Tyler Bell is a priest. He didn’t always want to be a priest, but after the death of his sister, he made the decision to try and right a truly horrible wrong. He likes the work he is doing, he’s devoted to the community he is building, and he finds solace in prayer. Tyler’s life is on a specific track until Poppy Danforth comes to confession.
From the moment Tyler hears Poppy’s voice, his life veers from its track and thoughts of Poppy crowd his head. And then when he sees her for the first time, Tyler knows they should be together. The more time they spend together, the more they want each other and the more they fall for each other until Tyler breaks his vows once, and then again. Caught in intense turmoil between building up the church community and following his own heart and desires, Tyler finds himself on a new path. But in order to get to the place where he knows he belongs, Tyler will have to be the one confessing.
Priest starts Sierra Simone’s Priest series about the Bell brothers. It is an older book, having been released in 2015, but after reading the recently released third book in the series, Saint, I was interested in going back and learning about all of the brothers.
We know from Saint, and we learn early on in this book, that the Bell brothers’ sister, Lizzy, committed suicide and the church and their childhood priest were the catalyst. Lizzy’s story is not gone into in detail, but Tyler feels the loss greatly and makes changes to his own life. We see him already leading a church here and I would have liked more on his thought process on becoming a priest, as that was the one area that fell short for me.
If you are not interested in reading about a priest breaking his celibacy vows, then there is nothing to see here, and this is definitely not the book for you. But if this type of storyline appeals to you, Simone goes all in and does it well. There are pages of erotic scenes, as once Tyler gets a taste of Poppy, he can’t stop, nor does he want to. He is conflicted and it’s not an easy process for him to realize that he can have God and Poppy and that would require him to once again alter the path of his life.
The book is told almost entirely from Tyler’s POV with the epilogue from Poppy’s POV. Poppy’s viewpoint really helped pull the story together at the end, although I could have used a chapter or two from her sooner in the story. Poppy is well educated and lived an affluent life and, at the first available moment, she left her family behind and forged her own path. She’s smart and sexual and while she falls hard for Tyler, her conscience is conflicted about permanently altering the path of Tyler’s life.
Poppy and Tyler’s story is captivating and the intimate scenes are designed to create heat and more heat between them. Priest lives up to its claims for a highly charged taboo story that will have you turning pages as Tyler and Poppy set their world on fire.