03 September 2014

Sacred Waters by Lydia Michaels

 Colin McCullough has always known the path his life would take and at summer’s end he will finally make his Holy Orders. But what should have been a relaxing summer in the mountains with his large Irish family turns into an interlude plagued with temptation the moment his brother brings home the enchanting Samantha Dougherty.

When Samantha agrees to spend her summer break with Braydon McCullough she soon realizes his intentions are not what they seemed. While coping with Braydon’s assumptions that they are in a relationship, Samantha’s vacation only becomes more complicated when she meets his older brother, Colin, the soon to be priest! What was intended to be a peaceful holiday turns into an unforgettable experience of loyalty, lust, sacrifice, courage, and love.

Having read Forsaking Truth, book five in the McCullough Mountain series, I knew I was going to like this book. The McCulloughs are a blast of a family and I was ecstatic when I got the opportunity to read the first four books in the series. Like a good girl, I started with book one and found the impossible occurring, I fell in love with the McCullough family even more than I already was, especially Maureen (the mother) and Kelly (one of the many brothers). Please note that this will be a rare review for me as it WILL contain a SPOILER; I know you’re shocked but there is a passage in the book that I cannot ignore, so be forewarned and don’t read the section marked Spoiler.

Colin has known since he was twelve that he was destined for the church and will soon be taking his vows as a Catholic priest. He has never questioned his commitment and never faltered in his decision. That is, until he befriends his brother’s girlfriend Samantha. He finds himself drawn to Sammy in a way he has never been drawn to a woman before. Samantha agrees to go home with Braydon for her three-week break because she doesn’t want to be alone at her parents’ home. As they have only kissed a few times, she did not expect to be introduced as Braydon’s girlfriend and was quite taken aback when he assumed they would share his bed during her stay. And she didn’t (a definite chuckle moment there). But even that didn’t compare with her introduction to Colin, which was decidedly NOT a chuckle-moment. Sam finds that chastising herself for lusting after a soon-to-be priest does nothing to deter her and cannot help herself as she has never been drawn to a man as she is Colin. Realizing that their attraction is mutual and that it can’t go anywhere, they resolve to avoid one another as much as possible.


But fate has a different idea and innocent touches become kisses. Kisses become not so innocent touches, until finally the night before Sammy is to depart, she and Colin give in to the temptations of the flesh. This was a sweet yet extremely steamy scene. Both Colin and Sammy are virgins and, except for kissing on Samantha’s part, their intimate interactions with one another are all they have ever experienced. And it makes their union and subsequent separation heartbreaking and I was grabbing my tissues.

But Ms. Michaels tempers this heartbreaking scene with one later in the book that had me laughing so hard I would have wet myself had my bladder been full. I have ALWAYS found it humorous when a well-endowed male character gets apprehensive about having sex with his pregnant wife or girlfriend. The whole “I’m so big, I’m gonna hurt the baby” mentality makes me snort every time. Granted, having decided to enter the priesthood as a child and never being exposed to a woman sexually, Colin does have a bit more of an excuse to be apprehensive about having sex with Sammy when she’s almost full-term. But it is Sammy’s assurance to him that had my laughing almost hysterically: “Colin, the doctor assured me there isn’t a man alive large enough to do any damage to me or the baby. As long as you’re gentle everything will be fine.” That had to be the best response from a pregnant woman I have ever read and I couldn’t NOT include it in my review.


While Sacred Waters is Colin and Samantha’s story, I enjoyed getting to know even more about the other McCulloughs. This is a close-knit Irish family (with a sprinkling of Italian relatives) that you cannot help but fall in love with – I dare you to read this series and not fall for this family. This book made me laugh and made me cry – Sammy and Colin’s story is heartbreaking, even knowing ahead of time that things must end doesn’t make it any easier. And while they may not get the ending they hoped for, they definitely got the right happy ending. I absolutely love the way that Ms. Michaels writes their story with such emotion. Her storytelling in Sacred Waters in quite frankly a work of art and I cannot wait to read Skin, book two in the series.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much! It always makes me so happy when readers connect with the McCulloughs. Your review was a joy to read!