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Publisher's Summary

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother 12 years ago. It should be easy enough-keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her...

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends-and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden, and St. Sebastian start unraveling into filthy, holy pleasure, and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes....

From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes....

A Lesson in Thorns is the first of four books in the Thornchapel series.
 

©2019 Sierra Simone (P)2019 Sierra Simone

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What listeners say about A Lesson in Thorns

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This book...

This book will have you sucked in at the first chapter. I started reading Paranormal themed books at a very young age, but stopped a few years ago because they started being the same plot line or poorly written. I’m so glad I gave in to this one. The narrator did a good job but the flow of the book is what did it. This author can Not just write, she draws you in to the world like a warm blanket you never want to leave. I’ve already listened to this twice and haven’t been able to forget it. As soon as I finished it I grabbed up the second book and wasn’t disappointed. You won’t be either.

5 people found this helpful

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Twisted but so damn good

Sierra Simone does it again, what an exquisite erotica story, she just writes with a sensuality that is not easy to achieve. Six friends getting back together, the mystery of Thornchapel will captivate you. It’s so hard to write a review for a book that has everything so well done, a beautiful masterpiece. Will need the next in the series soon...

3 people found this helpful

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It’s like I was being read the script to a bad lesbian BDSM for dummies porno at high speed! hotness level 2 on a scale of 1-10

Not sure where the 9 five star recommendations came from, but here’s an HONEST review!
Let me start by saying that I love Sierra’s past work. The American Queen series and Priest were amazing, hot, and I loved every minute. (Except for Guy Locke’s narration 🤮) That being the case I was ecstatic when this book became available on audible. That was the most exciting moment of the whole book, the moment it was released. Everything from there was excruciating! First of all the first thing I thought upon hearing the first chapter was OMFG please tell me this is a mistake and that the narrator is going to get better. Well, that was not the case. This narrator goes in my top 5 for worst narrators ever! She reads soooo fast that you can’t even grasp what’s being said. I like to visualize the story as I listen, but being that it was read in record breaking speed I was not able to. Second and MOST annoying are the mouth noises. Yup!!! You heard me. You get to enjoy hours of a speed reader making mouth noises. She has no variation from character to character, so everyone sounds the exact same. Ok enough about the horrible narrator. Let’s move onto the story. I know that Sierra likes to tell “fairytales” that being said it’s nice to have a story that is somewhat believable. I can’t tell you how many times I rolled my eyes at this story. Well, what story there was. It felt like I was being read the script of an awful Porno, but there was hardly any sex. I thought there would be mystery or something to make me want to keep listening. Nope, just a ridiculous, completely unbelievable fairytale about 6 people who are all sexually connected. Oh that sounds fun doesn’t it? 6? Yeah no, it had potential to be super hot. Unfortunately the HUGE sex scene (insert sarcasm) we waited the whole book for was in fact 2 GIRLS getting it on. WHOAAAAA Nelly! What I thought was going to be an entertaining orgy was a couple of lesbians. I do not in fact like to listen to lesbians having sex. 🤮 no where in the description does it hint that this is going to be the outcome. So 1) awful narrator 2) ridiculous story 3) no hot sex (unless girls are your thing) 4) it was like a bdsm handbook was being read to me. Like I’m ok with bdsm In a book, but please don’t treat me like I’m dumb and have never listened to bdsm. I don’t need explanations. If I had to sum up this whole book it would be this: bad lesbian porno with bdsm for dummies. Ok so that makes it sound a little hot. I guarantee it’s not. There was absolutely nothing that would make me want to continue with book 2. I am so relieved it’s over. I hate to dnf a book, but I was so close so many times. I just kept hoping that the end would be worth all the pain. It wasn’t. Sierra, I love you, but your taste in narrators is just plain awful and this is not your best work. Sorry love. Pretty sure that’s why there’s no reviews, no one knows how to sum up what was just listened to. 😖 If you plan on making book 2 into an audio you’d be foolish not to switch narrators.

17 people found this helpful

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Such a powerful story

This story was confusing for me in the beginning, but as I kept listening and following along with my signed copy, I was drawn into the story. The characters are complex and interesting and the story is somewhat convoluted and intriguing. I loved it!

The only drawback is that it is a cliffhanger, but since it is a Sierra Simone book, I knew it was worth it!

2 people found this helpful

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FAVORITE AUTHOR


I loved the feel of this book. The power that emanates from Sierra Simone’s magical storytelling ability. I was swept up in the storm of the first few chapters. The history and magic of what happened to characters at Thorn Chapel. I wanted to know them — to understand the lore. The story reads like a classic in the making.

The writing is decadent, as always.
The storyline is vibrant and creative.
The air of mystery and suspense added another level that I didn’t expect, but enjoyed all the same.

All in all its an amazing setup to something greater and I’m hooked. I can’t wait for more. Though it did feel a little dense at times and a bit heavy on the setup. Other than those minor hiccups, it’s a wonderful read and I definitely recommend it to fans of this author’s work.

2 people found this helpful

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Hope they recast for the next books

Some of my favorite audio books are by Sierra Simone so I was excited to give this one a try. The narrator for his book killed it for me (in a bad way). There were so many mouth sounds, and she was so breathy it was highly distracting. The sample seemed ok, but once I was into the book I couldn’t focus they were so noticeable. Sometimes she also seemed to over act and sounded really corny.
The story starts slow in the beginning and is setting up for the other books in the series. It picks up more towards the end leaving you wanting to know more. The book was like reading a really long prologue. So it left me curious enough to want check out the second book. This book on its own wasn’t anything remarkable so I’m baffled by the ratings. Some of my favorite books are part of a series where when rated individually they are ok, but as a whole the series is amazing. I hope that’s the case with these books. Also I’m not sure if maybe the narration is the reason I didn’t like it more. It was hard to connect and get into the story with the narration.

8 people found this helpful

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I’m so disappointed

I expect so much from SS and this was horrible. It was 99% sexual frustration across 5 people. “I want to, but I can’t” over and over. It was maybe 3 chapters of introduction lengthened to a full book. I had to increase to a ridiculous speed hoping it would get somewhere. Only the last 30 minutes was interesting. It is supposed to be a 4 book series but it obviously isn’t if the first book is so unsatisfying. I’m just sad. Lost faith in SS

7 people found this helpful

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Gross Mouth Noises

Listening to this was awful. The breathing and hard swallowing from the narrator was excruciating. Who edited this audio??!! The story is okay...I finished it but I dont see myself reading the rest of the series. The plot was not that interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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Hard to get into at first but overall, intriguing

I love Sierra Simone books and got hooked with the American Queen series...this was different and I did not care for the narrator...six characters to deal with and very intriguing...of course I have to wait for the next book

3 people found this helpful

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Thornchapel and it’s secrets

A Lesson in Thorns is about six characters that are connected to Thornchapel. Thornchapel is a church, almost like a temple in a myth or a castle in a fairy tale. It holds secrets and ritualistic meaning and purpose. The chapel is covered in thorns thus how it got its name Thornchapel.

Meet Auden Guest, the lord of Thornchapel. He lives in an ancient house within a wooden valley. Delphine lives with him in the house. St. Sebastian lives nearby as the outcast and loner. Sebastian is not part of the group because of Auden’s hatred towards him. Proserpina Markham aka Poe is the academic librarian that Auden hires to catalog the library. She’s reckless, curious, and hopeful as her mind, body, and soul is torn between two guys. Rebecca is a landscape architect who Auden hires to redesign the gardens. Becket is an unorthodox priest.

Sierra Simone is an amazing storyteller. I easily got swept up into her world. There’s a fantastical history to Thornchapel. She intricately weaves sexual innuendos. As Sierra identifies each character she also writes how each one struggles to identify the sexual need within them.

A common theme in most Sierra Simone books is sexual promiscuity in the form of non specific labelling regarding sexual preferences. Her books are taboo and unconventional in nature. Sierra likes to create characters that lean towards being bisexual, homosexual, and poly relationships. Add in Catholicism, nonbelievers, and other religious beliefs and you have yourself a cocktail of delicious fun and entertainment,
The skill with which Sierra formulates words into sentences is a work of art. She teases her readers with erotic scenes having you craving more. She adds just the right amount of sex to not overdo it. The balance is ideal for the storyline.

Narrator:
Sara Ormenyi is the solo female performer of all six characters in A Lesson in Thorns. Sara began her voiceover career in 2014. Since then she’s recorded hundreds of projects. Sara’s performance was stunning. I was transfixed by her voiceover acting skills. The way she went from male to female character voices was exquisite. It’s rare to find a solo performer who can achieve the perfect sound and tone of both male and female characters. Sara proves her voice talent is worth the listen. Her voice was absolutely sinful. The lust and desire she evoked in those sex scenes was brilliant. This was my first audiobook experience by Sara but not my last.
This is an Unabridged audiobook. Audible provides the highest quality audio and narration experience. Overall listening time is 10 hours 15 minutes. I prefer a listening speed of 1.8x therefore reducing the listening time.
The story takes place in London. Sara performs each cast of characters with a unique blend of British dialect helping to distinguish each character as there own.

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  • ClaireBookyBook
  • 05-31-20

This was the start of something dark and dirty...

The story/characters were very complex and if I'm honest I really had to pay attention to keep up with everything to start with. But the detail was perfection and I was left eager for the next book!!

The narrator had a great voice and did well portraying all the characters. But for some reason, and very distractingly, I could hear every "extra sound" the narrator made. I'm only assuming this is an equipment issue. However, I powered through, but could understand if there are others who couldn't, especially if listening through earphones like I did.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clare Tunilla
  • 03-09-20

This is a lot

I don't even really know how to review this. Because it took a while to get going. But when it did go, MAN DID IT GO. There's so many characters and backstories that we dont really get into, and there is so much drama dripping from practically every one (Becky seems the least dramatic) There is a lot of diversity in this book. LGBT, mixed race characters and black characters, also religious diversity. Just what I've come to expect from a Sierra simone book, I find here. And I'm so gripped by each of the characters (except Poe who annoyed me a little) and I find I do actually want to know every little thing about them. Sierra has me hooked and ready for the next 3 books in this series. Bring it on.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Diane S.
  • 02-20-21

Magical, mysterious and erotic!

A Lesson In Thorns is a magical and mysterious story that had me wanting to rush through and uncover all of the mystery and at the same time wanting to read as slowly as possible and just revel in the beautiful phrasing and imagery.

“...this whole place is cloistered in a strange, timeless little bubble? Like a Sarah Waters novel but with pizza delivery?”

The story begins with six children discovering a hidden path at the center of a maze which leads to a crumbling chapel. Twelve years later in the midst of renovations the six are together again and the strange connection and call to the place and each other has only become stronger in the passing years.

“...pretend he’s not unraveling. Pretend he isn’t growing a tree of thorns inside his chest and that those thorns don’t have names.”

A Lesson In Thorns is a beautiful story that definitely had my insides burning up with the completely erotic storytelling.
-4 Stars!-

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  • FS Meurinne - Book Enticer
  • 06-18-20

This just gets getting better and better

Sierra Simone does it again, what an exquisite erotica story, she just writes with a sensuality that is not easy to achieve. Six friends getting back together, the mystery of Thornchapel will captivate you. It’s so hard to write a review for a book that has everything so well done, a beautiful masterpiece. We will need the next in the series soon...

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  • Vanessa Leighton
  • 05-15-20

Wow

You know how sometimes you go into a book thinking this is going to be fantastic and it blows even your highest expectations out of the water. This does that. I knew it would be good. I just didn’t have any idea how good it would be. I wish I could listen to it for the first time again just to savour how amazingly good it is. Can’t wait for the next one.

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  • sybil_ann79
  • 03-22-20

Holy freakin HOTNESS!!!

Mind blown and swept away. Story telling at its very best. My introduction to Sierra Simone and holy freaking WOW!! This story is incinerated but not than that it captures you heart, mind and soul.
The narration is PERFECTION especially how the story allows multiple perspective.
I need book 2 now!!