Sinners & Saints

There is a covet position opening up in the American Baptist Coalition (ABC), the largest church organization in the USA. There are two primary candidate; one from the north and the other from the south. Each man is more than qualified and each wife is sure her husband is the best choice.

Jasmine Larson Bush is from the city and proud of it. Her husband leads a mega-church, has his own TV show and truly is a man of God. They have money and power but Jasmine wouldn’t mind a bit more. There life hasn’t always been sunshine and roses though. Their daughter was kidnapped and sexually abused. Jasmine’s past is not one that most people would expect from a minister’s wife. Yet, they are a loving family and Jasmine knows her husband should be the next president of the ABC.

Rachel Jackson Adams is the exact opposite of Jasmine. She’s from Texas and proud of it though she’s never bought a single pair of cowboy boots. Her husband leads a smaller church but it has some fantastic programs. However, her husband has strayed and they adopted his mistress’s child. Her family isn’t stellar; one brother is a drug addict and the other is gay. Still, Rachel is sure her husband would make the best ABC president and she’s willing to do anything to make that happen.

Jasmine and Rachel are well known characters to fans of Victoria Christopher Murray (Jasmine) and ReShonda Tate Billingsley (Rachel). Each of these characters has their own series. This is the first book in a new series with them together. You do not have to have read either series to follow this new book.

The two authors took turns writing the chapters in this book giving their character a chance to give their point of view. Yet, the book flows without interruption and if you weren’t aware that two authors were writing this book you would never know.

The characters are alive. That is they are done so well you would think that they really are the first ladies of their husband’s churches. Jasmine and Rachel are colorful, enthusiastic and dedicated. They are also scheming women who don’t always realize when to stop. Their husbands are calmer and don’t always realize what their wives are doing. Glimpses of their children are sprinkled throughout the book and they portray children of those ages perfectly.

Apparently at trademark for Jasmine and Rachel are the stunts they pull in order to complete their goals. It became noticeable almost immediately that they were in a game of I can do better than you. As the story progressed, their pranks became more serious and had more serious consequences. Unfortunately, instead of being funny, I found it was like watching two high school drama queens who hadn’t grown up. At first, I could see how some of the minor pranks could be perceived as humorous but getting someone thrown in jail or knowing they had fears of their child disappearing and then taking the child without the parent’s knowledge was over the top.

However, as much as the pettiness of Jasmine and Rachel annoyed me, I was glad that I continued reading. About half way through the story, there is a unique and inspired twist. This twist changes everything and secrets that weren’t suppose to come out do. Suddenly, Jasmine and Rachel may have to work together, kind of. It definitely makes things more interesting.

There were parts of this book that drove me nuts and other parts I really liked. This is an introduction to a new series and the ending of this story reflects that.

Overall, I’d have to say this book was okay, not great but not terrible. Fans of these authors may enjoy this story more but I’m not sure. My thoughts are that this first book is a process with the authors learning how to mesh their characters together to make a believable and interesting story. Still there were parts of this story that were outstanding such as Lady Cecilia’s announcement and other parts which were not as good like the petty pranks.


Book Blurb for Sinners & Saints

TEAM JASMINE or TEAM RACHEL?

Bestselling and award-winning novelists Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley bring their favorite heroines together in a novel that will delight their legions of fans.

Jasmine Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams are not your typical first ladies. But they’ve overcome their scandalous and drama-filled pasts to stand firmly by their husbands’ sides.

When a coveted position opens up—president of the American Baptist Coalition— both women think their husbands are perfect for the job. And winning the position may require both women to get down and dirty and revert to their old tricks. Just when Jasmine and Rachel think they’re going to have to fight to the finish, the current first lady of the coalition steps in . . . a woman bigger, badder, and more devious than either of them.

Double the fun with a message of faith, Sinners & Saints will delight readers with two of their favorite characters from two of their favorite authors.


Night Owl Reviews May, 2012 3.00