Review: Absolution by Missy Johnson

June 17, 2017

Absolution by Missy Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release - June 28, 2017
Genre - Contemporary Romance
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat - 2 out of 5
Length - 220 pages

Declan James was the perfect guy.
He was sweet. Charming. Caring. Until he wasn’t.

Fourteen years ago, his actions tore apart my family. He ruined my sister’s life and nothing was ever the same again. But now, more than a decade later, he’s back.

When he walks into my office, asking for my help, I’m shocked, but nothing prepares me for what I’m about to learn. I see how far he’s gone to redeem himself and I know that he’s changed. I also know that, as a priest, he’s more off limits than ever.

If I help him, my family will never forgive me.
If I fall in love with him, I will never forgive myself.

Find Absolution on Goodreads


There were so many elements about this story that made it interesting. For one the hero was a priest. Then you add in the fact that he was the convicted rapist of the heroine's sister, a sister who eventually committed suicide. Can you imagine falling in love with someone like that? An abandoned little girl forces these two into close quarters and Hannah is having a hard time being around the man who had a hand in taking her sister from her, no matter the fact that he's now a priest. But things are not always what they seem. There are always three sides to a story. It's just a matter of figuring out the truth behind it all.

Keeping it 100, I didn't have much love for the heroine of the story. I tried to be sympathetic and put myself in her shoes, especially when it came to how she dealt with Declan, but it was hard. Oh so very hard because I've always believed that if you don't know the details of everything it's not the wisest option to jump to conclusions. There were so many questions surrounding the rape. Many things left unsaid. And the victim wasn't around to clear anything up. Not to mention, Hannah was a little girl and most of the details were kept from her. There was no mention of her ever reviewing her sister's case files so why was she so certain that she knew everything??? Many times Declan offered clarity and was rejected by Hannah. I get that she wanted nothing to do with her sister's rapist, but c'mon. You don't know everything. And he's a freaking priest with no complaints or charges. WTF?! When the truth was finally revealed I felt that there wasn't enough remorse or sympathy for what happened to him. Where was his compensation?

Now Declan was a great hero. He was a priest who was conflicted in his faith and his strong belief in God and what he was doing as as a follower of God. He was a man of God, a man of the cloth and he was falling in love with someone, which obviously went against his vows and then left him to question everything. I genuinely felt his conflict. The author did an amazing job of describing it so that it was easy to see and understand. I felt so bad for him because of the position he was in, the thoughts he was having, and his own self recriminations. I felt his guilt, his shame, and his burdens as he fought for balance and against temptation.

I've never read anything from this author, but I admire her chutzpah. She took a topic that might seem a bit hard or difficult for others, a taboo subject that many authors won't even touch upon, but she dove right in and gave us the angst, the pain, and the beauty in order to create such a wonderful story.

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