Sometimes a scandal isn't a sin...
On the night she graduates from seminary, Jordan Sykes finds herself in bed with Dominic Lawrence, the ethics professor she’s crushed on for years. Two months later, she discovers she’s pregnant and is determined to hide it to protect his career. Maybe, if she loves her new church like hell, they won’t fire her for being a single mother.
Dominic knows the difference between right and wrong, and he’s filled with remorse after sleeping with his favorite student. He’s offered the job of his dreams, but he'd be a hypocrite to accept without making things right with Jordan first.
Dominic proposes marriage to save their careers, never expecting they will prove a perfect—and passionate—match. But can Jordan give her heart to a man who still believes the first night they spent together was a mistake?
About the Author
Amber Belldene is always reading racy books at the most inappropriate times and has been observed ogling her Kindle in the church parking lot. Even as a kid, she hid novels inside the service bulletin to read during sermons, an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.
Amber is a romance writer and Episcopal priest who believes sexuality is vital to spirituality, love is beautifully messy, and stories are the best way to explore human truths. Evidence of these convictions can be found in Amber's steamy paranormals and quirky, hot contemporaries. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I grew up in a church where the pastor was placed on a pedestal, the ministers were slightly lower than him, and the congregation could be condescending, unforgiving, and close-minded. The truth is, ministry leaders are just as human as you and I. They like and dislike, love and hate, want and need. They make mistakes, misjudge, and fall. For me, seeing those characteristics in a ministry leader makes me want to stay in their church even more. It shows me how they not only learn and grow from the problems that arise in their lives but also how much they lean on God and know that everything happens for a reason. That being said, this is an amazing story. Don't let the premise of Christianity put you off from reading it. The issues Jordan and Dominic face separately and together are real. Someone out there has been in their shoes and can relate. The most gripping aspect of this story is how intense and deep Dominic thinks and feels. Jordan isn't, not to me. She is steadfast in her beliefs and refuses to let anything or anyone diminish them, whether it's her faith in God, her love for her work, or her lack of regret for that one night. But Dominic, he's the opposite. It is, I think, partly due to his work and partly due to his upbringing. His guilt and urgency to make things right with Jordan locks him into a corner where it's a battle to escape. But Jordan's patient and her longing for him is all-encompassing. They face what lies between with incredible courage, and he realizes he is not his father and his future is brighter, better, with Jordan and the baby in it. I can't recommend this story enough. It's so different from the contemporary romances I've read as of late, probably because it's more than just a love story. It's an exploration and realization of relationships and religious leaders, and how "mistakes" defined within religion aren't mistakes at all but opportunities to grow, let go, and move forward. Received from Enticing Journey Book Promotions for an honest review
Please note - this story contains open door bedroom scenes. If you are offended by stories containing intimate scenes outside of marriage, this story is not for you. I'm hoping that non-religious readers will still pick up this story for the interesting storyline and the moral dilemma that the main characters find them in. I was quite fascinated with Dominic. An an ethics professor, and the local church's investigator into sexual morality issues between the clergy and the lay people, he's got quite the guilty conscience over sleeping with Jordan on the night of her graduation. But that guilt is over the fact that she's just barely not his student anymore, not the fact that they had sex. The whole professor/student thing is what bothers him the most. And then when he finds out that Jordan is pregnant, he perceives it as the consequences for making that mistake. Only Jordan doesn't see it that way. From the moment she finds out she is pregnant, though the idea of a being a single parent is stressful, she feels that the representation of her feelings for Dominic are present in that growing baby and that he or she is a blessing, not a curse. It was interesting to me that she didn't just leap on the idea of marriage away. From the perspective of her congregation and his university colleagues, it seems like that would be the most acceptable choice (which isn't to say that they wouldn't be disapproving and disappointed in the lack of judgement between Jordan and Dominic, but that they would accept the pregnancy better if they knew that a marriage was planned). But Jordan doesn't want to marry Dominic if he thinks that their night together that resulted in this pregnancy was a mistake, because that would imply that the marriage would be solely due to obligation and not real feelings between them. She'd rather raise the baby as a single mom then forever be made to feel guilty over their lapse in judgement. It's only upon spending some time together, and realizing that they share a deep attraction that could be a gateway to a true loving relationship between them that she'll even consider marriage, despite knowing it would make it easier to defend herself to her new congregation. Jordan herself is a loving, friendly woman, and it's easy to see why she was chosen to lead her congregation. Because of her own circumstances, she is able to be a forgiving person, one who looks past the mistakes of others and gives them a second chance. She follows the golden rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and really understands what it means to be a Christian. There isn't any proselytizing in this story - it's not written with the intention of converting the reader to Christianity but rather to show a little bit about the life of a new minister, and that the difficult choices of love and sex and relationships fall to everyone, religious or not. Dominic is a more straight laced figure for sure, and his upbringing and relationship with his parents have a lot to do with his chosen profession. But he is still a man, and attracted to Jordan, not just for her beauty but for her character as well. He envies her ability to see the good in all situations. They share some more steamy scenes together as their feelings for each other deepen. I really enjoyed this story, how the plot played out, and how Dominic and Jordan came to realize that their one night together could lead to a beautiful future together. 5 stars!