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Mark of Cain [Kindle Edition]

Kate Sherwood
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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.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Richtig gut 11. Oktober 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Endlich mal eine etwas andere Geschichte: Der Bruder von Mark wurde bei einer Kneipenrauferei drei Jahre zuvor erschlagen, jetzt kommt der Täter, Luke Cain, auf Bewährung frei und in die kanadische Kleinstadt zurück. Mark ist anglikanischer Priester und müsste einen Weg finden, Luke zu vergeben, aber er ist voller Hass, weil er findet, dass drei Jahre viel zu kurz sind.
Luke hat im Hochsicherheitsgefängnis sehr an sich gearbeitet, die Schuld der damaligen Tat lässt ihn nicht los, aber er hat verstanden, welcher Sumpf an Umständen dazu geführt hat. Er weiß, dass die Bewährungszeit kein Zuckerschlecken wird, v.a. weil er in die vertraute Umgebung zurückkehrt - zurückkehren muss, weil er das die einzige "Familie" ist, die er hat -, die ihn in die Kriminalität geführt hat. Aber den Teufelskreis muss er unterbrechen.
Zwei, die sich alles andere als neutral gegenüberstehen, deren Kreise sich in ihrer Kleinstadt immer wieder überschneiden, insbesondere als ein Jugendlicher aus Marks Pfarrei und Jugendseelsorge seine Hilfe braucht, aber auch die seines Kumpels Luke.
Eine total interessante Ausgangsbasis, um eine Liebesgeschichte daraus erwachsen zu lassen und diverse Themen anzuschneiden! Auch ausreichend lang, damit die Geschichte von Mark und Luke glaubhaft sich entwickeln lassen zu können.
Und was für eine Freude: das sind nicht zwei, die sich urplötzlich sexy finden und ständig miteinander ins Bett hüpfen, sondern da darf sich aus einer tiefen Feindschaft (die zwar nur einseitig ist, aber das aus gutem Grund) zu einer neutralen Beziehung und dann zu einer Freundschaft entwickelt - und erst sehr spät zu mehr, wenn die beiden wirklich Gelegenheit hatte, sich kennen zu lernen.
Echt richtig gut!
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ergreifend, spannend, gut geschrieben 27. Juni 2014
Von Anonymus
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Ergreifend, spannend, gut geschrieben - was will man mehr (außer die Druckausgabe und einen zweiten Band über die Nebenfigur Sean). Ich kann das Buch nur empfehlen.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen interesting story 30. November 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
wow talk about forbidden love in every sense but I loved the plot how the criminal turned good and found love and strength it wasn't everything about rainbows and sunshine but It was realistic in a way...
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  50 Rezensionen
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An amazing tale. I don't really need to say more, other than 'read this 20. Mai 2014
Von Roroblu'sMum - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an amazingly well-written tale of love and humanity, of the good and the bad that can be found in people, of trying to do the right thing even when it would be so much easier and so much more fun to just go with the flow and do what feels good, of sacrifice, of standing up for what's right, what you believe in, what's worthy and what you want but feel you have to earn. It's a tale full of emotions, but never OTT, just a tale that leaves you with a warm feeling inside, and a sense of, 'aaaah'. It's a 5* Keeper of a tale.

If you've read Breathe by Sloan Parker, and loved it, but wished that it could have been simply a tale of leads who should not be able to be happy together, finding lasting love together, without all the annoying distractions of family and intrigue, then you'll love this tale, as it focuses mainly on Lucas, who's just out of prison for killing a man when he was 18/19, and who's still on parole for three years, and on Mark, who's a local priest whose brother Lucas killed, but who tries to do the right thing, the Christian thing, but who proves he's not above sinning and wanting revenge.

The circumstances that brought the leads together were believable and ordinary; it was refreshing that there was nothing fabricated/obvious about it, and it was clear that each struggled with their own form of guilt, but never at any point did the author make me feel as if Lucas was just a killer; he was a guy who'd been young and stupid who'd gotten drunk and into a fight, killing someone by mistake, but who'd paid the price, who'd come to terms with his demons, who'd repented, who felt himself unworthy of happiness or anything beyond a basic existence, and who was trying to do the right thing, and trying stay on the straight and narrow. I liked him from the start, and his sense of right and wrong was strong, made him a target, at times made him a bit of a victim, but he remained steadfast. He seemed incredibly mature and with a strong sense of morality, and yet at the same time, strangely naive (though I don't mean this in a derogatory way) and...innocent and almost childlike.

Mark, man of the cloth, tried to do the right thing and help his fellow man, as well as helping a gay teen, but he proved that he was simply human, and perhaps in his eagerness to do what he felt he had to, what decency should make him do, proved that he was just human and not without sin himself. That his faith was tested, and then turned against him, was both sad but cathartic, and at then end, proved to be the catalyst that would be the making of him.

I liked that the tale wasn't heavy on recriminations, but that at the same time, it wasn't all puppies, sunshine and roses, and that there were tough decisions that had to be made, that both made sacrifices, but that ultimately, there was good in both Mark and Lucas, which triumphed. If you're looking for a hot and heavy tale like Breathe, you won't be getting that in this book, at the leads don't get together until 62% of the tale has passed, but that was entirely appropriate for the leads, who had to learn to forgive, accept forgiveness, redeem themselves and learn to believe, and for the way in which the tale was written.

The ending was perfect - low key, like the leads, but with the kind of relationship that Mark had wanted, but thought he wouldn't be able to openly have, and that Lucas didn't feel was his right to have. It wasn't preachy, it wasn't heavy, but it was uplifting and positive. I loved the tale, it's as simple as that.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The full KAPOW, baby!! 21. Mai 2014
Von LYLBTB - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
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!! :-P 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!

Review originally posted at "Live Your Life, Buy The Book"
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Where to start with this one? 14. Juni 2014
Von PrismBookAlliance - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
4.25 of 5 stars~ Review by Caroline

For original review see The Prism Book Alliance Blog online

This is not your usual MM romance. There is no fluff. There is not a lot of hot steamy sex. There are no easy answers or quick fixes. There is however a fantastic story about how one tragic, stupid moment in time can change your life forever.

This book deals with real life situations that will be make you uncomfortable, challenge what you think and believe and make you ask questions of yourself.

If you killed someone, accidentally or not, and were paroled after serving a short time in prison would you believe you deserved to be free?

If you were the brother of someone killed, accidentally or not, and their murderer was released on parole early how would you react?

Lucas and his friends are what I guess you could call a small town gang. They are rebels, don’t always agree with the law and cause a lot of trouble. They are still only teenagers when Lucas gets into a bar fight one night. In a split second, with a bottle as a weapon, a man is left dead. No amount of remorse, praying or rehabilitation will ever change the circumstances but does the young man that swung the bottle deserve to carry on with his life? Should he be forever banished from a civilised society? Can anyone who kills another human being be successfully rehabilitated?

In the three years that Lucas spends in jail he fundamentally changes. He is put through counselling, training and learns to follow rules and set boundaries. He is given early parole, with a lot of restrictions, giving him an element of his freedom back. Does he deserve that freedom when a man is still dead?

Marks brother was killed in the bar that fateful night. Mark is an Anglican Priest and counsels his parishioners on love and forgiveness. He cannot however, initially, find forgiveness for his brothers murderer who is now walking the same streets as he is. Mark has never had his faith challenged as deeply but he is innately good and recognises when his actions have been inappropriate and caused problems.

Lucas may have changed in the last three years but sadly his friends haven’t. His life is no longer compatible and he soon has to leave his past behind in order to survive. He ends up in a half way house where Mark is in charge. Mark tries very hard to hate Lucas but circumstances show that maybe his strongly held opinions of the man may be incorrect. Lucas is subdued and full of regret, almost submissive in the way he wants to follow orders and routine and not at all what Mark expects.

This book deals a lot with forgiveness. Even at the end I am not sure Lucas has really forgiven himself. Could Mark ever really forgive a man for taking the life of his brother no matter how strong his belief in God and forgiveness? The one think I would have liked to see was some sort of discussion between the two men about what happened that night three years ago. Would that have helped either of them with closure?

It is quite a heavy and challenging read but very much worth it. IMO it is a book that will make you question your beliefs and feelings, it will make you think, which is never a bad thing for a book to do. What of Sean? Will we ever learn of his fate?
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent. 18. Juli 2014
Von Sirius - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition


Dear Kate Sherwood,

I had been hunting for good redemption story for what feels like months by now and yours certainly delivered what I was looking for and more. Talk about seemingly impossible to overcome and at the same time very realistic conflict between the main characters. I could not imagine how you would believably bring them together, because I could not really relate to such situation – meaning that personally I cannot see myself ever falling in love with somebody who killed my loved one. But you convinced me, you convinced me despite what I said about not being able to ever imagine myself being in these characters’ shoes. I was convinced that what happened made sense for Lucas and Mark, and I was very satisfied when I finished the book.

The book also delivered a lot of social commentary, which in my opinion was integrated with the romance really well. This is no small feat, because too often I think that social commentary in romance gets chopped in favor of the happy ending, or it gets so preachy that I start to wonder where the romance went. It is understandable on the one hand, but on the other I too often find myself wishing that the writer had never attempted the social commentary in the first place. For this reader at least, this story achieved a pretty good balance, and I never felt that the social commentary was too heavy or preachy.

As the blurb tells you Lucas comes back to his hometown, having been released early for good behavior. Three years ago he killed Mark’s brother in a drunken bar fight. You can imagine that not everybody is happy to see him back and Mark is one of those unhappy people. I was not going to blame him for that, even though slowly but surely Mark sees just how much Lucas has changed and how he has taken complete responsibility for what he did. I can imagine that some readers may find Lucas’ unequivocal responsibility to be a little too much and a little too close to martyrdom, but for me it was just perfect. Because a killing was involved, nothing less than what Lucas felt would have satisfied me. I mean, eventually I was perfectly okay with Lucas’ moving on to realizing that he deserves to live a happy life too and that he should not throw away his own life at 22, but I was glad to never hear a single justification from him. If anything, I was a little cynical and skeptical that he was able to experience such profound change while in prison, but I went with the flow because as I said, nothing less would have satisfied me.

“I did my time? Some of it, yeah. But Sean, the guy’s still dead. It’s permanent. His family, his friends, all the s*** he wanted to do with his life? He’s gone, forever.” Lucas stared at his friend’s uncomprehending face. Sean was almost innocent sometimes. Like he refused to accept any of the harder truths of the world. Mortality. Responsibility. Guilt. “I can’t just go on with things like it never happened. Three years and then it’s all over? It’s never over, not for the people who miss him. So it should never be over for me.”

When Lucas comes back home a changed person, he notes that none of his friends have actually changed.
I thought that the author did a very good job in portraying how so many young men waste their lives in spending times in bars, drinking, doing nothing and seeking useless fights, feeding their anger.

“And there it was. Sean was actually angry, not at his friends but at this imaginary woman with her imaginary baby who’d had the nerve to imaginary tell him she wanted them to get their own apartment. It felt familiar but it did not feel natural. Not anymore”

I thought the subplot with Lucas’ friend Sean mirrored Lucas’ past situation to a certain degree and when life hit Sean just as hard as Lucas (although in a different way) I could not help but hope that it would be a rude awakening for Sean.

Lucas never completely abandons this mindset, even though he learns to believe that he can deserve a happy life, and I liked that the writer tried to portray complex human beings. Surely if we feel one thing, we can feel and believe in something else too, even if that other thing seemingly contradicts the first one?

The romance in the story is a very slow burn one, which is of course extremely understandable. Mark has to see in Lucas somebody worthy of the friendship and respect first and that takes a significant chunk of the book. Basically if you want a book high on erotic content, this one is absolutely not for you. There are some kisses in the last quarter of the book and one sex scene, but for me this was perfect for this story.

Mark is not portrayed as somebody who is perfect either. He did not always behave kindly towards Lucas, but then again Lucas killed his brother, so I cut him some slack. I thought that Mark’s being a priest played a significant role in helping him change his feelings for Lucas and at first I wondered whether this would have happened if Mark held a different profession. At the same time his faith is part of Mark’s personality, not just his vocation, so somehow it all worked well for me eventually.

Neither Mark nor Lucas struggle with being gay – they know who they are, they are not ashamed of it and they seem to be at peace with their sexual identities. However, as the blurb states, homophobia is still an issue for them in one way or another. It is an issue for a teenager they end up helping, it is somewhat of an issue for some folks in their hometown (and it does take an ugly turn at one point), and even though it was less of an issue for Mark’s job as priest than it usually is in romance stories, I wish the church people had had more guts than they did. I mean, I know it reflects a sad reality, but I cannot help but wish for something better for talented, dedicated people like Mark who want to help people and serve God as priests.

I really appreciated that the book often tried to acknowledge that some situations cannot be resolved neatly to everybody’s satisfaction and no matter how hard we try, somebody may still get hurt.

There is a strong happy ending for two main characters; however there are no neat endings for several side storylines. There are no neat resolutions about how some family members and some friends view and interact with the main characters, but again all of it made perfect sense for me.

Highly recommended.

Grade: B+
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Grab This Book! 26. Mai 2014
Von Andreams - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Elegant writing and a sadly beautiful story with unique characters. I loved this. It involves faith and gives great insight into areas I hadn't given much thought to, with no preachiness.

Best of all, it's a satisfying length.
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