I’m calling this sex + two awesome Coho books. First with the sex…
Sinner by Sierra Simone is the second book in the Priest series. The first book features Father Bell and this one is about his brother, Sean. I listened to both books. Narrator, Zachary Webber is THE best!!
This was one of the hottest, spiciest books I’ve ever heard. Like blushing, someone hand me a giant glass of water hot. Wow, wow, wow!!!
But, lest you think it’s all about the sex, the story was equally good. Our hero, Sean, starts out as a soulless investor type guy. His sister was molested by a priest and she died by suicide. Sean turned his back on religion and has zero regrets. Zenny is Sean’s best friend’s sister and is about to become a professional sister. Yup, she’s on the way to being a nun. Before she makes that choice and says goodbye to the life she’s always known, she asks Sean to engage in a sexual relationship. She’s a virgin and wants to be sure she’s making the right decision with her life. Sean is a cocky no relationship guy, and he’s also maybe 15 years older than her. Plus, there’s the brother thing…her brother IS his best friend. In a rare stroke of decency, he can’t do it. He can’t be with Zenny. Of course, that changes, or there’d be no book! Some very heavy issues are tackled; from death and God to controlling behaviors, race and the ability for people to change. Tropes include friends to lovers, age gap, and taboo. I highly suggest the audiobook.
Second chance romance and major miscommunication collide with Regretting You by Colleen Hoover. I’m making my way through Hoover’s backlist and so far there are no disappointments. This came out in 2019. It’s high school and two guy friends are dating two sisters and one sister gets pregnant. They get married, have a daughter, and stay happily married for YEARS. The other guy friend moves away for YEARS, and then has a random hook up with the unmarried sister who he use to date. She gets pregnant and now they are going to get married. The daughter and mom from the first guy’s marriage love each other but have their share of tension and deeply lack communication and trust. A horrible car wreck happens and the first guy dies in the accident. The mother/daughter relationship cracks open and is nearly unfixable. Plus, there’s more. SO MUCH MORE. There’s mystery around the accident, who was in it, how it happened and a whole bunch of lies are uncovered. Everyone is tangled up from secrets that were kept for far too long. The story is told alternately from the mother and daughter’s point of view. What I like about Hoover’s books are they don’t follow a formula. Except for there being twists, turns and great writing…they’re all so different. This was no exception. Definitely read it. Or listen to it; the audio was riveting!
I literally put off three hours of job work to walk around my house doing needless chores and making up shit, just so I could finish listening to November 9 by Colleen Hoover. It was so AMAZING!! I thought I knew the twist, but was only partially correct. My heart broke. My heart came back. I sighed. The narrators were sooooo good! Fallon’s dad is an old school TV star, maybe C-level status. She has enjoyed some level of success, too. She’s an actress. Her career came to an end when she suffered significant burns in a house fire at her dad’s home. Her face is scarred and she’s very self-conscious about it. She decides to give acting one more shot and head to NYC to work in theater. On her final day in LA, November 9, she meets her dad at a restaurant. Her relationship with him is strained at best. They end up arguing. A young man, Ben, who is a writer, is at a nearby table. He sees the confrontation and comes to Fallon’s rescue, taking on the role as her boyfriend. Fallon gets it and plays along. They’re a good match and spend more time together that day. He’s the best fake boyfriend and they make plans to meet next year same time and restaurant on November 9. For years, they only meet once a year, no calls, no Facetimes, no emails, no social media DMs, yet over the course of the book, they grow to love each other. They know each other so well. Almost. Except for one big thing. Which I will not share. This book had me hooked from the start with how they met. I loved the sweet hesitant conversations that happened every November 9. I’ve seen some criticism of Ben’s character, that he was controlling, toxic, exhibited some objectifying behavior. I never interpreted him that way. My feeling was, Fallon had deep confidence issues and having a guy she liked and found attractive, push her, show her much he wanted to see her, was the catalyst she needed. I just never saw him as a problem. Not perfect, certainly flawed, but a good guy and likable character. Highly recommend!