5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Sin & Salvation by Sabrina Wagner

She loved him. He resented her. Now they share more than a past… they’re sharing an apartment.

My entire love life was a string of disasters. Now that I was turning thirty, my mother expected me to marry a respectable man and start a family. But when my impending engagement blew up in my face, I fled his lavish condo and moved into an apartment above the Forever Inked tattoo parlor. I was shocked to find my first love standing in the kitchen signing his own lease for the place. Elias was the only man I never got over… the preacher’s son.
Sometimes salvation came as a second chance.

I hadn’t been home in almost fifteen years. I left everything behind, including the girl who betrayed me. I’d have never come back if it weren’t for my ailing father. Luckily, I found a job and an apartment at Forever Inked. Just as I was signing my name on the lease, a blue-eyed angel walked in carrying her whole life in a few boxes. Roxy was every sin you could imagine wrapped in a beautiful package. A temptress who’d destroyed me.
I’d evicted her from my heart, now I had to evict her from my apartment.

Title:Sin & Salvation
Author:Sabrina Wagner
Series:Forever Inked (Book 5)
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Second Chance Romance
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Michigan, USA
Release Date:11th January, 2022
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A really well-rounded romance

This is my second foray into the Forever Inked world and features feisty Roxy, the best friend of the heroine from the previous book in the series, Regret & Redemption. The couple from that book, and the other books do appear in this one as they’re all a big friend group – but this book stands completely alone and the friends just add depth to an already engrossing and well-rounded romance.

I really liked Roxy when she was a minor character in the previous book so I was excited to get to know her and read her story. She was a feisty, kick-ass, take no shit, kind of girl but we also get to see that she’s a woman with layers, fears and insecurities. She was hugely likeable and relatable to boot. She was often described as a ‘wild’ woman but it was nice to see this never descending into caricature status. She was, for all intents and purposes, a normal girl who often felt stifled by the standards and expectations put on her.

Eli was a new character to the series as he’s back in town after a 15 year absence due to the failing health of his father. He’s a fairly strict character, liking his space neat and in order, but he was far from the rigid, harsh man he himself probably thought he was. (Definitely not OCD which is a serious mental health condition). Despite his feelings for and about Roxy being those of his 17 year old self, I actually didn’t think they were unjust. I understood and accepted them – but also accepted his changing feelings throughout the book. Basically, he was slightly broody, slightly straight-laced but ultimately a good man with a little bit of a naughty side. What’s not to love about a hero like that?

Together, I really loved Eli and Roxy, especially when Eli decided it was time to win Roxy over. I love a man who cares for his woman and Eli wasn’t afraid to show his emotions for her and for them. And when it got to that stage, ooft were they on fire. Very sexy and again, perfect for them as a couple.

“…the writing on this book captivated me and really pulled me into the Forever Inked world.”

Much like I found with the previous book I read of Sabrina Wagner’s – the writing on this book captivated me and really pulled me into the Forever Inked world. As I mentioned, I’ve only read 1 of the previous books in the series but I still felt the love and real-ness of the friend group and of the world they inhabited. It was like I was immediately one of these friends and even found myself a bit disappointed I wasn’t continuing to ‘hang out’ with these friends once I’d finished the book. I also felt myself tearing up a few times while reading which is always a testament to an author being able to make me feel and care for her characters – which I definitely did for this book.

There were several sub-plots that added meat and depth to the story and characters – and went a long way to explaining why they acted the way they did. Some of these were upsetting, but never went so far as to depress you or have you wallowing in misery. Just the right touch of extra to add something ‘more’ to the story.

I have to admit to not really understanding Eli’s harsh reaction when he found out what Roxy had been up to, but then, it was exceptional circumstances so I can’t really say that it was unbelievable. And personally, I wasn’t keen on the reason for Roxy’s mum’s discouragement of the relationship. It confused me and felt pointless as there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. But hey – I’m from Britain where those kinds of rules are waaaay more relaxed than in the US. But those are just tiny trifles to what is an excellent and engrossing book that I really enjoyed spending time in.

If you’ve never read Sabrina Wagner before then I can highly recommend this book to you. It showcases her writing talent exceptionally and gets you a glimpse into the Forever Inked world that’ll make you want to find out more. 5 stars from me and worth ever one of them.

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *

Sabrina Wagner lives in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She writes sweet, sassy, sexy romance novels featuring alpha males and the strong women who challenge them. Her books include The Hearts Series and the spin-off, Forever Inked Novels.

Sabrina believes that true friends should be treasured, a woman’s strength is forged by the fire of affliction, and that everyone deserves a happily ever after. She enjoys spending time with her family, walking on the beach, worshiping the sun and of course, reading. Sabrina is a hopeless romantic and knows all too well that life is full of twists and turns, but the bumpy road is what leads to our true destination.

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