A Familiar Sin by Jessica Coulter Smith

A Familiar Sin by Jessica Coulter Smith
Romance in Moonspell
Publisher: Changeling Press, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Bellamy Crawford might be confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn’t mean she’s a pushover. Yes, her father may run her life a bit. Okay, a lot, but she’s still a strong woman. All she needs is someone to accept her, and her animal, for who she is. And then she meets him — Seaton McCullough — the man destined to be her mate! There’s just one small problem: Seaton hates cats. As if that isn’t enough, someone intends harm to Bellamy.

Short on time but want a complete pint-sized story that manages to pack in a little mystery, a quick seduction and a whole lot of romance? Then snag A Familiar Sin because it can be the perfect little pick-me-up.

Ms. Coulter Smith immediately presents a heroine in a pickle. At first glance, Belles is a helpless female in need of rescuing. Later on, and as the tale gets told, a reader discovers not only isn’t the heroine a pushover, weak or insipid, but is the target of a hate crime. This being a paranormal story, I thought it was going to be from a supernatural element. Imagine my surprise when the author tied the ending to the beginning. It was clever and it showcased the fact that even a damaged shifter is still dangerous.

Seaton, the hero, starts off heroic, ends up acting like a dunce and eventually redeems himself. He’s a man that isn’t afraid to face his mistakes which is good because he makes a doozey. In this tale, the hero doesn’t get to do a lot of he-man daring-do. It starts off that way but it quickly morphs into a story about a man wooing a woman and doing what it takes to win her heart. Seaton’s simple actions and caring, even sometimes insightful words and dialogue, is what makes him the right mate for Belles. Eventually.

What I appreciated about this story is that the sex carries loads of meaning. The author did not use a heavy hand with the sex but made it count. It provided value to the story and spice to the romance.

Of course, this being a novelette; the villain wasn’t well rounded, the hero, though delicious, wasn’t as fleshed out as he might have been (better explanation of his phobia and why he expected ‘everyone’ to know about it) and the blurb making it sound like her dad was smothering her, when I didn’t see it exactly that way at all, all combined to make this book rated as a fun read requiring little effort exerted to enjoy oneself irrelevant to its weaknesses. It helped that Belles and Seaton were a cute couple.

A Familiar Sin is an enjoyable read and I liked it. It kept my interest because the focus was mainly on Belles and Seaton falling in love and overcoming the obstacles that were determined to thwart them. The threat from the villain was a nice touch because it stirred the plot and provided another element of interest to keep the pages turning. There’s a lot to appreciate about this little story and I recommend giving it a whirl.


  1. Duly noted, thanks for the review !

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