Book Review: Faithless #1, A Tainted Love Serial by K.B. Nelson

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Faithless, #1
She's a stripper. He's a preacher. Her name's Faith, and he's been faithless since the day she went away.

Faith Richards knows she'll never be able to outrun her demons, but she's not looking for absolution. She's looking for release. When she's forced to return home by circumstances she'd rather not discuss, she runs straight to Noah. The only boy that could ever make her feel alive. The only boy who ever truly broke her heart. The only boy who could possibly save her from herself.

But Noah isn't a boy anymore...

Noah Parker is a man torn, fighting to understand his place in this world after his latest run-in with tragedy. Everyone he's ever loved has left him, either on a greyhound bus or in a casket. He no longer believes the words he preaches and his life hangs in the balance of honesty. Reuniting with Faith might be the only thing that can save him, but based on their tumultuous history, it's more than likely it'll destroy him.

Faithless is the story of two broken people searching for the impossible: a love strong enough to put the pieces of their broken hearts back together. Their romance is forbidden. Their love is undeniable. Their lives hang in the balance. And when their world begins to burn to the ground, they'll be faced with one impossible decision: can they live with who they've become?
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PURCHASE

| Amazon

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3.5 STARS


K.B. Nelson is a completely new-to-me author. I wasn't familiar with any of her previous novels, so I wasn't entirely sure of what to expect (especially in a serial format), but six simple words from this blurb caught my eye. Suddenly, I couldn't resist! She's a stripper. He's a preacher. If the word "forbidden" is attached to a romance, the book is often automatically added to my TBR list. I'm a sucker for a good sexual tension-filled squee-fest. ;) However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a much deeper and emotional story in part one of Faithless!
It's when we're faced with tragedy that we choose who we become. We either move on or get stuck in the past, but I'm not sure I ever did either. Because I ran as far as I could, never able to outrun the demons that ripped apart my picture-perfect life.
This is a short read (less than 70 pages) and it will leave you wanting more, but Faithless is definitely worth diving into! It sets a good foundation for the next installments to build on. Readers are first introduced to Faith, a girl reluctantly returning to her hometown. There's an immediate sense of rock bottom, like this is the last place she wants to be but she has nowhere else to go, and she's desperate for a fresh start. I thought her character was fleshed out pretty well, considering the limited amount of pages we were given to get to know her. There was just something about her voice that really drew me in, narrating with a striking eloquence. Even in her more cynical, bitter moments...
My history reads like a plaid shirt--repetitive. It's the same mistakes over and over again.
Step 1. Fall in love
Step 2. Get heart broke
Step 3. Run. Just fucking run.
The storytelling had me hooked! Faith's point of view weaved  the past and present together in a compelling tale, combining flashbacks with real-time accounts. There was a lot of history to untangle and to understand...The bond she used to share with Noah. The damage inflicted on it over the years...I love that feeling when you're only given pieces, left to wonder for a little while before being given the whole picture.

However, because of the depth of their connection, I felt like this toned down the forbidden "dirty stripper and righteous preacher" aspect of the storyline slightly. Noah came across as a truly tortured soul, whose faith was already wavering by the time Faith re-entered his life. (Loved the irony of that...) The path to a reconciliation felt easier. It made me crave something a bit more torturous and a bit more taboo. That's not to say the romance disappointed, though! They do show restraint at first, but it was fueled more by their painful past than by their current job titles. And when they do give in to their feelings? It was just as rewarding!
He pushes his hands into his pockets and shrugs. "The thing about silence is that it's only peaceful when you have a clear conscience."

I bite into my cheek, contemplating. "Sounds like there's something on your mind."

"All the time."
Finally, an intense confrontation rocks their world! A lot went down towards the end that left me a little wide-eyed, a lot more curious. The teaser for part two (yes!!) makes me think this serial is about to get a lot darker, as well!!!
"Stop," I whisper, realizing I've opened Pandora's Box.

The pupils in his eyes do acrobats, as if they're searching for an escape from his body. But he finally manages to look at me, the way he always used to look at me, even if his eyes have been overtaken with fire. "I'm ready to burn."
K.B. Nelson's writing reeled me in, kicking off the Tainted Love serial with as much of an emotional punch as it did sex appeal. There's an intriguing story building alongside the angsty romance. And while I still have questions, I'm excited to find out the answers and to know more about Noah!


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AVAILABLE NOW


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Faithless, #2


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


I grew up on a farm in Ohio, but that’s not very interesting, is it? When I’m not writing you can find me doing one of two things; getting lost on highways or getting lost in the lives of fictional characters. If my heart had two feet, one foot would be in romance and the other solidly in geekdom. I hope you’ll all follow me on my journey through this carnival they call life. I promise there will be a happy ending.