Book Rec: Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton

It’s no secret that Marie Sexton is a great friend of mine, so when I say, “You should buy this book” you might be tempted to say, “Oh, Heidi likes everything Marie writes.” Which is true. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Jessewave gave it a five star Dessert Island Keeper status, for example.

The truth of the matter is, this book is right up there withStrawberries for Dessert as one of my favorites  she’s written.


Levi Binder is a Miami bartender who cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way, but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.

Jaime is used to being alone. Haunted by the horrors of his past, his only friend is his faithful dog, Dolly. He has no idea how to handle somebody as gorgeous and vibrant as Levi.

Complete opposites on the surface, Levi and Jaime both long for something that they can only find together. Through love and the therapeutic power of touch, they’ll find a way to heal each other, and they’ll learn to live as sinners in a family of saints.


Why You Should Read It:

I have a Thing about books revolving around abuse. In theory I like to read them, but they’re so often poorly done, and a  poorly done abuse book is a terrible, terrible thing. The balance is as delicate as a spider’s web. It can’t be too angsty, but it can’t be too glib. Most authors think the way to deal with abuse is for the character to wallow directly, which I have to tell you, I’ve never seen a real abuse victim do in real life.  The stories are also often so heavy you can’t stand to read them without antidepressants.

Not so Between Sinners and Saints. The story has humor, to start. Sexton manages the balance of an abusive past by showing us not only Jamie’s weaknesses but also his strengths. It’s also not primarily a story about abuse. It’s a story about past and pain, and most important of all, it’s about family. Between Sinners and Saints is a story of what it means to be broken, what it means to be saved, and how no matter what has happened to you and no matter who you are, everything can be healed by love.

And Marie wrote it. She’s always good. Go buy it today.

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