Mark of Cain by Kate Sherwood ~ Review by Caroline

Where to start with this one?

20522718Title: Mark of Cain

Author: Kate Sherwood

PublisherSamhain Publishing

My Rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

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.

My View

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?

Buy Links:

Samhain Publishing
Amazon

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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