Sebastian Morales is smart, gorgeous and has just turned 30. He is also one of the youngest Priests to be assigned to the sleepy little town of Morris Colorado, nestled just below the majestic Rocky Mountains. Born in a remote village in Spain, Father Morales' life had been perfectly scripted as he obtained his dreams. Now in America, he is at task with revitalizing an aging congregation. The job seems easy until he meets Ian Stephens. Ian is troubled, good looking, openly gay and trapped between his own dreams and the responsibility he feels for the care of his aging mother.Escorting his mother to Sunday Mass one morning, Ian and Father Morales
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)|
About the Author
Bryan Thomas Clark is a boisterous extravert who is a proud member of the LGBT community. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan now resides in the Central Valley of California with his husband of twenty-eight years and their four legged loyal companion, Miss Celie.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ancient House of Cards based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Wow, this book has so many surprises I don't know where to begin. First I have to say, we do have cheating, so if that's a no for you. Then you may want to reconsider. Although, the cheating is a big part to understanding the damaged soul,spirit of the character and lends itself to the bigger picture of the whole story. The moral struggle not just with priest but with the mother and other charaters is interesting to read. The ending, threw me and for days I was like really?really? But I understanding. Healing is the most important point of this book.
I chose this book because I can't resist stories with spiritual or religious themes. For the most part, I enjoyed it. As with any story, my favorite part is always the characters. The people populating this story were interesting and diverse, and none of them felt flat to me. I liked reading about their various struggles, all of which were relatable. Their human failings made them more, not less, likable and intriguing. I appreciated that the characters were not all standard, white Americans. There was quite a bit of diversity. And I did think it was fun that Ian's best friend was named Niles and had a cat called Mr. French. Those were details I found particularly charming. I did feel that the writing was uneven at times. There were some absolutely brilliant moments, including some of the details about the setting and some of the character interactions. At other times, however, the narrative seemed flat and the dialog a bit stiff. The whole thing could have benefited from a thorough going-over by an editor or a few skilled beta readers. The end also left me feeling a bit deflated. That wasn't because of where the main characters ended up but because it felt rushed. I had been hoping throughout that we might see a bit more depth regarding their spirituality, but it never quite got there. Then, at the end, there was an epilogue that sort of tidied things up. Unfortunately, it wasn't terribly realistic, and not enough time passed for the particular scenario to have been realistic. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and I recommend it, but with the qualifier that it may not be what you're looking for if you want a book with deeper spiritual themes. I give it 3.5 stars. I was given this in return for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads. ~Amy
I got this book on the strength of the review, and without reading the sample. It sounded really good, so I thought I'd take a chance. I was sorry. This story could have been so much more. At first, I thought it was just a matter of needing a good editing job but as I kept reading, I changed my mind. The dialogue was very inconsistent, stilted and formal in spots. People just don't talk like that. The lack of contractions in some conversations was very annying, almost like the author was n't a native English speaker. And the love scenes--I don't really mind if they're not graphic, but--I've seen more emotion from action figures. I've read a lot of great m/m romance, and now I can add this one to the other column. Do yourself a favor, Mr. Clark, and read some Josh Lanyon or Heidi Cullinan if you want to know what great m/m romance is like. I think you need the lesson..
Where to begin? I really enjoyed this book, and even though it may not matter to most people, and pen names mask gender, I truly feel the masculine perspective when reading this story. Ancient House of Cards isn’t really a romance in the bodice ripper/tight pants tradition, though there are sensual scenes and chemistry between the characters. This story is familiar to anyone who lived with abuse, whether as a child or as an adult trying to handle their own psychological problems. This story is about trying to break the cycles of abuse, and how very difficult that really is. Ian may have vowed to himself never to be the abusive man his father was, or to put up with abuse for so long like his mother had, but even when we take positive steps to change the obvious cycles of abuse, we can easily overlook the more subtle effects of abuse. Like Ian setting himself up to fail, going back to a partner who abuses his trust repeatedly. Only to repeat those behaviors himself when he develops a new relationship with Sebastian Morales. There are so many layers to abuse, so many long-term effects, that seeing Ian face them, and get help is so real, so hard, and so great. The drama here is heart wrenching, and so very honest. Though Ian has finally left his unhealthy relationship with his cheating ex, and built a new home and plans a new direction for his life and his career, it seems he can’t help but make bad mistakes just as life is moving forward. Two steps forward one step back they say. Ian isn’t the only one in an unhealthy state of mind here. Father Sebastian Morales is hiding from many truths in his own heart. He’s conflicted for sure by his attraction to Ian, disagrees with many tenants of his faith, yet still feels the calling to be part of the church. He denies such a big part of himself that when it finally erupts he’s sick with dread, physically and mentally distraught with coming to terms with what it means to be a gay man and his commitment as a priest in the Catholic Church. He begins to lie, to others, to himself, and as any reader can predict it all comes crumbling down on him. I won’t give away the big game changer, but this story is an extremely important one. The moral of the story, for me anyhow, is that you first must be happy and healthy with yourself before you can be happy with another person. You cannot count on another person for your own happiness. I also like the way Bryan ended this story, one can imagine many different outcomes for themselves. GIGI@MM Good Book Reviews