Samantha A. Cole
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Adam Westfield gave his heart, mind, body, and soul over to God and entered the Franciscan Brotherhood, but a moment of rage had him breaking his vows and one of the ten commandments. Five years later, he’s released from prison a changed man once again. Unsure of his destiny now, he hits the road, roaming the United States, hoping to find a purpose in life again . . . and forgiveness.
A widowed mother of two, Sage Hammond is doing everything she can to hold onto the horse-breeding ranch that had belonged to her husband’s family for generations, but times are tough and she’s just barely getting by. Unable to find a ranch hand willing to work for meager wages, she thinks all may be lost and she will have to sell. Until a quiet, handsome stranger appears to be an answer to her prayers.
Adam is falling in love for the first time in his life, however, strange things begin to happen at the ranch—things that are putting Sage and her children in danger—and he finds he is willing to sell his soul to protect them. But will it be enough?
A man trying to overcome his past. A woman trying to secure her children’s future. Can they both learn to live in the present and discover that second chances do exist?
Riveting new shift for Samantha Cole. Kudos!
With The Friar, Samantha Cole has taken her readers in a totally new, direction. I'm not surprised I loved it. What surprised me & shouldn't have, is her versatility. Her prior series (Trident Security & The Omega Team) are thriller/mystery/BDSM romances. But The Friar is a complete departure. It's a romance but I can honestly say it's a romance unlike any other I've ever read. It's the story of Adam Westfield & Sage Hammond. Brother Adam, a Franciscan friar, kneels before an altar in a small church, dipping his fingers into holy water before him, praying for forgiveness. He waits, knowing what's coming. After hours on his knees, the police arrive to arrest him for the death of Brother Armand Santiago. Adam feels his guilt deep in his soul & doesn't consider resisting. The sad irony is his foster brother, Shane Stewart, the man he spent his teenage years with, is one of the detectives. It's almost as hard on Shane as it is on Adam, who accepts a plea deal for manslaughter & is sentenced to 10 years at Sing-Sing. Although he's resigned from the Brotherhood, Adam attempts to atone for his perceived sin by ministering to the inmates. He's a model prisoner, helps many & is released for good behavior just over 5 years later. But Adam has never forgiven himself. Nearly everyone involved with the case feels he went to prison unjustly. Adam caught Brother Armand red-handed molesting a young teenage boy. He reacted in the heat of passion & protectiveness. In the eyes of others, Adam did nothing wrong. Many consider him a hero. But Adam can't get past the fact that, however it happened, he killed a man whose life he'd had no right to take. Rather than put the young victim through a trial, Adam's guilt & remorse makes him accept the plea deal & do his time. Sage Hammond's a widow with two young children. Her husband was killed in a tragic riding accident two-and-one-half years ago, leaving her to run Heaven's Pastures, their horse breeding ranch. With the help of the family's long-time employees, Evan & Maddie Tanner, Sage has barely managed to keep the ranch afloat, what with Mark's medical bills & the mortgage taken on the ranch to pay them. She can't afford to pay ranch hands much. They just keep leaving, most without notice. She desperately needs help. After his release from prison, Adam prays, asking for guidance to find his new place in life. Without clear direction, he hitchhikes around the country, moving from place to place, job to job, never staying in one place for long. Then he lands in Rosewood, OK, where he meets Reverend Stephens. After getting to know each other, the reverend sends Adam to Sage's ranch. Sage needs help. Adam needs a job. So Adam walks the 6 miles to Sage's ranch to see if she'll take a chance on him. After a convoluted series of events & with no small amount of hesitation about hiring an ex-con, Sage offers Adam the job. From here, the story takes the reader through twists, turns, mysteries, unexpected events & emotions of every sort. There's the wealthy neighbor with a large ranch of his own who seems desperate to buy Sage's ranch, Sage's best friend who both approves & disapproves of Adam, a small town split between typical small town gossip & distrust of strangers & the inherent goodness of people to give others a second chance. As the relationship between Sage & Adam grows from initial distrust & an uneasy truce, trust, friendship & perhaps even more, begin to grow. Then events take a dark turn. With Adam's past hanging over them like a cloud, & Sage's inability to put her past behind her, do these two even stand a chance? The Friar is the story of two damaged souls seeking redemption, acceptance, & love. But it's so much more. Samantha Cole once again shows her proficiency, cleverness & command of literary style. I give The Friar my highest possible recommendation. Kudos Samantha! You have yet another winner on your hands! Thanks for reading my review & happy reading!
Simply The Best
Samantha A. Cole is best known for her Trident Security series and her Malone Brothers books. While the Trident series and Malone Brothers are BDSM and Domination, The Friar is a standalone book with less emphasis on sex, but still the amazing storytelling that Ms Cole is so well known for.
Adam is sent to prison for manslaughter, a former Franciscan brother, he spends time drifting until he comes upon the widow Sage Hammond. He is told she needs help with her ranch, but when she finds out he’s an ex-con, his prospects don’t look so good. But a neighboring rancher shows up with his lackey and threaten Sage into selling her ranch. Adam intervenes. Sage decides to keep him on, and he’s worth his weight in gold to Sage and her 2 children.
Events begin happening at the ranch, and it’s up to Adam to keep her safe, but who from? Ms. Cole has written another 5 star mega-hit that will keep you riveted from the very first page all of the way to the very end.
Well-written and heartwarming
Friar by Samantha A. Cole is a well-written, heartwarming romance that’s all about second chances. Adam, a former Franciscan friar, is on parole for a crime he committed in defense of a poor, defenseless child. Sage is a young widow with two children who is in danger of losing the ranch that has been in her husband’s family for years. A series of misadventures draws them closer to each other as their bottled up passions become impossible to resist. What results is an HEA that will put a smile on your face that will be hard to erase.
Ms. Cole writes with an equal passion, describing characters’ emotions and doubts with great feeling. They become very real to the reader and keeps the reader connected to their struggles, joys and triumphs. It is a fast and well paced read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it highly.