Mark of Cain
TITLE : Mark of Cain
AUTHOR : Kate Sherwood
Publisher : Samhain Publishing (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 338 pages e-book
Published : May 20, 2014
Rating : ★★★★★
When a man is consumed by hatred, is there anything left to love?
After a tough day of counseling sessions, Anglican priest Mark Webber is looking forward to a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant. When he sees who’s bellied up to the bar, though, he reaches for his cell phone to call the police.
It’s Lucas Cain, the man who killed Mark’s brother three years ago. Apparently he’s out of jail and hanging out with his old crowd, which has to be a breach of parole, right?
Pulled over upon leaving the bar, Lucas blows a clean breathalyzer and hopes this isn’t a harbinger of things to come. He’s ready to build a sober, peaceful life. His friends aren’t ready to let him move on, though, and he ends up taking refuge in an Anglican half-way house.
Thrown together, Mark and Lucas find common ground in the struggle to help a young gay man come to terms with his sexuality—and the fight against homophobic townsfolk. As attraction grows, the past is the last stumbling block between them and a future filled with hope.
Product Warnings : Bad boys being good, good boys being bad.
Lucas Cain is 22 and has been in prison for 3 years after killing a man in a bar fight. He has just got early parole, and is now a free man once more. But he has changed. Understandably so. He kept his head down in prison doing what he needed to do to survive and he is determined to not go back. As his crime was drink related that is one of the terms of his parole. No alcohol. Others are a 9pm curfew, a place to live, and a job. So, to his old friends, he is now dead boring. And oh my God this broke my heart. He is so desperate to tow the line, follow the rules, stay free – and yet everything works against him. 😦
Anglican Rev. Mark Webber lost his brother Jimmy 3 years ago, a victim of a violent crime. Killed in a bar fight. By Lucas Cain. He and his family are devastated to hear of Luke’s early release and when Mark sees Luke in town, in the pub, supposedly drinking and right back in the swing of it with his motley crew of friends, well, Mark loses it. He calls the police to dob Luke in. This starts a spiral of decline for Mark. The good guy is no longer so good. I thought Kate portrayed his struggle so well. He does so much in the community – including running the halfway house for ex-cons, but of course when it becomes personal it puts a whole different slant on things. Mark also has a lot of other stuff going on – he is openly gay and everything is fine with his bosses in the church. Or so it seems. Everything is unravelling for him 😦
This book could have been depressing. It wasn’t. The issues it dealt with had my mind racing! The hypocrisy of the church. The small mindedness of the community who are happy enough to embrace a gay minister so long as, you know, he doesn’t flaunt it by actually having a boyfriend. The audacity of it!! 😛 It also focuses on forgiveness – by others you may have hurt, but as importantly by yourself. And of course we have rehabilitation. I could argue this til the cows come home. I believe so strongly in the absolute necessity of helping rehabilitate ex-prisoners so they can become contributing members once more, or maybe for the first time. *puts soap box away*
There are also some really sweet moments – pushy squirrels, stray hoses requiring the removal of wet t-shirts, and a cantankerous old lady whose bark is worse than her bite. Alex and Elise were wonderful side characters. And damn but I felt bad for Sean too – I always want redemption and he deserves a shot…… you will need to read the book to meet these characters, and see just how engaging they all are. 🙂 This book is highly recommended. Go. Buy the book!
Rated 5 stars by Barb