Ami's Reviews > Between Sinners and Saints

Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton
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's review
May 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: mm-romance-or-erotica, 4-and-half-stars_rating, mm-contemporary

4.5 stars
This story proves once again that Marie Sexton is a wonderful author. She tackles some heavy subjects: rape/pedophilia, depression, faith/religion, and penance, woven with the concept of love and family (and one of the "oldest" argument about homosexuality: is it a sin when it's also love?), into one well-written and thoughtful novel.

It's a story of opposites attract: Levi Binder, the playboy bartender with Mormon family, and Jaime Marshall, the innocent therapist with painful past. It's also a story of finding love with one that you might never think will be yours to keep and story of penance.

I love how both characters grow in their own way because they find one another. Levi, who used to be the sinner, having sex with different guys every night, just to spite his family and to live his life as a gay person. Jaime, who suffers from depression, OCD, panic attack, and cannot be touched by others (he is such a messed up man), whose only friend is his dog, Dolly. But after they find each other, Levi is willing to leave that life behind and Jaime is willing to embrace the outside world.

The story is character driven. There first kiss doesn't happen until about 3/4 of the book. When it comes to sex, there's no actual penetration (Jaime needs to take things slowly due to his horrific past), though I'm sure they tackle that off screen, after the HEA :). But it feels more romantic somehow, because it becomes more than just sex. It's what love is all about, in sickness and in health. There are some tender moments that I adore, most notably the idea that Jaime can only sleep peacefully, lack of nightmares, when he sleeps in Levi's bed.

The only reason why I cannot give it a perfect 5-star rating is because of the religion/faith issue. It's not an easy re-read for me. The confab that Levi must endure from his family makes me uncomfortable, and unfortunately this scene doesn't happen just once. I know that the road that Ms. Sexton takes as "the answer" is a good one (life is not just black and white but there's something in between), but I'm not sure I'm ready to experience those arguments over and over again.
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Reading Progress

May 4, 2011 – Shelved
May 28, 2011 – Shelved as: mm-romance-or-erotica
May 29, 2011 – Started Reading
May 29, 2011 –
25.0% "this story deals with some heavy subjects but it is so good"
May 29, 2011 – Shelved as: 4-and-half-stars_rating
May 30, 2011 – Finished Reading
June 28, 2011 – Shelved as: mm-contemporary

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by ElaineY (new) - added it

ElaineY I usually stay away from romance that have religious themes woven into it. I'm still iffy about this one. Great review. Thanks:)

message 2: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami The religion issue definitely makes me uncomfortable. But it's Marie Sexton's, and she is one of my favorite authors, so I need to read it. At least in this book, the compromise that happens in the end feels like it is, "a compromise", rather than a 180 degree turnabout on the issue, which sometimes is unrealistic.

message 3: by Yuu (new) - rated it 5 stars

Yuu Sasih finally get the ebook. damn I wanted this story since I read your review and now I'm gonna sit through and read it. =)

message 4: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami I always buy M/M in ebook nowadays. Enjoy the story

Sandra It did get hard to get through confabs. I just wanted him to yell "F you all, I'm disowning your asses!"

message 6: by Ami (last edited Jun 01, 2013 10:48PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami Sandra... yeah, I never feel comfortable with any preaching in fiction. I just want to stand up and shout "STFU" every time

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