Note: Edited to reflect new cover & publisher
Title: Sacred Hearts by Dev Bentham
Publisher: Love is a Light; 2nd edition
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance, Erotic
Length: 137 pages
Book Rating: A+ and a Recommended Read
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
Life’s a gamble–and lately David Schwartz’s partner has been losing so much that David must close their restaurant, the hippest little place in Portland. He sells everything and moves back home, but at thirty-five, he’s not eager to sleep alone in his childhood bedroom or to be supported by his father for the second time in his adult life.
David’s had enough. He needs to start over, maybe with someone like the elusive man he’s been seeing in his dreams. An old friend offers him a job catering a movie set in Puerto Vallarta. It’s been years since David’s alcoholism spun out of control along the highways of Mexico. Determined to experience Mexico sober, he stuffs his few remaining possessions in a backpack and takes the next flight down.
As Mexico prepares for Christmas, David lights Hanukkah candles, celebrating the return of the sun and wishing for true love. On the first night of Hanukkah, David meets a tall, dark stranger who rocks his world in a secluded moonlit cove. Is this the mystery man of his dreams–the answer to David’s prayers? And what must David sacrifice to make his dreams come true?
Sacred Hearts, Dev Bentham’s third installment in her Tarnished Souls series, is a beautifully written love story between two captivating and incredibly engaging protagonists. Following the loss of both his boyfriend and his business, David Schwartz is in desperate need of a new beginning. It is with much trepidation that David accepts a job in Puerto Vallarta, where years before, he found then lost his first love. His return to Mexico offers David the opportunity to make peace with his past and a chance meeting with an enigmatic stranger gives him hope for his future.
In the aftermath of his failed relationship and business, David picks up the pieces of his life, maintains his long term sobriety and discovers a great deal about himself in the process. David’s reflections on his first ill-fated relationship play a pivotal role in understanding how he ended up his last relationship and why he stayed in it. This self-awareness is crucial when he is forced to face his ex-lover as David deals with the unpleasant details involved with the closing their business.
There is an almost mystical quality to David’s meeting with the man he meets in Mexico. His new lover proves quite elusive and gives up very few details about himself. Their encounters are sexually charged and sizzling hot. There is also a charming aura of innocence as David’s new man stretches beyond his sexual comfort zone.
In Sacred Hearts, Ms. Bentham does a fabulous job of weaving together two very different faiths. The lead characters are both very spiritual and their strong beliefs add another layer to this richly detailed story. Along with hope, the rituals of David’s religion also bring him peace.
I really like the fact that the main characters in Sacred Hearts are both older. Their life experiences have molded and shaped them into the men they are and this maturity provides them with added depth. There are a few missteps and misunderstandings that advance the plot and provide insight into both protagonists. The story is realistic and delightfully angst free.
Dev Bentham brings the characters and setting vibrantly to life in this emotionally complex and compelling novel. Sacred Hearts is full of unexpected twists and turns and a romance that is so sweet it will take your breath away.
An incredible story of healing, hope and love that I highly recommend.
Read my reviews of the other stories in the Tarnished Souls series HERE.