Release Blitz + Review: LUST IS THE THORN by Jen McLaughlin

Lust is the Thorn Ebook CoverLust is the Thorn by Jen McLaughlin
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Bad Romance, The Sons of Steel Row series
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Purchase: Amazon USiBooks
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From the bestselling author of Bad Romance (“A sexy, emotional, steamy read.”—Addison Moore) comes an edgy novel about a reformed bad boy training to be a priest and the fallen angel who makes him think twice about giving up earthly pleasures.
Growing up hard and fast on the mean streets of Chicago, Thorn McKinney didn’t have a prayer—until tragedy inspired him to join the seminary. Now the time has come to take his vows, and yet he’s haunted by the woman he can’t leave behind: his best friend’s little sister. Despite Thorn’s promises that he’d keep her safe, she’s going through hell. And now he finds himself torn between duty and desire, entranced by the seductive pull of her trusting eyes, innocent heart, and sinfully sweet curves.
Trying to let Thorn pursue his calling, Rose Gallagher has been hiding some things: namely her abusive boyfriend and her job as a stripper. But when she hits rock bottom, Thorn is there for her—and now there’s no denying the raw temptation that draws them together in their darkest moments. Rose may have found salvation in his strong arms, but she knows that Thorn must choose his own path: in the church, or in the warm embrace of a woman’s love.



*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this doesn’t affect my opinion of this book and the words in this review. ***

“I think you missed the memo, but dreams aren’t supposed to be realistic or reasonable. They’re supposed to be dreams.”

I can’t believe I hadn’t read a book of Jen McLaughlin before Lust is the Thorn, even when I’ve heard so much about this writer. But it’s the truth. Now, I am just really glad I finally tried it and I loved it. You should really try your hand at this amazing story about love, temptation and forgiveness.

Love. Such a tepid word, thrown around like it meant nothing. But no one ever said they loved me. Not until now.

Rose and Thorn both had terrible pasts and no good support system in the form of loving and caring families. The day Rose’s brother, Thorn’s best friend, died changed their lives forever. It was a terrible accident, but mistakes have been made. Guilt is an ugly feeling that can destroy you. Ever since Thorn has turned his life around, no more drugs, drinking, parties and girls, and is now seeking absolution with his new path in life. There is just one problem, this kind, generous and loving man has one weakness, a temptation. In the form of the independent, strong and stubborn Rose.

Will Thorn be able to stay in control and withstand temptation to keep on this self-forged path or will he finally be able to forgive himself to realize he deserves to be with Rose?

“Somewhere in another world, maybe there’s another version of us who can be together, but maybe there’s not. In another life, if we had been born into different worlds, maybe we could have been together. Maybe we could have been in love, and made this thing work between us. But in this life, with these versions of us? We can’t.”

Before really starting Lust is the Thorn I was a little bit apprehensive about the topic. It had to do with the role religion played in the book. I do believe there’s more to the world than the life we’re living, but I don’t necessary believe in there being a God. As I said, the church and belief played a big part in Thorn and Rose’s story. So I didn’t know if that would irritate me or not. But gladly, Jen Mclaughlin found a way to incorporate belief without shoving it down your throat.

Another ability Jen has is creating very real and lovable characters and writing an incredible love story. This was the first time I read one of Jen’s books and I absolutely loved it. This was such a powerful story, I couldn’t help but be touched by the background stories of Thorn and Rose and the story they created together. Both fighting against their desire to the best of their abilities. I loved both characters, but Rose was seriously my favorite. She was so strong, willing to give up the love of her life, because she knew he was meant for important things. I don’t think I could ever be that strong. Oh and I loved how their names fitted together so perfectly: like the thorn of a rose. I may have let some tears slip while reading Lust is the Torn, but I also had some good laughs, especially nearing the end. Girl, how I enjoyed this romance novel.

“I’ll give you anything you want, Rose.” He lowered his face to mine. “The stars. The moon. The sun. Whatever you want, it’s yours. It’s all yours.”

Lust is the Thorn is a story about temptation and how to resist it by being in control. It’s about important life decisions that are being made based on grief and belief, in the hope for forgiveness. It’s about forbidden desire. Secrets. Trust and telling the truth. Making sacrifices and promises. But in the end it’s about following your heart. Lust is the Thorn is heartbreaking, yet heartwarming at the same time. It’s an absolute must-read, even when you don’t believe in God.

“Love rips your heart out when you can’t be with someone. Love can complete you, or tear you down. Love waits hundreds of years to be fulfilled, and never dies. Love is something you’ll wait your whole life for, and love is something you’ll give everything up for, in a heartbeat.”



Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous books including the Out of Line Novels and Dare to Run, the debut novel in the Sons of Steel Row series. She has also written under the name Diane Alberts.

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