Title: The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Author: Lisa Henry
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 288 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: There was a lot to appreciate in The Parable of the Mustard Seed. This was lovely, engrossing storytelling by Lisa Henry that I definitely recommend.
Reviewed By: Jules
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?
Review: ‘I couldn’t put this book down’ is perhaps the largest endorsement I could give a book right now. In these strange and stressful times of this global health pandemic, I have been finding it impossible to sit down and clear my mind. Reading has always been my sanctuary, but I’m unable to focus these days. Not to mention with the entire family under one roof 24/7, my attention is constantly pulled in other directions. All of that being said however, my opening statement is absolutely true. I could not put this book down. Lisa Henry’s The Parable of the Mustard Seed grabbed my attention immediately, and allowed me to lose myself in the story. The read was a bit intense and dark at times, as you would expect, given the subject matter, but I think it’s a testament to Henry’s storytelling that while the subject matter is very heavy, it never feels overwhelmingly dark. There is plenty of love and light and hope mixed in as well.
Working as a detective in Brisbane PD’s Child Protection division, though unimaginably tough, has always been rewarding for John Faimu. Helping kids, keeping kids safe—including kids like Caleb, who John saved from an abusive religious cult eight years ago—has defined him for so long. However, the job has recently begun losing any of its former appeal. The long nights, the recent loss of his father, and the increasing feelings of loneliness have all started to take a toll. And, despite the fact that he knows it isn’t a good idea, and despite alllll his fears, John has been having a more and more difficult time pushing his feelings for Caleb aside.
All these years John had made a strange deal with the voice in the back of his head. It was okay to love Caleb. It was okay to need him like oxygen. It was okay to want him in a way that could never happen. All of that was okay, as long as Caleb didn’t know. Love like that, you carried like a burden…You hid it like a secret. You didn’t let it out in the open, because it was too dangerous. Love like that, it could destroy everything.
It could destroy Caleb.
At least, that’s what John has been telling himself for a long time. He knew he had to put any concerns about his own heart or feelings aside. It was only about protecting Caleb. For eight years, John has dedicated himself, and much of his free time, to being there for Caleb and his father whenever they need him. Even though he has had long periods of his meds working, and doing great, there are still things that will trigger Caleb, and cause him to spiral into a dark place and self-harm. Often, it’s only John’s reassuring presence that seems to help; and, John has been happy to provide support for Caleb ad Darren. So, when Caleb reveals that he also has romantic feelings for John, John’s resolve is tested, and he has to consider making some big changes in his life.
I loved both main characters. I liked them together. I loved their decision to choose hope…to choose love; and, I think it was a huge step down the road to recovery—for them both. But, I really, really loved them individually. John was a true hero, and I adored how he handled every single relationship in his life, from his family, to his partner, to Caleb and Darren. Strong, sexy, and sensitive. He was everything we love in a romance hero. I also loved Caleb’s strength, as well as his intense desire to pursue a “normal” life, a happy life with John. I loved the acknowledgement, by everyone at different parts in the story, that Caleb deserved to have those things in his life. Caleb’s story was told with both a sensitivity and a realism that I appreciated. Caleb recognized that he had a long way to go in his recovery, and worked at it diligently, but he also importantly recognized that he wasn’t the same scared, broken kid that John found all those years ago, and rightfully fought for what he wanted.
There was a lot to appreciate here. John’s closeness with his family was beautiful, as was his friendship with his partner. Henry’s use of flashbacks worked so well in tying the story together. I loved that there was no magic pill that solved everything, but rather, dedication, earnestness, and pure feelings that naturally evolve into more. A natural shift in the love that John and Caleb had already shared for years. This was lovely, engrossing storytelling by Lisa Henry that I definitely recommend.
You can buy The Parable of the Mustard Seed here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B0863KH95Q?d” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]