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Priest Read Online Sierra Simone

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Read Online Books/Novels:

Priest (Priest #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Sierra Simone

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B00WHGBTHI
Characters:

Poppy Danforth, Tyler Anselm Bell

Book Information:

There are many rules a priest can’t break.
A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I’ve always been good at following rules.
Until she came.
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I’m twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.
I am a priest and this is my confession.

***
***Priest is a standalone, full-length novel with an HEA. For mature audiences only.***

Books in Series:

Priest Series by Sierra Simone

Books by Author:

Sierra Simone Books

Author’s Note:

I spent the majority of my life in the Catholic faith, and while I’m no longer Catholic, I still have the utmost affection and respect for the Catholic Church. While the town of Weston is real (and delightful,) St. Margaret’s and Father Bell are purely inventions of my imagination.

This novel is entirely fictional and entirely for entertainment, (and yes, it contains some of my personal views around the intersection of sex and spirituality,) but it’s not intended to offend or provoke. That being said, this novel is about a Catholic priest falling in love. There is sex, more sex, and definitely some blasphemy.

You’ve been warned.

There are many rules a priest can’t break.

A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot harm the sacred trust his parish has put in him.

Rules that seem obvious. Rules that I remember as I knot my cincture. Rules that I vow to live by as I pull on my chasuble and adjust my stole.

I’ve always been good at following rules.

Until she came.

My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I’m twenty-nine years old. I have a bachelor’s degree in classical languages and a Master’s of Divinity. I’ve been at my parish since I was ordained three years back, and I love it here.

Several months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.

I am a priest and this is my confession.

It’s no secret that reconciliation is the least popular sacrament. I had many theories as to why: pride, inconvenience, loss of spiritual autonomy. But my prevailing theory at the moment was this fucking booth.

I hated it from the moment I saw it, something old-fashioned and hulking from the dark days before Vatican II. Growing up, my church in Kansas City had a reconciliation room, clean and bright and tasteful, with comfortable chairs and a tall window overlooking the parish garden.

This booth was the antithesis to that room—constrained and formal, made of dark wood and unnecessarily ornate molding. I’m not a claustrophobic man, but this booth could turn me into one. I folded my hands and thanked God for the success of our latest fundraiser. Ten thousand more dollars, and we would be able to renovate St. Margaret’s of Weston, Missouri into something resembling a modern church. No more fake wood paneling in the foyer. No more red carpet—admittedly good for hiding wine stains—but terrible for the atmosphere. There would be windows and light and modernity. I’d been assigned to this parish because of its painful past…and my own. Moving past that would take more than a facelift for the building, but I wanted to show my parishioners that the church was able to change. To grow. To move into the future.

“Do I have any penance, Father?”

I had drifted. One of my flaws, I’ll admit. One I prayed daily to change (when I remembered to.)

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” I said. Though I couldn’t see much through the decorative screen, I had known my penitent the moment he stepped in the booth. Rowan Murphy, middle-aged math teacher and police scanner enthusiast. He was my only reliable penitent throughout the month, and his sins ranged from envy (the principal gave the other math teacher tenure) to impure thoughts (the receptionist at the gym in Platte City.) While I knew some clergy still followed the old rules for penance, I wasn’t the “say two Hail Marys and call me in the morning” type. Rowan’s sins came from his restlessness, his stagnation, and no amount of Rosary-clutching would change anything if he didn’t address the root cause.

I know, because I’ve been there.

And aside from that, I really liked Rowan. He was funny, in a sly, unexpected way, and he was the type of guy who would invite hitchhikers to sleep on his couch and then make sure they left the next morning with a backpack full of food and a new blanket. I wanted to see him happy and settled. I wanted to see him funnel all those great things into building a more fulfilling life.

“No penance, but I do have a small assignment,” I said. “It’s to think about your life. You have strong faith but no direction. Other than the Church, what gives you passion in life? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What gives your daily activities and thoughts meaning?”

Rowan didn’t answer, but I could hear him breathing. Thinking.

Final prayers and a final blessing, and Rowan was gone, heading back to the school for the rest of his afternoon. And if his lunch break was almost over, then so were my reconciliation hours. I checked my phone to be sure, then pushed against the door, dropping my hand when I heard the booth open next to me. Someone settled in, and I sat back, masking my sigh. I had a rare free afternoon today, and I had been looking forward to it. No one besides Rowan ever came to reconciliation. No one. And the one day I had been looking forward to skating out early, to taking advantage of the perfect weather…

Focus, I ordered myself.

Someone cleared their throat. A woman.

“I, uh. I’ve never done this before.” Her voice was low and beguiling, the aural rendering of moonlight.

“Ah.” I smiled. “A newbie.”

That earned me a small laugh. “Yes, I guess I am. I’ve only ever seen this in the movies. Is this where I say, ‘Forgive me Father, for I have sinned?’”

“Close. First, we make the sign of the cross. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…” I could hear her echoing the words with me. “Now you tell me how long it’s been since your last confession, which was—”

“Never,” she finished for me. She sounded young, but not too young. My age, if not a little younger. And her voice carried the accent-less rush of the city, not the leisurely twang I sometimes heard out here in rural Missouri. “I, um. I saw the church while I was at the winery across the street. And I wanted to—well, I have some things that are bothering me. I’ve never been particularly religious, but I thought maybe…” She trailed off for a minute and then abruptly inhaled. “This was stupid. I should go.” I heard her stand.


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