to write the article. The reason behind it? Well, I’m just gonna say it’s worth reading to found out.

Elijah and Aiden's older brother Sean have been best friends since childhood, so Aiden and Elijah have known each other since they were teenagers, where Elijah is 5 years older than him. They were together for a year in their thirties and their feelings never died.

"He is the only thing in my world that feels real now, the only thing that I can truly see. I’m hypnotized by him."

“And because every time I leave you, the only thing I can think about is coming back.”

The sexual tension between them? Perfection.

“No one kisses like you,” Elijah murmurs, his eyes closing as I bite his jaw and then his neck."

"He’s got sunglasses hanging from the collar of his tank top, and they tug the fabric down just enough to expose a scalene triangle of brown chest, and I want to die."

They love each other so much, but Aiden's situation does not allow them to be together. Trust me it’s SOO WORTH IT to read and see how Aiden changes throughout the book. They're both just destined to be together, and their story to finally have a life together, it’s beautiful and heartbreaking sometimes, but so worth it to read about.

“I saw you that day, and nothing was the same for me. Nothing.”

Elijah has his own chapters from his perspective in the form of a diary. I love that we can see fragments from his article detailing their journey.

“We wouldn’t still be together, because I cared about him too much to fake a life where I wasn’t still in love with you.”

In my opinion, if you have the love they have, nothing will stand in your way.

"when I’m with you, I want to eat up life with great big bites, I want to feed life to you until you’re full. There’s never been anyone like you, and all I’ve ever wanted was to give you everything.”

The story is beautiful, but if the book was a little bit shorter I would probably give it 5 stars. You should be ready by starting this book with the fact that there will be a lot of religious stuff going on. I liked it, but if some descriptions were shorter, nothing would have happened to the book.

I haven't read Sean and Tayler's books, but I feel like this one will be my favourite. Sierra mentioned at the end that there will be books about Ryan and father Jordan, and I'm damn excited about that. Jordan already intrigued me, even though he only had a few lines in the book. I feel that his book will be good, even really good.
Profile Image for D.L. Howe.
Author 14 books423 followers
October 12, 2021
If you asked me to describe this book in three words it would be; monks, beer and a cock cage.

This book is fairly different than any Sierra Simone book I’ve read before. That’s not necessarily a bad thing it’s just difficult to reconcile with what I had come to expect.

First and foremost, I expected smut. Which I got if not sparingly compared to her other books.

I expected emotional steam which was sadly MIA and what I missed the most. For me the most romantic part was when Elijah reminisced about them getting ice cream and that Aiden carried around sprinkles because he knew Elijah would want extra.

What I did expect was theological details and while some people don’t like that I’ve always found it interesting, especially this writer’s take on it.

I did not expect the amount of time and detail that was given to brew making. I understand that it’s a monk thing but it was a lot.

Last but most certainly not least; the cock cage. I feel like this greatly coincides with Aiden’s mental health and the depression he’s suffered throughout his life. He’s using it as a crutch to hold on to a man he walked away from because he didn’t know how to deal with living with depression.

I mean, that’s what it all stems from. This isn’t a love story in my mind. This is about self discovery and learning to cope with things you cannot change.

Profile Image for Kati *☆・゚.
631 reviews211 followers
January 25, 2023
5***** stars

Fuck, this voice. No shit, Jacob Morgan/Zachary Webber could read his grocery list to me and I would drop my panties. I’m so freaking in love. So I kinda missed him and decided to come back to this audio (it’s almost solely narrated by him) and indulge myself a little.

And wow. This voice combined with the intensity of the story had me in a vice like grip from the beginning. Again.

I loved all the books in the series surrounding the Bell brothers but this is def my favorite. I am not a religious person so I cannot relate to any of the struggles the main characters face, really but I was spellbound and fascinated.

And of course, as this is a second-chance romance (one of my fav tropes) I was sucking up all the hurt feelings, the temptation and all the refusal of giving in to what was once so perfect between Aiden and Elijah. Together with the vows Aiden took to become Brother Patrick, to leave his secular life behind and to deepen his relationship with God and make up for his worldly sins - it makes for a pretty intense story.

I keep asking myself what I want. What I want from this, knowing that it will end, and it will hurt more than the first time it ended— […] and as I write this under the shade of an old oak tree, I can watch a shirtless Aiden move through the rows of lavender as he harvests the lavender flowers with the other monks.

I think I could watch him forever, simply watch him be a monk. The work, the prayer, the singing, the silence.

Maybe I don’t understand, maybe I’ll never understand, but when I watch him, it feels like I don’t have to. It feels like simply being with him is enough.

And shit! The heartache this one caused me. Not only from the agony both felt by the loss of the other but also from what drove Aiden to monasticism in the first place. The IT.

What I also loved but couldn't remember from the first time was that there were quite a few moments that had me laughing out loud. I loved the banter between Aiden and Elijah as well as with his brothers.

And on top of it, this series is one of my fav smut to read/listen to. Honestly, I find it so hot. *blushes a little
Maybe it’s because of the forbidden aspect in itself or because of the thrill that Aiden/Brother Patrick is breaking his celibacy vows (over and over again) or just because it was well written or narrated by my fav voice, I don’t know. But I loved it.

Loved all of it. Maybe even a little more so than the first time.
Profile Image for moonlight ☾ [semi-hiatus].
645 reviews1,037 followers
May 29, 2022

"You've made me want to be better because you are so smart and self-possessed, and when I'm with you, I want to eat up life with great big bites, I want to feed life to you until you're full. There's never been anyone like you, and all I've ever wanted was to give you everything."

✧ THE TENSION?? PINING? chefs kiss. this book honestly made me sob. i felt so much for Aiden and the way he felt like he was never good enough or a fuck up. i thought his character, his former self before he became a monk, definitely showed that just bc you're the life of the party or you're always smiling/laughing, it doesn't mean you don't go through shit too. it's like Aiden stated: 'No, most people don't guess, do they? That sometimes the people who laugh the loudest and reach for life the hardest are the ones closest to darkness'. that hit hard.
✧ i loved the chemistry and connection between Aiden and Elijah!! the way, after all these years, they still can't let go of each other had me 🥺. i feel like it was bc of that, that i truly felt the tension between them with every interaction, i was literally holding my breath lol. i just wish Elijah had
✧ i loved how, in Elijah's pov, we know his thoughts either through his notebook or mode article he writes on. it was interesting having his perspective through that rather than a regular pov chapter.
✧ their what-ifs game!! 🥺
✧ overall, i enjoyed this book! despite the pain and heartbreak, i cherished their small, cute moments as well. <3
Profile Image for ✩˚。⋆ cal.
522 reviews138 followers
September 11, 2021
dnf @ 33%

yeehaw yee-fucking-haw. i’m so bored. i can’t believe i hyped myself up for this. i was completely zoning out.
Profile Image for Precious ✨.
508 reviews79 followers
September 11, 2021
After reading :


Me right now:

I don't think I have ever loved both leads as equally and as much I loved Aiden and Elijah.
The pining, vulnerability, chemistry, and just raw emotions you could feel coming off the page. For example,

“I love him so much,” I whisper, rain running off my head and down to my lips, where the drops fall along with my words to the mud and grass below. “And it hurts and I want it to stop. Please, Lord. If you love me, make it stop.”

“I did what I went there to do. I told him about Jamie, about the wedding, I successfully instigated closure. Nothing feels closed
Why can’t I stop thinking about”


This was literally 8% into the book. Elijahs POV comes in excerpts of his article on his journey with Aiden to find a new abbey and from his personal journal and it makes it feel more intimate because— well I mean shit did you see the strikeout?! When authors use emphasis like that and just the right amount, not too much or not too little, it hits.

Anyone who doesn't like this book can come see me outside.

If you adamantly do not like religion and do not like it in your readings then you probably shouldn't read this.
This is one of the more philosophical books. There is heavy romance, dealings with mental illness, but the premise of the book is the fact that Aiden is a MONK, and he is struggling with his very present love for Elijah when the baseline of being a Monk is to put GOD first and foremost. Religion and how the couple feels about it will be addressed
I've only skimmed some other reviews and I feel that this needed to be addressed since it can be a drawback for people. It's one of the reasons I felt conflicted when I read Preist (even though I am not catholic, and although it wasn't my favorite anyways; I vaguely remember not liking Poppy-> pretty sure she's the main reason I gave it 3 stars.)

So do I think everyone should try this book? No. Not if what I just wrote about bothered you.


I am so ready for this, OMG.

Pretty sure from Sinner that the other ML will be helping provide
-Brother's Best Friend (blurb confirmed I was 🤬 right about this piece 🤟🏽)

Although this is all theory technically, I am REALLY hoping that Sierra is going to keep that particular character.

Grab some towels, folks. If this is anything like the previous two books, we are going to need them.

Profile Image for ❤️ Nanda ❤️.
692 reviews332 followers
October 9, 2021

This book wasn't easy for me to start it (and even harder to finish it), because as it happened with sinner, i wasn't in the mood for more religious indoctrination.
So to be honest, my expectations here were pretty low, and that's a first.

Aiden Bell was always the carefree, adrenaline junkie and impulsive between the Bell brothers, so to read that he's now a monk, definitely stirred something inside me to know the why's and how's.

The book starts really slow though... With Aiden living his monk life, full of guilty and self punishments. He was certain that everything he left behind was for a greater purpose, and that the monastery saved his meaningless life.

Elijah is engaged to be married to another man, when he appears in front of his ex boyfriend/turned monk for the first time in 5 years. None of them expected to still feel for each other the way they did before, but it is what it is.

Their love story is a struggle to read, and that's because God is loved by Aiden the same way as they love each other, so it's almost like a threesome in some not so kinky and holy way...
Yep... It doesn't make sense and it's more annoying than entertaining to actually read about it.

There's too much talk about faith and chastity... About brewing beer process... About landscape and sceneries...
About teligion and sainthood explanations.

All soooooo boring that I'm really impressed at how the author was able to make me finish it. 2 stars for her accomplishment here.

Even with their sexcapades between meditation, monk duties and beer, i couldn't feel any real connection between them.
They said that they loved each other. They said that it was something way back in time... They said a lot of stuff that I really couldn't believe in the end.

Not even how easily Elijah left his fiancé, who was apparently really perfect himself 🙄.

So in the end, I really think that this one was my last try with this series, and if I never heard about religion in a romance again, it will probably still be too soon.

Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
828 reviews1,027 followers
September 7, 2021
4 'What if...' Stars!
ARC provided via Candi Kane PR in exchange for an honest review.

We are back in Sierra Simone’s Priest world and in company of the charming Bell brothers again! Now it’s time for Aiden to find his way to happiness and that happens to be with his brother’s best friend. Also, yes, this is a taboo / second chance MM romance and my first MM novel from Sierra, and I have to say, it definitely reached my expectations. This series and characters are so unique, and every love story is a wonderful journey full of new findings, a delicious amount of steam and a whole array of emotions.

So, Saint is the third installment in Simone’s Priest series, and it focuses on Aiden Bell, a man who apparently had everything he could possibly need in life, including the love of the man he adored and, all of sudden he leaves everything behind (no explanations) and decides to become a monk. Five years later, Aiden has found a new way to live and he has accepted that Elijah Iverson is never going to be back in his life. That changes though, when Elijah does come back. And he comes bearing news: he is getting married and he is about to join Aiden on his tour through several European monasteries. What could go wrong?

I came here to leave my past life behind, I came here to live entirely for God, but Elijah keeps blooming in me, and I can’t seem to stop him.

What a roller coaster! I mean, I know that when it comes to Sierra Simone, I will not get a light and drama-free romance. I know I am getting complex characters who are going through life-changing decisions and living not-typical love stories. Aiden Bell is no exception. He has changed his life completely after going through very difficult times and after accepting he was living in a lie. His only truth was his love for Elijah, but he feels guilty and not deserving of having the love of that man. He becomes a monk and he seems to be in a better place mentally but he is not able to forget what he had with Elijah. And that gets even more difficult when he enters back into his monotonous life.

“You chose God over me, and somehow that’s worse than anything else I’d ever thought of, because I can’t compete with God, Aiden.” He gives a short laugh which sounds like it’s been punched out of him. “I can’t compete with fireflies in the cloister.”

Both men are unable to fight against the connection they still share and the burning chemistry between them is unstoppable. I mean... These two together? It was deliciously forbidden and simply explosive. Their chemistry and love for each other is one for the books that is for sure! So, they start their relationship again but now in secret but is it worth it to live in the shadows? Is this the life Aiden really wants? Is Elijah able to leave him behind after everything they have shared? Who will Aiden choose? Elijah or God? You have to read Saint to find out because this girl is not giving any of that away!

“I just want to love you. Without inhibition, without guilt. Without a divided heart.”

Therefore, I am rating Saint with 4 STARS because all over again Sierra Simone has done it. The Bell brothers keep getting better and this series is one of those you cannot miss, especially if you are a fan of taboo romance! I think Sierra did a very good job with Aiden and Elijah’s love story. I loved seeing their past and present and how their love for each other finally wins. This is my first MM romance from hers and I have to say I am a fan. And I am so glad we are getting more of this series, because I need Jordan’s story like now! I loved Saint as much as the other stories, so I definitely recommend reading this one too!

Profile Image for Loulou .
1,001 reviews
September 19, 2021
No rating...

DNF at 30%

This was too much.
Too much talking, too much religion which i dont normallu habe a problrm with... but here it just wemt on in circles, too much time with the MCs not together.

I don't really want to continue readimg to see if it gets better.

This was a BIG bummer for me.
You were right Leslie!! Lol
Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,178 reviews1,233 followers
September 7, 2021
description description description 3.25 - 3.45 Stars

Aidan + Elijah

They've known each other most of their lives - Elijah is Aiden's older brother's best friend. Aiden and Elijah have been happily in love five years ago. They dated for about a year when things happened and Aiden left.
He left the love of his life behind without explanation ... to become a monk.
Now it's almost five years later and Aiden is still in love with Elijah, but he's also pretty content in his new life.
But suddenly Elijah is right here in the middle of this life. He's writing an article about monks and beermaking and not only is he staying for a week, he'll accompany Aiden on his European monastery tour! Oh, and Elijah is engaged!




Well, I'm not sure what to say.
I think I will put this whole review in a spoiler thingy - I feel like I would insult too many people otherwise! So if you're very religious or easily insulted... please don't read the following spoiler thingy. I might go on a bit of a rant in there.
But you should also know that most people will love this book. It's a beautifully written love story with some or a lot of triggers for mental health / suicide thoughts and for anti-religious people like me!
But I also really liked it, now that I'm done reading and thinking about it a bit. I especially loved the last 20% - I even cried a bit here and there! And I would definitely watch the movie!

SAINT was a beautifully written monk-religion-travel-beer-healing-second-chance-love-story! READ IT!

💜 💜

Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog Smokin Hot Book Blog
Profile Image for Nyla K..
Author 24 books2,704 followers
September 26, 2021
**More than 5-stars. 5 million stars. All the stars that have ever lit up the sky.**

Ok... So this is going to be a really hard one to write. It'll probably start out deep and profound, but ultimately wind up just a bunch of gushing lol. But let's give it a shot.

It's no surprise, if you know anything about me, that I would obviously love this book. Sierra Simone is my unicorn author. She's my role model and an UNRIVALED inspiration to me as an author and a writer and a both. BUT THAT SAID, this book... THIS BOOK just completely blew me to pieces.

Every time I read a Sierra book, I say it's the best book I've ever read. And actually HER books ARE the best I've ever read. My top 5 of all time now consists of almost entirely Sierra Simone books (between New Camelot, Thornchapel, and now Saint?? Please... I'm done).

The thing about this book, or really any of Sierra's earth-shattering works, like the ones I named above, is that you can't go into it just expecting smut and a nice romance story. You'll get those things... of course you will. But that's not what it's about. That's not the point.

Saint for me was like a religious experience. Not only just Sierra's writing, which is flawless on a bad day... her genius is something I don't think I'll ever truly understand... But also, the burdens we carry alongside the characters, Aiden in particular. It was just so easy to feel every single thing he was feeling, and it takes a true mastermind author to do that.

Sierra Simone's view on religion is now my religion. Her text is my new Bible. Honestly, the devastating accuracy of how black and white things are in religion-- you're either one way, or the other, there's never any in between, and that's pure horse shit. The way Aiden came to terms with what he truly wanted and needed in the end was like an epiphany for me too.

And it was while reading Aiden's story of what happened to him... of what led him to become a Monk... that I realized I know someone just like him. Someone who is very very important to me...

And I just broke the f*ck down. Because I could feel his pain, I could feel the TRUTH in those words on the page, even as someone who thankfully has never suffered from clinical depression per se (other similar challenges, yes, but fortunately not that specific one). To be honest with you, I've never cried harder while reading a book, in my entire life of reading. I had to stop at one point because I just couldn't go on... I couldnt SEE THROUGH MY TEARS!

And I actually remember thinking at the beginning of the book, "Wow... old Aiden sounds like a fun guy. He should come back." It thrashed the shit out of my heart that I even thought that!!!

It was devastating. To know that someone who smiles so bright on the outside is curled up in the dark on the inside, it's just... I can barely explain it. What I felt for Aiden in that moment was visceral.

Now, the thing is... I haven't even mentioned Elijah yet. Because I never doubted for one second that he and Aiden would end up together. That wasn't the focal point of the story. We all knew they would find their ways back to each other eventually... The book was about the journey. In particular, Aiden's journey to figuring that stuff out, and Elijah's journey to being ready for it.

But the two of them, I swear, there is no brighter love. Together they were just perfect, and the sex... I mean, look. We all know I like my books rated triple X. I could have stood for more sex scenes lol. But it didn't hinder me from carving out space in my chest for this story. And OF COURSE the sex scenes were complete, dirty delicious fire. Because no one writes sex, especially forbidden sex, quiet like Sierra freaking Simone.

Anyway, as expected I'm just going on and on, but it's necessary, I think. This is the best book I've read all year, one of the best books I've read in ever, and I will recommend it until the day I die, just like I do with all Sierra's work. But the thing is, you can't just narrow this book down to a list of tropes, which is one of the things I love most about Sierra's books.

Is the book MM? Yes. Is it a slow-burn second chance romance with some forbidden thrown in from the religious aspect? Sure.

But that's not ALL that it is. You need to read this book for your soul, not just because you're looking for your next romance read.

Because at the end of the day, this book made me laugh (I was literally giggling at the Flamin Hot Aiden story, like I couldn't contain myself), it made me swoon and flush (even the kissing scenes alone were hot as hell), and it made me cry... A lot. Like weeping openly, especially at the end, because I was just so f*cking HAPPY that Aiden Bell got his well-deserved HEA.

And yes, the book did all of those things, but mostly, it brought forth stuff in my mind that I hadn't thought about before. It awakened a newfound faith in me. And you cannot put a simple review/rating on that.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
480 reviews
September 17, 2021
I'm just broken right now. This was exquisite and so, so beautiful.


Well it's a few days later and I'm still broken. I LOVED this book! for those that know me, you'll know Priest is one of my favourite books of all time. I think this one has knocked it back to second place.

This is Aiden's story (brother of Tyler from Priest and Sean from Sinner). Aidan was the fun-loving, not serious Bell brother who we find out in Sean's book, has been having an affair with Elijah, Sean's best friend. Then one night, he just leaves. No explanation, no reason.

And joins the monastery.

4 years later, Elijah visits, for the first time ever, to tell him he is getting married. They have not spoken and Elijah is none the wiser as to why Aiden left him - this action having broken both of them. Inexplicably, Elijah decides to write a story about the beer brewing monks and returns to the monastery to stay for a week. During this time, both struggle with the lack of closure and resolution. Aiden will not share why he left, only that he had to and it becomes clear that he was broken long, long before he left, though the reasons for this are unclear.

With feelings becoming exposed, Aiden decides he needs more austerity to keep his promises to God and embarks on a tour of a three stricter monasteries. Unfortunately, Elijah decides to accompany him under the guise of furthering his story for the magazine he works for. With the blessing of Aiden's Abbott (I loved this guy), they travel through Europe and to Ireland on Aidan's journey of discovery. Throughout this journey, we discover so much about Aiden, including why he left and what becoming a monk has meant to him. Whilst I am no longer a practicing Catholic, the level of detail SS has incorporated into this story is phenomenal. I truly believed in Aiden's reasons and was fascinated by the moral dilemma he faced and how the different monasteries functioned.

SS tears our hearts out in this journey. Elijah and Aiden love each other so very, very deeply. Their reconnection during the journey was both heart-breaking and beautiful. It is eviscerating to see how Aiden's decision to become a monk has destroyed them and what they had and how his need to remain a monk is everything, to him and then ultimately also to Elijah.

I'm not going to spoil the ending - but it was more than I could have hoped for!

and for those who need a trigger warning, Note: this will spoil Aiden's reasons for entering the monastery - read at your peril!!!


If I could give this a hundred stars I would...
Profile Image for Nelly.
258 reviews1 follower
September 19, 2021
Having read Ms. Simone's previous novels, I knew that this book would be impressive. An author's skill at describing vividly and paying attention to details is one of her greatest assets.

My favorite part of her stories is the erotic parts. She is capable of writing a sex scene like no other. Her characters have an unsurpassed chemistry and unparalleled intimacy. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to feel that in this one. With Elijah and Aiden, I don't feel as much chemistry as I could. Perhaps it because Aiden is always ruminating nonstop in his head about whether to become a monk or continue his relationship with Elijah, as if he has to make those decisions at any given moment.

This book was filled with too much poetic, flowery language thrown at the reader with each chapter. Further, there wasn't enough action and the pacing dragged. It was a bit too much syncretistic language in various religions and unnecessary words, and the pacing dragged even more when you were inside Aiden Bell's head.

This book was a complete waste of my time because of the banter, flow, and angst between the main characters. Every line was basically repeated. I forced myself to skim, hoping--and praying--that things would get interesting. That didn't happen.

My honest opinion is that I found this book somewhat boring. It’s more internal monologue than any dialogue between the two main characters.

While others may love it, I found it a bit lackluster.
Profile Image for Meagan Brown.
150 reviews28 followers
April 26, 2023
Rating: 2 Stars
Spice: 2/5


I had to of read a different book than everyone else because I was bored out of my mind. Everyone is always talking about how amazing this series is and I’m wondering if they are talking about the same book, I just struggled to finish. There is no way, this book is so oversold.

After about 60-65% it picks up and it's not nearly as boring. I liked the ending the best....

I know this is the last book, not sure if I’ll read the others. If they are similar to this one, then it’s probably not happening.

I love MM romance and I’m sad this wasn’t a winner for me.
Profile Image for Aliki.
129 reviews32 followers
Shelved as 'on-hold'
April 21, 2023
An mlm moonk? Count me iiin 🤭🤭
Profile Image for Batool Zainab Suleman.
130 reviews23 followers
December 12, 2022
Edit 17/06/2022: 4.25/5 + 0.5 for BIPOC rep = 4.75/5

I cannot believe it, but for the first time ever, I am INCREASING my rating after rereading a book.

While my criticisms are still valid, particularly regarding the ending, I actually found that the chapters I previously thought unnecessary were actually not half bad. And yes, the spice was a bit lackluster compared to Priest/Sinner, but still not that bad.

Overall, I think about this book way too often to give it less than four stars.

My review from December 2021 is below.


CW/TWs for the book and this review: Depression, su*cide, su*cide attempt, mental illness, mental health

I laughed, I sort of sobbed, I took a few hours for some religious introspection, and I ended this book feeling somewhat sated.

There are so many more words I have for this book, but they are too difficult to type out. I'm not an emotional person, I cannot force myself to put into words the *feelings* this book gives me.

Instead, let's discuss why it's not a five star book.

I love Sierra Simone. I loved her writing in Priest. I fell in love with Sean in Sinner. But this book lacked the same amount of finesse that the first two had. I wanted more from Aiden, but I also found that several passages/chapters were unnecessary. The ending was rushed and felt forced. I would have rathered that the filler chapters from earlier in the book were taken out and replaced with a more robust ending.

Beyond these flaws, this book gives the reader a lot more room to reflect than the previous two. Aiden's inner monologues and thoughts enhanced the plot, without detracting from it.

The story is beautiful and it encompasses so many things I think about on a daily basis. The intersection of religion and sex is a venerable topic of deliberation in my mind, and as she has done successfully before, Simone navigates this with grace and patience. I am not Catholic, but I still saw myself in Aiden's struggle. How do you balance the carnal nature of being an allosexual person with the rules set by a religion that grounds you? How can you deny that the body God has given you wants what God has told you not to have?

As a practicing Muslim woman, who is unmarried, I am celibate. I have chosen this. I am not being forced by anyone or anything. I am celibate because God has asked me to remain celibate until marriage. I may not have taken vows like Aiden, but my promise to God is just as important to me. Unlike Aiden, however, I do not have a handsome lover pining for me from afar. So celibacy is a lot easier.

Yet the constant battle of sinful sensuality and faith remains. In my heart of hearts, I continue to seek reform for myself, much like Aiden, except instead of my sins involving alcohol-fueled spontaneous escapades and an ill-informed sense of grandiosity, I am trying to reform my heart that wants MORE. More than just a good orgasm. More than a stolen glance at an attractive person. More than reading romance books, trying to convince myself that one day I will know love like this. I want to reform my soul for craving intimacy that is out of reach. I want to reform my mind for always wandering to how *good* it would feel to just let go and finally have sex.

I saw so much of myself in Aiden that I almost cried reading about his struggles with depression. The way his story mimicked mine, albeit over a longer span of time, but the same **it** nonetheless. The voice that serves solely to convince me, as if I don't already know, how much my life hurts others. How happy the world would be without me. How intense the benefits would be for my circle of friends and family, if I were to pass away. This book almost felt like a reflection that could have been written by me, fifteen years down the line.

Simone is adept at describing the vast array of fluctuations of the human psyche, and does it painfully well. Every time I thought I was done *feeling* something, a new chapter would throw me for a loop. Every time I thought that perhaps it would just be a spicy romance with a good old HEA, I was given another source of conflict that rattled my soul. Simone has a talent that she wields with a magic wand called Sex & Catholicism, and she wields it so well that this Muslim woman who went to Islamic school for 12 years is moved by the passionate expression of love for God and His creations.

One day, many days from now, I hope to look back at this time with kindness. I hope to forgive myself like Aiden sought to. I hope to open my heart to love. And I pray that if I ever get the chance, I choose love over loathing a version of myself that only exists because of **it**.

I cannot wait for Father Jordan's story. Let's see what magic Sierra Simone creates for him.

EDIT: I think about this book all the time.

Edit: I still think about this book. Almost every day.
Profile Image for Ben Howard.
1,025 reviews117 followers
January 25, 2023
This fell a bit flat for me. I think I set my expectations too high, and I was just left disappointed. Maybe I'm just not into monk romances.

The audiobook narration was so good tho! I definitely recommend picking it up on audio if you're interested in reading this.
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