{Review} The Touch of Betrayal: A Sin & Honey Novella by Taryn Scarlett (with Interview)

The Touch of Betrayal

We can’t even explain how excited we are to be participating in the blog tour for the second novella in the Sin & Honey Series: The Touch of Betrayal by the amazing (and gorgeous) Taryn Scarlett. This book is unlike anything we’ve ever read, and we can’t wait to tell you about it. We also got to sit and chat with Taryn, where she answered some of our burning questions. First, here’s the 411 on The Touch of Betrayal:

***About the Book***

{Review} The Touch of Betrayal: A Sin & Honey Novella by Taryn Scarlett (with Interview)The Touch of Betrayal by Taryn Scarlett
Series: Sin & Honey #2
Published by Paper Lantern Lit, The Studio on July 28, 2015
Genres: Erotica, Historical Romance
Pages: 104
Goodreads  Buy the Book

For fans of Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent comes the second novella in the scintillating SIN & HONEY series featuring the Bible’s most powerful and seductive women…

So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength.”—Judges 16:6
Delilah would do anything to escape her past.
Falling for Samson only got in the way.

Taryn Scarlett’s lush reimagining of Samson and Delilah uncovers the hidden truth behind the girl who became the most infamous seductress in history.

Delilah has come to the quiet valley of Sorek to start a new life, but when a man blackmails her with a devastating secret, she learns that not all sins can be buried in the past. In a dangerous bargain for her freedom, she agrees to seduce Samson, a notorious killer threatening the region—and if she can’t uncover the secret to his strength, she’ll forfeit her life

But Samson is different than any man she has ever met before: godlike in his strength but guarding a passionate vulnerability that draws Delilah to him. Will she betray the man she has begun to fall for—or will she betray her own heart for freedom?

Kassiah: So, I can’t say that I ever saw myself reading anything like this, and after reading it, I can definitely say that I have never read anything like this. I pretty much loved it, but I really don’t know how I feel about that!

I don’t mind reading religious books and I definitely find myself wanting to know more about different characters, but I never thought about reading erotic Bible retellings. It feels dirty. But I’m going to roll with it.

I don’t want to give away too much about what happens in this story. Y’all know the Samson and Delilah story from the Bible. You might not be prepared for the depth that Scarlett gives to the characters or the fact that we actually empathize with Delilah after learning more about her and her motivations. This story is absolutely visceral, with amazing description and some stuff that’s not only hot, but surprisingly sweet, too.

“I wish I could be strong like you,” she said.

“You are strong, Delilah,” he whispered, handing her the vine. “I know, because I am defenseless around you.”

Delilah took the vine, unsure of what he wanted her to do with it. “Samson…?”

But he kept going. “I can uproot trees from the Earth. I have slaughtered beasts with my bare hands. I snapped the jaw of a lion and his teeth did not even break my skin.”

Samson brushed her cheek with the palm of his hand, and Delilah reached up to touch his, now roughened from days without shaving. “I have that power. But you, your strength has power over me. Tell me what you want, and it’s yours.”

My only complaint about this book is that I don’t like the cover. Don’t get me wrong–it’s beautiful, but it makes it seem that The Touch of Betrayal is just your every day average erotica. I assure you that it is not. It’s extraordinary, and I am almost ashamed to admit how much I am looking forward to more from this author. I *really* hope there’s some David and Bathsheba in there because even I can see how hot that’s going to be! 🙂

If you have any preconceived notions about reading Bible-based erotic retellings, do yourself a favor and throw those out the window and grab The Touch of Betrayal by Taryn Scarlett. You’re might be surprised by how much you’re pulled into the world of Sin & Honey.

Report Card
Overall: 4.5


Thanks for stopping by Pretty Sassy Cool today, Taryn. Tell us a little about Sin & Honey. What sparked the idea for this story? Did you have a favorite scene to write?

Sin & Honey is a collection of erotic romance novellas inspired by Biblical characters. I read The Red Tent when I was very young, and it tells the story of an intriguing but lesser-known biblical woman, Dinah; I loved how the author, Anita Diamant, created this intricate and detailed life for a woman who was mostly forgotten by history. That’s why I decided to spice up the Bible a bit.

My favorite scene to write in The Touch of Betrayal (the novella that’s out today!) is a tie between the opening scene where Delilah is bathing in the moonlight, or the steamy scene between Delilah and Samson when he, as he infamously does in the Bible, tears a tree out from the ground like it’s nbd. (Because biceps.)

If you only had thirty seconds with a stranger in an elevator, how would you pitch this book?

Sin & Honey: The Touch of Betrayal is a provocative, sensual retelling of Samson and Delilah with a twist: The Red Tent meets The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty!

Ooooh. How would you introduce Samson to readers? Why will he make our readers swoon? We want to know all the things!

Samson is a bad-boy for sure. He’s a very loyal and righteous man who turned violent and vengeful when he was wronged a long time ago. His unwillingness to trust anyone—especially women—makes him slightly bitter, but of course, that’s where Delilah comes in; it’s her job to bring his barriers down. Samson is aggressive, passionate, and decisive: when he decides what he wants, he takes it. I also kind of picture him rocking the man-bun. He definitely makes me swoon; I hope he makes you a little weak in the knees, too!

We’re pretty sure he will. One of the questions we love to ask authors we interview is if you could introduce one of your characters from this book to a character from any other book (yours or someone else’s), who would it be and why?

Well that’s easy: I’d introduce Delilah from Sin & Honey to Dinah from The Red Tent. Two women with misunderstood histories wanting to take their lives into their own hands? They’d be unstoppable BFFs.

A pair we’ve never considered, that’s for sure. What is the one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you?

I can’t whistle! It’s a sad situation.

Ha! We can’t believe that there’s anything that you can’t do. Do you have any interesting writing quirks or rituals? What does your writing space look like?

Music is important to my writing ritual, but the kind of music can change on a daily basis: some days I need epic instrumentals like the Game of Thrones soundtrack, others I need a more intimate folksy duet to set the mood. But I rarely write in silence. Also, I read most of what I write out loud so I can hear how it sounds.

My writing space is my kitchen table: clean and white with a cutting board and purple teapot on top—and if I’m feeling romantic about it, some fresh flowers. I also love to write in cafés; it makes me feel very New York-y.

Sounds wonderful. Let’s switch gears for a second and talk about other people’s books. Is there a book or book series that you think is under-appreciated or hasn’t gotten enough credit for how good it is?

There are so many books that fly slightly under the radar that deserve a lot of love. One of my favorites is Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund; like Sin & Honey, it’s a retelling of a classic tale—Moby Dick, and this time from the perspective of Ahab’s once-mentioned wife. When it comes to romance, I love the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, which has a cult following.

We’ve never heard of either of those. Thanks for the recommendations! We’re sure you’ve been asked your advice for aspiring writers, but what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from another author?

Well, Lauren Oliver (my publisher and New York Times bestselling author) told me once that to be a successful writer, you have to get rid of the thing inside you that seeks approval from others. That has stuck with me, but it’s an ongoing (I think even lifelong) process for writers, to get the potential ‘audience’ voice out of your head. But it’s important to create authentic work!

Such great advice. Is there ever anything that you always wish someone would ask you in an interview, but they never do? (We want the answer too!)

This is only my second interview EVER, so come back to me in a couple years for a real answer to this one.

You know we can’t let you leave without asking you about swoon. We want to know which swoony boys you have on your list of favorites.

So many swoony men, so little time! Edward Fairfax Rochester from Jane Eyre is probably my number one, followed by The Phantom of the Opera (musical version, not old-movie version). I also have some serious swoon for Jamie Fraser in Outlander (#kilts), Soren in Tiffany Reisz’ Original Sinners series (#priests) and anything that involves actors Michael Fassbender, Kyle Chandler, and vintage Johnny Depp.

Vintage Johnny depp

You know that’s totally our motto, and you chose some of our favorite guys! Thanks again for chatting with us today, Taryn!

***About Taryn Scarlett***

Author Taryn ScarlettTaryn Scarlett holds a B.A. in Theater and English with a concentration in Creative Writing.

Her weaknesses are chocolate, floral sundresses, soapy TV dramas, and anything purple. SIN AND HONEY is her first series.

Find Taryn Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

So what do you think, Pretties? Are you ready to jump in to the Sin & Honey Series? Do it!

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