Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sins of Sevin by Penelope Ward @PenelopeAuthor

 4.5 stars
When finishing Sins of Sevin, I needed to step back, reflect and regain control over all my emotions. I was a blubbering mess.

Wow… Holy freaking WOW! This was not a hearts and flowers type of romance. It was a soul crushing experience. Penelope Ward powerfully ruled my emotions while commanding me to experience all of her characters’ pain, sorrow, torment and passion. Ward is known for her intense reads, so I knew going in that I needed to brace myself for the ride. As far as wreaking havoc over all my feelings, she has out done herself. Sevin and Evangeline tied me in knots and my nerves were shot. This was definitely one of those stories that you actually feel.
My heart and sympathies belonged to Sevin. His life was so painful, it hurt seeing all his sorrows. At first, Sevin gave me the “bad boy vibe” despite that fact that he was isolated from the real world by his overly religious parents. But digging deeper, I saw a troubled, misguided guy who felt unworthy and unloved.
At one of the lowest points in his life, an opportunity presented itself, giving Sevin a chance to turn his life around and away from his oppressive stepmother. He agrees to a “business deal” - prearranged marriage to Elle and a job in her father’s company. A new start and courtship offer Sevin hope. However, all his good intentions unravel when meeting and instantly falling hard for Evangeline. (GASP! Elle’s sister) Realizing his heart and love belonged solely to Evangeline, Sevin tries to right his wrongs… His efforts led him to heartache, causing my gut to wrench.
Sevin had sinned. He had betrayed. He broke promises. I did not consider him a cheater, per se, for his heart never belonged to Elle. This is not a love triangle situation; his feelings towards Elle were never romantic, acted upon or heartfelt. Normally, I steer clear of cheaters. However, seeing that his love for Evangeline was true, I found myself adoring Sevin regardless. He was worthy of love and happiness.
I couldn’t help but feel sorry for how each agonizing blow threw his life deeper into chaos. His true sin was falling in love with the wrong sister, and he paid dearly for it. He’s beyond sweet, patient and kind. I felt Sevin was a little too forgiving of Evangeline’s misguided decisions. For all the turmoil she caused, and how he managed to survivor each one of her sins, I almost considered him saintly. He was a man who was desperate to right his wrongs. And it’s these reasons he redeemed himself in my eyes.
Evangeline… She was not an easy character for me to come to terms with. In the beginning, I found her to be a sweet, free-spirited girl. But, she quickly frustrated me. I give her credit for trying to fight off the attraction because she truly loved her sister.  I do not fault her for giving into her desires; she was destined to love Sevin. I did however blame Evangeline for lying, making really screwed up choices in her life, and hurting Sevin over and over again. Her actions created so much angst to the story line it was maddening – sending my anxiety levels sky-high. My mind tried to rationalize her choices, but my emotions were too frazzled over the way she shredded Sevin to pieces. Nonetheless, by the end of the read, I found myself pitying Evangeline for everything she lost due to fear and naivety.

It’s undeniable that the sexual tension and chemistry between Sevin and Evangeline ran incredibly high. From the moment they met, I knew they were destined for one another. I craved for Sevin to hold on tight to Evangeline, discover a way to obliterate all obstacles, and find happiness. Sevin was just as sexy as he was sweet and I loved seeing their stolen romantic moments. Once all the drama settled and lies were revealed, I wished for their healing to give them enough strength to persevere. They truly were soul mates in every way and deserved a ‘happily ever after’.
If you are a fan of highly emotional, gut wrenching ‘tear your heart out’ kind of romance, Sins of Sevin is the perfect read. Penelope Ward is an exceptional writer who has the amazing ability to grab hold of her readers, take total control of their emotions while twisting and turning them at her will. Sevin and Evangeline’s journey was by no means easy. It was painful and unbearable at times to witness. However, digging deep, I found the beauty in their love – and the ending had me in bittersweet tears. Ward certainly knows how to tell a difficult story filled with lust, drama and love.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review

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