Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Mark of Cain
Author: Kate Sherwood
Heroes: Mark Webber/Lucas Cain
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Available at: Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Warning: Bad boys being good, good boys being bad.
Brilliantly written drama centered on a very slow burn romance between two of the most likeable guys I’ve ever read about. They are thrust into an impossible situation, one that should never have happened, but the fates have deemed that they were meant to be each other’s happily ever after. No matter how difficult, and no matter what society, friends, or family deems proper.
Mark Webber is an Anglican Priest and Lucas Cain is the recently released felon who was in prison for killing Mark’s brother in a bar fight. Absolutely one of the most incredible stories, and without doubt, one of the best written. This story was complete, intense, chock full of emotions, and I could easily imagine this book made into a movie. But not one detail was excessive, not one word was thrown in as filler. It is, without doubt, one of this author’s best works.
The book is written into three sections, all of which are completely necessary to get the whole picture. Part one is the confusion, anger and furious injustice felt by Mark and his parents when they learn that the man that killed their brother and son was released from prison early. The image they have of Lucas Cain is not the same man that Mark meets when he is inadvertently brought to the halfway house that Father Mark oversees. How is it possible that the quiet, kind, and lost young man could be the same one that murdered his brother?
Part Two is about the friendship that develops between the two men and how they both try to reconcile the past with the present. How Lucas tries to respect Mark and his family by staying away, but also how Mark doesn’t want him to be gone. The drama is not overly angst-filled, but it is palpable and you feel every ounce of pain and suffering that the men are dealing with.
They are also in the center of a homophobic attack by two sources and Mark is learning, sadly, that the church that has always been his sanctuary may not be returning the love that he has always given them. Mark and Lucas are fighting many battles and at times you wonder how this story could possibly end on a happy note.
It was at just about 75 percent before they even have sex and I didn’t even miss it. It would not have made a lick of sense had they jumped in the sack and professed their never dying love to each other. But when they decide to drop the charade and go for it, they really go for it and it was hot. I absolutely loved that scene.
But life is not perfect, even by the end of the book, and many won’t allow them to be together, or even be gay, without causing them grief. I had mixed emotions where Mark’s mother was concerned but I completely understood why she could not handle Lucas in her son’s life. Sean was another issue. No doubt in my mind that man is gay, homophobic yes, but deeply closeted. And his treating a friend, a friend that was more like a brother, the way Sean treated Lucas was just horrendous. I am thinking that there may just be another book in this series and I would not be surprised to see it being about Sean.
I very much loved reading this story. It was romantic but not erotica, it was the complete package as far as storytelling goes and I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*