Mark of Cain by Kate Sherwood

MarkOfCainWhen a man is consumed by hatred, is there anything left to love?
After a tough day of counseling sessions, Anglican priest Mark Webber is looking forward to a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant. When he sees who’s bellied up to the bar, though, he reaches for his cell phone to call the police.
It’s Lucas Cain, the man who killed Mark’s brother three years ago. Apparently he’s out of jail and hanging out with his old crowd, which has to be a breach of parole, right?
Pulled over upon leaving the bar, Lucas blows a clean breathalyzer and hopes this isn’t a harbinger of things to come. He’s ready to build a sober, peaceful life. His friends aren’t ready to let him move on, though, and he ends up taking refuge in an Anglican half-way house.
Thrown together, Mark and Lucas find common ground in the struggle to help a young gay man come to terms with his sexuality—and the fight against homophobic townsfolk. As attraction grows, the past is the last stumbling block between them and a future filled with hope.
Warning: Bad boys being good, good boys being bad.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I have to be honest here. I’m still not really sure how I feel about Mark of Cain. I loved the message of forgiveness and healing. I liked Lucas and could see past the mistakes he made. I liked Mark and I could totally understand his anger toward Lucas. Looking back, I think my only reservation is the time frame. Mark was in the job of forgiveness and I understand how that forgiveness came about, but things happened just a little too fast. Other than that, Mark of Cain was a story that touched on prejudice, love and redemption in a powerful way.

I admired Mark and his devotion to the Church. The lines blurred for him though when that devotion went against what he truly believed and the politics of the Church he loved became more important to some than those he had promised to serve.

Lucas totally understood Mark’s hate toward him. He felt the same hatred toward himself. He worked hard to make himself a better person, but in a small town it’s hard to move beyond the person you once were. It took a lot of strength to walk away from his friends, but he did. From that point on, I gained more respect for him. He had no support, yet he didn’t give up and did everything in his power to make up for what he had done.

The supporting characters were great, especially the ones who could see beyond labels placed on individuals and saw the characters for who they were. Not all fences were mended by the end of Mark of Cain, but that’s okay. The story would have been less believable if they had been. This was my first Kate Sherwood read, and I doubt it will be my last.

DragonFlyRating4

 

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