Friday, April 8, 2016

Saint Nicholas - Jamie Deschain

Saint Nicholas is on sale for just $0.99 and it does not disappoint. During the Shh...Male Authors in Erotica event I picked it up and found myself reading this debut romance novel from Jamie Deschain. Though the event isn't appropriate for this blog (see Carlene Corrupted for more), this book is and I want to share it with all my readers!

Rating: 3.5 (closer to 4) Stars
Published: September 2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance

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"Who was I to question a young girl’s attractions, even if it was to someone who was as damaged as I was?"

Sarah Danniels is the girl that goes by unnoticed; she goes to school, she goes home, and she tries to do what her father asks of her. Nicholas Rossi, Saint Nicholas to his friends, has stepped up as the man of his household, helping take care of both his mom and younger sister. When the two meet it's like fate brought them together, it's easy to be together and they share many of their firsts together. While both hope they can have forever, their pasts and secrets threaten to tear them apart.

"I’ll take care of you. My jaw tightened as a pang of regret jolted my heart. I’d tried for so long to live up to that, like it defined me. Now I had nothing, and I felt lost. Like I didn’t know what to do with myself. Before it felt like I had a purpose."

When I finished this book I said a lot of positive words that I couldn't string into a sentence if I tried, because it's the kind of book that leaves you with so many emotions swirling around. Filled with angst and hope, Saint Nicholas is a story of love in all sorts of ways; Love of self, love of others, and finding that forgiveness is a part of that love. Told from dual POV's, the teens experience first love in its most innocent form, however the darkness is always seeping into their joy. Jamie Deschain managed to write two characters you couldn't help but love and feel for, they were easy to connect with. Though the events they went through were not easy, I felt like I was experiencing it all alongside them. As their innocence fades away, the two find that love isn't easy and we see a fast forward sequence of their lives spent apart for 7 years. Jamie did an incredible job of capturing the feelings of youth, angst, and even coming of age. Though the story is not a light one, the strength of love carries it through.

"In a way those events were what shaped us, and in the years that followed I’d spent every waking moment holding onto them and trying to escape them all at once."

Broken into four sections, Part 1 was an incredible showing of Jamie's skills as an author, it is incredibly hard to capture the feelings of a teenager and I was so impressed with the chapters. However, the fast forward sequences during Parts 2 and 3 felt rushed and I found myself feeling like I had missed some incredibly important events. The plot, though strong, needed some more strength during the 7 years the characters were apart. I found myself missing the Nicholas we knew as a teen and though he had grown up in hard circumstances I felt like he was a completely different person an an adult. Some of the hurdles he faced alone, especially relationship wise with friends and family, really threw me for a loop and did leave me fairly confused at times. Part 4 made me happy though, proving that the 7 years, and a bit of struggling reading, was totally worth it.

"I welcomed him and the beacon he'd become in the fog of heartbreak."

Saint Nicholas was a lot more than I expected it to be and I was incredibly impressed with how well Jamie Deschain captured emotions and made scenes come to life, both those that were heartwarming and those that made me tear up. My feelings were so strong while reading this book and I highlighted so many pages; I always love a good book filled with feels and quotable lines. Saint Nicholas is a fantastic, stand-alone debut from Jamie Deschain. If you are the kind of reader who likes a dose of reality and angst in your romance, this book is for you.

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