A Lesson in Thorns

A Lesson in Thorns

by Sierra Simone

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Thornchapel knows my name and the crooked corners of my heart, and it wants me to make promises that I'm going to keep . . .

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel's tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house's crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her...

As Poe begins uncovering the house's secrets, both new and old, she's also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden's worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian begin to unravel into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes...

From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes...

***A Lesson in Thorns is the first of four books in the Thornchapel series.***

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161320358
Publisher: Sierra Simone
Publication date: 03/21/2019
Series: Thornchapel , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 22,878
File size: 858 KB

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A Lesson in Thorns 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
LeighKramer 9 months ago
It should surprise no one that A Lesson In Thorns was everything I never knew I always needed. Sierra Simone’s talent is unparalleled and I love this new direction for her work. She explores the intersection of the sacred and profane in such fascinating ways. And her prose never ceases to blow me away. Symbolism galore and I ate it up with a spoon. This had such a dreamy, fairy-tale quality and yet it was very much rooted in reality, albeit with a slight magical glaze. Poe reconnects with several friends twelve years after a memorable summer as pre-teens. She’s there to work as a librarian but also to see if she can find clues as to her missing mother’s whereabouts. Thornchapel, a remote manor with gothic vibes, holds the key to it all in true Sierra Simone fashion. There’s a bibliophile mystery element and the group all has to read dusty old books for information. This is basically my dream. Send me off to the UK to organize someone’s personal library and if there are some hot men nearby, all the better. Poe, Auden, St. Sebastian, Rebecca, Delphine, and Becket were such richly developed characters. While the story is primarily told from Poe’s perspective, we’re given interludes that allow us to delve into the others’ POVs so I had a great sense of who they were and what they wanted, as well as their hopes and fears. There’s also a range of diversity, which is always appreciated. Sierra’s title of erotic theologian is firmly in place as the story delves into rituals and holy holidays, all with the lens of kink and sex. The context for all of this makes a world of difference. The group has to decide what they think about Imbolc and its ritual sex; they have to imbue it with meaning and figure out what parts of the ceremony to keep or reclaim and what to make their own. It explores virginity as a construct, the meaning of sex, and the way we engender religion in some really interesting and thought-provoking ways. And yes, let’s be honest: it’s hot. Do I wish I had an Auden and Saint of my own? Absolutely. The group is collectively and individually becoming themselves. They each come to an understanding about who they are, whether it’s a side they didn’t know they had, such as Auden’s dominance, or whether it’s the chance to finally be who they were meant to be, as with Poe. The sex scenes are incredibly steamy but they also serve the plot in some memorable and important ways. Again and again we’re given this idea of “waking up.” This is contrasted with Poe’s narcolepsy without cataplexy and the way she manages it. In some ways, they have all been asleep. They are waking up to who they are but I suspect Thornchapel is also waking up, although we don’t yet know how or why. But change is coming. The idea of place is really important. Thornchapel means something different to each person but they’re all inexplicably drawn there. And events at the end will certainly propel the story in some big ways. There was a good amount of angst and a good amount of satisfaction at certain developments. There’s no cliffhanger at the end but there’s still a lot of story to tell. I for one cannot wait to see what happens next. CW: parental abandonment, grief, references to abusive father, references to past rape
Rachael_Leissner 10 months ago
Sierra Simone has been one of my go-too author’s since I discovered her a few years ago, so when I saw the beginning of a new series I couldn’t wait to dive in. What I didn’t know was just how deep I would immerse myself into the story. Sierra has a way with words unlike most authors these days, and I was completely captivated from the first line. Not knowing much about this series other than it’s one of the most anticipated of the year, I found it completely fascinating going in blind. A Lesson in Thorns has not left my thoughts since it’s final page. In A Lesson in Thorns we get the story of 6 friends from Thornchapel. We do get a bit of a flashback to when it all started at a young age between them all, and then flash forward to present day when Poe Markham takes a job back in Thornchapel. Much has changed since we moved away, and as each of her old friends begin to resurface, the mysteries of Thornchapel grow deeper and even more puzzling. The sexual tension between all of them is palpable from their first re-acquaintance, and as Poe spends more time in Thornchapel, she soon discovers everything is not as it seems. From Auden to St. Sebastian, and Rebecca to Delphine and Becket, all the characters we meet in this 1st book are all connected in ways they don’t even understand. And as their connection defiantly deepens in this book even further, I can’t wait to see what is next for this group. This book is packed, and I truly mean PACKED, with everything I desire in a book. Brilliant character development, mystery mixed with desire and great world building are just a few of the things that pulled me in and devoured me. I struggle to find a way to describe the emotion this story built in me. Just know, if you are looking for something completely unexpected, this series is probably going to be what you didn’t even know you needed. I can’t wait for more of these entwined 6.
KDRBCK 10 months ago
A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone is book one in her brand new series, Thornchapel. A Lesson in Thorns is like no book I ever read. It's gritty and raw with an unique story. A Lesson in Thorns put me through a rollercoaster of emotions and gave me all the feels. It's the story of six children. Rebecca, Delphine, Proserpina, Becket, St. Sebastian and Auden. They spent a summer together and that changes all their lives. Now, 12 years later they're back. They're all grown up and now the true story begins. The Queen of Suspense had me in knots at chapter two. And let me tell you , books like A Lesson in Thorns are the reason why I read. The characters are golden children, or outcasts, troubled, determined, unwanted or lonely. Sacrifices have to be made, some crave kink, some are playing games, all are pretending. It's a story filled with suspense, secrtes, longing, twists and turns that had me addicted from the start aand I was on the edge of my seat while reading this fantastic book. I wish I could give 7 stars. I highly, highly recommend A Lesson in Thorns and can't wait to read Feast of Sparks.
Janina Steves 10 months ago
I don’t even know what to say about this beautifully screwed up story of six – yes, six! – equally messed up characters. All unique in their own right and absolutely loveable. And their story … seriously, I get goosebumps just thinking about it. This series rivals her New Camelot series – madly – and I’m shocked I just admitted that, because I love that series to pieces! But this one … it truly packs a punch – no, understatement of the year, it packs a whole lotta punches! Don’t be scared away by basically six main characters, they all are described in so much detail, that you will hear their distinct voices, a clear image of their looks and personalities in mind. It’s amazing, but that’s Ms. Simone’s exquisite and vivid storytelling for you. Speaking of … from the very beginning the atmosphere was enchanting, haunting even. Like a magical breeze was surrounding everything. It’s alluring and mysterious – and dare I say out of this world. It’s all the things and that’s still not coming close to what this book is – goosebumps, I tell you! What it for sure is though is erotic. Disturbed? For sure. Sensual? Oh, absolutely! Really it’s full to the brim with sexual tension, frustration and every dirty, kinky, delicious fantasy come to life. Several cold showers in between chapters absolutely advised. And still … it’s all but purely erotica. As filthy as it is, we also have a complex storyline as well as fascinating characters with intricately interwoven relationships and more secrets and mysteries than you would have ever guessed… Honestly, even now I’m not sure what happened here. It’s beautiful prose and filth that had – still has – my imagination running wild and screaming for more. Stunning, hypnotizing and highly addictive. I’m yearning for MORE!!
CeeCeeHouston 10 months ago
5 Stunning new series stars. This book!! WOW!! Sierra Simone never fails to up the ante in her writing,and A Lesson in Thorns kept up with that tradition. It starts with six youngs friends one summer. Then twelve years later, they’re all back together in that place where secrets and mystery was made, and the darkness that followed them into adulthood. We start the real story with Poe. She’s been asked by a rich older friend to return to England to help catalogue his library. She was fascinated by his books as a child and eagerly agrees, even though her father doesn’t want her to go. Back in England, she discovers her old friends from have been drawn to the same place, and now,the true story will begin. I’m not giving any spoilers just know that this is an amazing start to a new series, and you really need to One-Click this book. TODAY!!!
Gyrithe 10 months ago
Reading this book. Was like stepping into another universe. A mix between religion Fairyltales myth present day, erotic, gloomy, twisted, all consuming. And filled with all kind of tenssion. The good kinde. The one that telles you that if there is no kinde of release the book is going to explode. It is Everything. Everything a book Should be. And god i love it. Sierra makes the Best books. It is like next level writing. Its not just writing. It is artwork.
mjlovestoread 10 months ago
What a book. I am beyond floored at the masterful way Sierra Simone wrote this incredibly intricate story. A Lesson in Thorns is to be savored. Each word carefully read because you can't afford to miss a thing as 6 former childhood friends embark on an adventure unlike anything they've ever experienced. Using the past as their guide to figure out the mysteries surrounding Thornchapel and the way they are all inexplicably drawn to its crumbling altar and the power it seems to hold. I went into this book blind and I couldn't look away from the minute I started the very first page. Simone has a writing style that simply draws you in and continues to hold on long after the last words are read. I found myself experiencing all kinds of emotions as Poe, Auden, Saint, Delphine, Rebecca and Becket are once again back together as young adults and trying hard to decipher just what Thornchapel meant years prior and what it can mean now. There were times this book was wildly dirty. Erotic scenes being played out that surprised all involved and yet were craved just the same. The fact that a least a few had the same kind of sexual needs, involving the world of BDSM: was that just coincidence or does this mighty house possess the power to push its inhabitants to find their true selves? This story unravels at the perfect pace with Poe at the center, finding her way back to England to help solve the issue of her mother's disappearance and her own parents's part in the rituals performed during that long ago summer and the hold they have on the present for all involved. Many reviewers have stated: what on earth did I just read? But I know exactly what I read and devoured every single page. Simone has created a smart journey full of exquisite thoughts and intriguing findings that I can't wait to explore further in the upcoming continuations of this unique tale. I just love that she continues to push the envelope and makes me think. A Lesson in Thorns is as naughty as it spellbinding. As surprising as it is resilient. There is a beautiful kind of poignancy that I gravitated to right from the start and I honestly can't wait for more. These characters have found their way under my skin and I'm happy they will be staying for a while. Take a chance on the unknown and grab this book. It is worthy of 5+ stars and so much more.
Vickory 10 months ago
I don't even know how to write a review for this book - it feels so ridiculous for me to write any words at all after reading the beautiful language in this first book of a series. The entire story - the characters and their feelings - resonated with me in such a strong way. These six childhood friends are deeply complex and their contradictions - how they feel so strongly one way while simultaneously feeling exactly the opposite just as strongly - that spoke to me on such a deep level. The book itself is contradictory in that it is a seething slow-burn (my favorite) with the aforementioned language that may be too romantic and descriptive for some (not me) but that also seemed like it must have poured from the author feverishly. That passion came through to me as the reader, giving the slow-burn a sense of urgency at the same time. The setting was perfection, a historic stately manor in a village out of time, with all of the cold wet of the moors and season that nevertheless felt steamy and humid from the air of approaching eroticism. From the prologue on there is an underlying mystery that made the book feel like one of my favorite British TV mystery mini-series, complete with the tiny clues that have you turning page after page looking for their reveal. I can't wait for book two to discover what happens next.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Completely captivated from the first line,A Lesson in Thorns is a beautifully crafted,mesmerizing story of love and destiny. Six kids one moment in time and a kiss begins this erotic and spellbinding tale. April Humes
Jill__D 10 months ago
4.5 stars for - A Lesson In Thorns - book one in the Thornchapel series by Sierra Simone. This book is nothing short of epic with characters that are interesting and endearing in ways you never see coming. What started off as innocent childhood games years before when they were kids turns into steamy hot rituals as adults, written in ways only Sierra can bring to life. Six vastly different people were brought together again for the express purpose of restoring Thornchapel to it's former glory. This book explores sexuality in many forms -meaning group sex, man-on-man and female-on-female are all something you may read so consider yourself warned if that is not your cup of tea. Twelve years have passed since these “friends” have seen each other and many things, both good and bad have happened since. Some friends are much closer than others and everyone has something to lose. With them all holding on to a secret or two about what and who they want and exactly why they are there to begin with things are bound to get more intense and scandalous too. Hang on to your seats for a lesson you won’t soon forget!
Anonymous 10 months ago
Six friends reunite after 12 years at Thornchapple. Thornchapple is a place of secrets, mysteries and ancient pagan rituals. A Lesson in Thorns will keep you enthralled from beginning to the end. The book is brilliant, Ms. Sierra Simone is brilliant. The book is part of the Thornchapple series and it ends in a cliffhanger. Review copy was received for a honest opinion.
PursePartyPeeps 10 months ago
Well Sierra didn't disappoint, well maybe the only disappointment is that we have to wait til June for the next book. Want to know a secret? I felt DUMB throughout this whole book. I used the "look up" feature more often with this story than I have with all books combined by about 100x. But another secret, I LIKED IT. I liked learning new words. So Thank You. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary. Thank you for creating a world and using words not like other stories. Ok onto the book, I don't want to give any spoilers. But the one thing I was hoping for didn't happen, but I have a feeling it will within the next 3 books. While there was angst, it wasn't angsty if that makes any sort of sense. You could feel the tug and pull, the want and the holding back. You get answers, but are left with more questions. This story will make you think (see above where I had to look up words). At the end you are hurting for Poe, you are aching for Auden, you feel for Saint, you start to love Delphine, you are confused by Becket, and you want to learn more about Rebecca. ~I volunteered to read an advance copy.
FS_Meurinne 10 months ago
Sierra Simone does it again, what an exquisite erotica story, she just writes with a sensuality that is not easy to achieve. Six friends getting back together, the mystery of Thornchapel will captivate you. It’s so hard to write a review for a book that has everything so well done, a beautiful masterpiece. Will need the next in the series soon...
Anonymous 10 months ago
An absolutely extraordinary book by Sierra Simone about six kids coming back to a place where there are dark secrets. The first chapter is them doing a mock-wedding. Proserpina serves as the bride and Auden and St. Sebastian marry her. Then they all scatter to the four corners of the earth (America and the UK), and later Prosperina is hired as a librarian for Thornchapel. There's a lot of pain here. I don't know if there's a whole bunch of healing exactly but definitely people are finding some of the answers that they need to move forward. Overall, I can't wait for the rest of the books.
RHardman 10 months ago
Magical, spiritual, and sexy as sin. Six characters, six personalities, 2 rituals, and one big mystery. "I have the same feeling looking at him as I do looking at the winter moors and leafless forests. I'm fascinated, I'm drawn, I want to touch all that loneliness with my bare fingertips and take it inside myself." Sierra Simone is a constant. She constantly writes unique storylines that provoke thought, exude emotion and smartly written. She constantly has you on your toes and turning pages with inhuman speed. “But it’s not a posture of someone defeated or reluctant; it’s more like the stillness of a prince waiting for the touch of his father’s crown on his head. It’s the restraint of youthful power and deep anguish—a deceptive claim held only through his strength of will while he decided what he’ll do. And we’re all in captivity to it, all of us enthralled and possessed as a muscle ticks in his cheek and his lips press together in finality.” Five stars to the start of an amazing series.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Kayla_Davis 10 months ago
"They found the roses right away. The thorns took longer." OMG. MY. MIND. IS. BLOWN. I am having trouble forming a coherent thought after finishing this book. All I keep thinking is just... WOW. A Lesson In Thorns is hands down one of the HOTTEST books I think I have EVER read. From start to finish I was just on fire reading this story. At first I found things hard to follow, and difficult to keep up with. However that changed quickly the more I read. Since this is only book one of four, I think some of the confusion was needed. Thornchapel cant give up all its secrets in the first book, what would be the fun in that. Each page pulled you deeper than the one before it. Each chapter only dragged you further and further, into it's secrets. I have never been so utterly consumed with a book, quite like I was this one. Everything about Thornchapel and it's characters left me absolutely captivated. I could not devour the pages quick enough. I read this book in one day. It was like I was obsessed and just could not stop reading. A Lesson in Thorns will haunt your mind, while devouring your soul. Get ready for the biggest book hangover of your life. Because Sierra is out to ruin you from everybody else. I feel like no matter what I read following that, it will not even begin to hold a candle. Thornchapel is the rollercoaster ride I never want to get off of. I just want to ride it over and over again. "Delphine. Rebecca. Becket. St. Sebastian. Proserpina. His thorns, his regrets. His hurts." I have never seen a author capture such intense chemistry between characters like Sierra did with Auden, Delphine, Rebecca, Becket, St. Sebastian, and Proserpina. Something about each one of these characters draws you in. Each one brought something new to the story. Everytime I thought I could love one character more, another character would prove me wrong. I felt every character slowly claim a piece of my heart. And each one for their own reasons. I love Delphine for her out going and wild personality. I love Rebecca for her controlling, yet sensitive ways. I love Becket for his calming, yet mysterious ways. But like every book, you will always have your favorites. And in this case it was Proserpina, St. Sebastian and Auden. Something about them just intrigued me above the rest. Everything about that trio utterly consumed me. I could not get enough of them. They burned through my kindle like wildfire. I felt their every emotion sizzle and spark from the pages like a live wire. The feeling. The passion. The angst. They each brought was nothing short of mind blowing. I could not be more enchanted by characters if I tried. I just LOVED every explosive thing about them. "There’s only this, only this intimate touch, only this kiss like he wants to kiss my very dreams out of me." *5 STARS* Will NEVER feel like enough stars for this book. I could give it a hundred, and it probably still wouldn't feel like enough. I am on the edge of my seat for the next installment. I just need SO. MUCH. MORE. A Lesson In Thorns WILL haunt your mind long after the pages end.
KRamjohn 10 months ago
This is without a doubt one of the best book I've read this year. A Lesson in Thorns was nothing like I expected yet it was so much more. This novel was bold, captivating, and intriguing and will have you riveted from the first page right until the end. This is a story about six children whose lives were unknowingly entwined and changed one faithful summer twelve years ago. Its a story about 6 characters who are now so flawed and complex. Its a story about knowing oneself and finding oneself. It a story about acceptance. Yet this is a story about so much more. There's rituals, and mystery and secrets, off the charts hot steamy scenes and hint of the otherworldly. There's tension and angst, and a hint of uncertainty. There's love, friendship, jealously, hurt and betrayal. This novel was well-crafted with so many layers we've barely scratched the surface. It was so well detailed you could picture every scene in your mind. The twists and turns take you on a journey you never saw coming as it all unravels chapter by chapter and then there's the ending leaving you anxious for the next book. OMG...I don.t have enough words to accurately describe how phenomenal this story was. I would give this 10 stars if it was possible. This was a fantastic, consuming read. I absolutely loved it and I would highly recommend it.
Gibsongal 10 months ago
THIS BOOK IS EPIC! It ruined me!! Right from the first page I was like “what the hell did I get myself into?” I couldn’t even put it down! It was emotional and friggin twisted as hell! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series when it comes out!
klturner83 10 months ago
A Lesson in Thorns is the first book in Sierra Simone's new series. It follows six characters that have a connection with each other, as well as Thornchapel itself that began when they were just children. Poe, or Proserpina is the leading character that takes us through most of their journey. Her mother mysteriously disappeared at the Thornchapel, which is her motivation for returning. But what she finds, and ultimately ends up feeling, is far more than she ever dreamed. Auden, St. Sebastian (Saint), Delphine, Becket and Rebecca have each discovered something new about themselves that will change their lives forever.
Anonymous 10 months ago
This is a story of the lives of six friends that are reconnecting in adulthood. The story revolves around Poe’s mother and the mystery of her disappearance. Super spicy amazing story. While I was not always sure what was going to happen next, I am happy to go along for the ride. I know that Sierra Simone has a plan and that I will definitely enjoy the journey. This is the first installment of the series. It wraps up nicely, yet leaves plenty of unanswered questions for the remaining books. A great mix of tortured, interesting characters. Plenty of angst and heat. Amazing storytelling.
Anonymous 9 months ago
This book is the worst one I have read in many years. The story is not believable. The characters are not inviting. The plot made me want to skip to the end because I was bored.