Title: The Confessions
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: 8th Circle Press (March 15, 2016, 140 pgs)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Father Stuart Ballard has been Marcus Stearns’ confessor since the young Jesuit was only eighteen years old. He thought he’d heard every sin the boy had to confess until Marcus uttered those three fateful words: “I met Eleanor.”
So begins the 40-page “The Confession of Marcus Stearns,” a moving coda to the RITA® Award-winning Original Sinners series. Originally published as a limited-edition paperback for the 2014 RT Booklovers’ Convention, and available worldwide for the first time.
This collection also includes “The Confession of Eleanor Schreiber,” a companion 36-page story written exclusively for The Confessions.
And, finally, all secrets are revealed in “The Confession of Tiffany Reisz,” an exclusive, in-depth interview.
Three Sinners. Three confessions. And all the dirty little secrets you could possibly desire…
After some time away from reading (and reviewing) due to some family health problems, I am finally trying to dip my toes back into this blogging and reviewing pool and I just hope I can still share the love I have of books with you all as good or better than I did before. Carving time to read has become harder but my love for it and what joy it brings me has never wavered, I can promise you that.
But, before I can begin this review I have to confess that the writing cobwebs are thick in here.
*grabs a broom*
Now, for my first real review back in the game, what better book to rave about than another Original Sinners addition. To say that I am an OS fan is an understatement of the century. Not only am I a fan of these characters and this rabbit hole of a world they live in, but, one of my wishes finally came true and I got to step into the mind of the priest we all wish were real… Søren.
This man, fictional or not, is beautiful inside and out and just blows my mind with each glimpse he chooses to show me. Yes, he’s had some dark times but, he’s made it through each time and has become so much more on the other side that I just fall more and more in awe of him with each page. We’ve seen him be strong, we’ve seen him be brutal but, we’ve never truly seen him at such a flustered and vulnerable state as we do here in The Confessions and I absorbed every word with a huge grin on my face.
This short story comes during a time in Father Stearns’ life where he has his own parish, doing God’s work, and finding a fine balance within his strict and narrow lines until…he crosses paths with the undeniable Eleanor and boy does she shake up his world. It’s been a long time since someone has been able to ruffle him and he seeks help in the only man he’s been able to open up to, Father Ballard. *whew* God bless Father Ballard! The confession that happens between these two really touched my heart and had me laughing too. It was absolutely perfect and just the right words I wanted to hear from him. Not only can Father Ballard handle what Søren is putting down but he gives it back just as good and really had me wanting to high five him at times. His advice on a very touchy subject was impeccable and honestly, I couldn’t ask for more. It was marvelous to see a different side of Søren and watch him sort and feel his way through thoughts he believed he’d never face but to know this now, after reading the series, just enhances the entire experience for me. The highlights in this confession are numerous but here’s one of my favorites:
Ballard shook his finger at him. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep. I know you. I watched you eviscerate an entire room of novices during a theological debate.” “It was a debate.” “We were debating mercy. And you showed none. You have a capacity for arrogance that borders on cruelty. And not only can you be cruel, you enjoy your own cruelty while you’re inflicting it on another human being.” “That was ten years ago. I have learned a modicum of humility and self-control since then.” “Not enough. You are a dangerous man, Marcus Stearns. I’m not grateful you’re a priest because I’d rather have you with us than against us.”
In The Confessions we are not only treated to hear the desires and concerns directly from Søren but from his very own Eleanor too. Now, anyone who knows this series knows that Eleanor is as wild as she is beautiful. She pushes boundaries, speaks her mind with slick wit, and can ruffle the man himself simply for her own pleasure, hence, the reason I love everything about her. She is fearless and gives a confession to Father Ballard that really had me feeling it deeply, thinking it over and over, and laughing hysterically.
“It’s complicated. I don’t even know what I’m’ confessing. I just…I want to talk about it with someone, and I can’t talk about it with him. Or with her. Or with the other him. Or the other him.”
“How many hims do you have?”
“Søren, Kingsley, Zach, and Nico….
I need a new him to talk to. So…you’re him.”
“You have as many hims as hymnal.”
“You’re telling me, Father.”
Eleanor’s confession was a pleasant and touching surprise and I found my heart aching and soaring while listening to her. She’s always been such an upfront and forward person and here we see inside her, more than any other time, and it really got to me. I’ve always said she was my favorite of the Sinners but here she won me over for the long haul. The things she reveals, the way she see her world and life are inspiring and really added yet another facet to her that just makes her shine that much more. The thoughts she reveals here is exactly what I wanted to know and how she talks her way though them is just awe-inspiring.
Now, for the third and final confession we have the creator herself, Tiffany, in a fun interview where secrets and thoughts about the Sinner world are revealed. I found it very insightful and fun to read and the perfect way to end this new addition to my Sinner’s shelf and, of course, I love her even more now. ❤
All in all, these confessions are beautiful, deep, touching, very enlightening and the perfect companion for any true fan of the Original Sinners series. Tiffany always has a way of teaching and showing us things (life lessons, if you will) with these characters and here is another class I wouldn’t dare miss. Not only did she show me the inner thoughts of two of my all-time favorite people but, she did it in a way that left me satisfied and my heart full. This was the perfect way to launch me back into my ever growing reading list and I just love her for it!
If you haven’t pre-ordered this one, what are you waiting for? Besides, who can turn down a cover that is that hot?!
C’mon…you know you want to know what he’s thinking…
**Paperback copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions and ratings expressed here are my own.
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