Doubting Thomas: Bad Boys of Sweetwater (Tarnished Saints Book 1)

Elizabeth Rose
Narrator: Kevin E. Green

Thomas Taylor drinks too much one night and passes out at his desk; he wakes up to his wife lying dead on the floor, with a bullet in her heart, and his youngest son shaken up and staring at his mother. His neighbors in Thunder Lake all whisper behind his back believing he killed her, but he is exonerated for lack of evidence. He and his six sons live without any frills. Angeline DeMitiri works for CPS and is there to unofficially investigate him, under the guise of a vacation with her daughter. Thomas originally steers clear of Angel, but they keep ending up in the same places, and she sees the good in him. When a crisis happens, she offers to marry him to help him keep his kids.

This audiobook is an original in many ways and boasts an unexpected ending. It is the first book in a series about twelve brothers with the biblical names of the apostles, although most of them aren’t religious. Thomas struggles to find redemption. He navigates being a single dad while ignoring the rumors, yet teaching his sons to be honorable. Everything is a teaching opportunity for Thomas, and his character is challenged, but wise. Angel sees good in him and upends her life to prove it, but faces some uphill battles as well. The tension and pacing are on point for this story.

Kevin E. Green does a commendable job as narrator, navigating the gruff voice of Thomas perfectly. This audiobook is set in Michigan, yet a hint of southern accent pops up occasionally. Nevertheless, the voices are distinctive enough, combined with the clear narrative that often names the characters, to keep them separate for listeners. The recording quality is good, and there aren’t any unexpected or annoying noises in the background.

Carey Sullivan