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Publisher's Summary

In 19th-century Charleston, a Catholic priest grapples with his secret African ancestry and his love for a slaveholder’s wife.

Joseph Lazare grows up believing his black hair and olive skin come from a Spanish grandmother, and he’s shocked to learn she was an enslaved African. At 13, Joseph allows racial prejudice to limit his future and chooses the seminary. At 23, he is ordained “a priest forever”. 

When he meets Tessa Conley, a devout Irish immigrant who shares his passions for music and botany, Joseph’s ordered world cracks at its foundation. He must conceal his true feelings as Tessa marries another man—a plantation owner who treats her like property. 

Acting on their love could ruin Joseph and Tessa in this world and damn them in the next. Can two broken people heal each other and find heaven on earth—or will there be hell to pay?

Necessary Sins is the first book in the Lazare Family Saga quartet. If you like character-rich dramas, vivid period detail, and heart-wrenching choices, then you’ll be swept away by this epic series, perfect for fans of The Thorn Birds and Outlander.

©2019 Jennifer Becker (P)2022 Elizabeth Bell

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  • Susie Murphy
  • 06-14-22

An excellent book!

I am a massive fan of Elizabeth Bell's work. I've already read all four books in her Lazare Family Saga and loved them so I was very excited to try out this first one in audio format. Even though I was already familiar with the story, it was a wonderfully fresh experience. Bell's writing drew me into the world of her characters, making me wholly invested in their stories and their futures. As for the narrator, Dallin Bradford was fantastic and so easy to listen to! His narration was impeccable and he brought individuality to every character. I highly recommend this audiobook, it's smashing!