Thursday, April 2, 2020

ARC Review: The Parable of the Mustard Seed by Lisa Henry

From The Blurb:
The past never stays buried forever. 
John Faimu is an Australian-Samoan police officer who deals with hurt kids every day. He loves what he does, but he’s tired of the grind of shift work, and of trying to find a balance between his job, his family, and the young man who straddles the increasingly blurry line between both. 
Caleb Fletcher was the teenager John saved from a cult eight long years ago, and he’s now the young man John wants in ways that neither of them should risk. 
Eight years after his rescue, Caleb is still struggling with PTSD and self-harm. John has always been his rock, but now Caleb wants more. Can he convince John to cross a line and love him the way they both crave? And when the monsters from Caleb’s past come back seeking to silence him for good, will John’s love be enough to save him? 
The Parable of the Mustard Seed is an mm gay romance featuring hurt/comfort, first times, found family, and angst with a happy ending.

Karen's rating:

I was looking for a few pithy words to explain...

what 'The Parable of the Mustard Seed' was and what I discovered was that like many things the meaning of this parable is open to the readers interpretation but loosely speaking...
So, the picture painted in the Parable of the Mustard Seed by Jesus is of the humble beginnings of the church experiencing an explosive rate of growth. It grows large and becomes a source of food, rest, and shelter, for both believers and false professing individuals that seek to consume or take advantage of its benefits while residing or mixing among what was produced by the seed.
Making my one and only real concern after reading this and then seeing the word...'cult', that maybe things would go sideways and become 'overly' preachy to reinforce the whole 'cult' issue thankfully, I realized fairly early in that I could kick this concern to the curb as it quickly became evident that it was a non-issue.

At which point I have to admit I still wasn't really sure what I was getting into, but Lisa Henry was the author and I was sure whatever I was getting into was going to be good, and it was much more than good.

My struggle really hasn't been so much about what to say as how to say it, but the time for procrastination is over and now it's simply time to jump in...

While this is a story with love in's also about man's inhumanity to man and all in the name of religion, it's about the strength of the human spirit and it's ability to overcome the darkest of times with out losing the ability to love and trust again.

"The Parable of the Mustard Seed" is the story of the events that brought Australian-Samoan police officer John Faimu and Caleb Fletcher into each others lives. What happened wasn't pretty and if you're like me you might want to have some tissues on hand.

In this story the author takes us back to the beginning...back to the day that John first saw Caleb, when he took place in the police raid that freed Caleb from the cult that nearly killed him and as the story progresses we are shown events of the past at the beginning of each chapter bringing us into the present and giving a solid understanding of not just the relationship between John and Caleb but of who they are as individuals and of who Caleb is and what has shaped him into the person that he has become.

From the very beginning I liked John. His character was intrinsically good and although Caleb always feels like his priority at the heart of everything John does is his love, concern and respect not just for Caleb, but for everyone that he cares about.

While my feelings about Caleb weren't as clear at the beginning what he had endured became clear fairly early in the story and my heart broke for child should go through what Caleb did but it's through the retelling of Caleb's past that I came to embrace what a truly amazing person he became. What Caleb endured wasn't just physical abuse there was emotional and psychological torment as well and he was betrayed by his mother...there is no forgiveness for what she did to him.

There were also a lot of wonderful characters in this story John's family from his mother right down to his sister's Mary and Jessie, his brother David, his partner on the police force Liz and Caleb's father Darren just to mention a few.

While 'The Parable of the Mustard Seed' isn't as dark as some of Ms Henry's other works such as 'While All the World Sleeps' it's also a far cry from the fun that is 'Adulting 101' but like both of these books, it is an excellent story worth reading.

If you're looking for a story with a lot of hot, steamy sex, then you'll probably be disappointed, but if you also like stories where the relationship between the MCs has a slow burn with a very palpable sense of how much the MCs cherish each other contained within it's pages...then I truly believe you need to check this one out.


An ARC of 'The Parable of the Mustard Seed' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Buy this book:

Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.  (Mason Cooley)

Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or booksellers listed.

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