Monday, December 9, 2013


Title: Fighting Redemption
Author: Kate McCarthy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 2, 2013

Book Summary:
Ryan Kendall is broken. He understands pain. He knows the hand of violence and the ache of loss. He knows what it means to fail those who need you. Being broken doesn’t stop him wanting the one thing he can’t have; Finlay Tanner. Her smile is sweet and her future bright. She’s the girl he grew up with, the girl he loves, the girl he protects from the world, and from himself.

At nineteen, Ryan leaves to join the Australian Army. After years of training he becomes an elite SAS soldier and deploys to the Afghanistan war. His patrol undertakes the most dangerous missions a soldier can face. But no matter how far he runs, or how hard he fights, his need for Finlay won’t let go.

Returning home after six years, one look is all it takes to know he can’t live without her. But sometimes love isn’t enough to heal what hurts. Sometimes people like him can’t be fixed, and sometimes people like Finlay deserve more than what’s left.

This is a story about war and the cost of sacrifice. Where bonds are formed, and friendships found. Where those who are strong, fall hard. Where love is let go, heartache is born, and heroes are made. Where one man learns that the hardest fight of all, is the fight to save himself.

The prologue in this book should be the first clue that this is novel is a departure from the Give Me series. It's so gripping and the undertones of grief ignited a slow burn of worry for Fin and Ryan. The entire time I read, I just KNEW that Courtney would be shedding tears. Am I right, Courtney?

Shit. Yes. I am as predictable as my grandmother taking back every single article of clothing she gets as a gift. Which is no shit every. single. one. So yeah. I cried. I got this heavy feeling from the get go, but I was glad that the beginning was there because it atleast gave me an idea how things might go...but there were some absolutely epic emotional moments to come so it doesn't stop there! But don't be a-feared, I am a little more emotional than if you fit somewhere between me (waterworks) and shel (uh, no waterworks) you'll be fine! 

Let me preface my review by saying that there is no possible way for me to do justice to this novel. Before I began each chapter, I took a deep breath--was I going to smile, be furious, or incredibly distraught?--I never knew which emotion was going to grip me next and I flew through the novel hanging on to the hope that my heart wouldn't be shattered in to a million pieces. part of the review is a bumbling attempt at giving you a taste of what you'll get without spoiling it. 

Haha.That is always hard for me to do, but I think that we can agree that Fighting Redemption is a great military novel that encompasses everything about that particular trope. Kate paints a beautiful picture of their serene life as teens, with the undertones of a childhood stolen...then the hardships of time in the military and the harsh realities of war. Like Shelley, I felt a gamut of emotions as things played out...and timing, the hateful bitch timing is that slapped me silly...killer! They couldn't get on the same page to save their lives! :-/

Ryan, an SAS soldier, is in love with Fin--his best friend's sister. He has been since practically the first day he saw her....granted the emotions he felt for her were more like puppy love at first but boy did those emotions blossom and grow...HUGE. But before he can allow himself to fully feel those, he has some serious demons to work through and those demons refuse to allow him to open up to Fin and let her in..despite his knowledge that she's loved him since she was practically 6. He knows this...she knows he knows this but he refuses, ABSOLUTELY refuses to let her in for fear of hurting her (or maybe fearing the hurt she could potentially cause him). And then one day he breaks and there are some amazingly hot, sexy scenes and some gentle and tender scenes and in the mix of all of this we get more of his story and why he's so reticent to engage in a relationship with her. I wanted to smack him and hug him and then bed him...all at the same time. What's wrong with me??!!

Exactly! Each piece of the puzzle...aka, each step forward and two steps back. Victims of their circumstances...and not wanting to hurt the other one or their friendship...gah. But I didn't feel like there was a cliche word here. Every scene is handled amazingly well, and well...their issues are everyday issues! 

And then there's Fin. Sweet, clumsy, Fin. She's adored Ryan since the day that she met him. She waits and waits and gives him so many opportunities to own her heart...and when he won't, she moves on to Ian. She and Ian have this on again, off again, relationship through high school and after college. Unfortunately for Ian, Ryan will always be her number one. She tries really hard to deny it and she does love Ian but just not the way she loves Ryan. Of course this makes things tense and difficult and when Ryan finally comes home from one of his deployments, it becomes very clear where Fin's heart truly is. But just as Ryan is stubborn, so is she and she makes some decisions that made me want to throttle her..even though I totally understood why she did things, I STILL wanted to scream at her--WHAT?!! NO!! whhhyyyy???!!! Ditto! I don't think I can add anything productively non-redundant to that! Eek! 

Fin's story is so hard. She's the girl always left behind. Jake, her brother, and Ryan go on tour after tour as SAS officers in Afghanistan and she's left to worry and wait for their safe return. Her story struck a chord in me and made me, once again, appreciate not only the work and bravery of the military but of the work and bravery of those they leave behind. Kate did a fantastic job of expressing the grief and heartache that accompany those left behind. She also plunged me right into the intensity of the war in Afghanistan and how it might feel to be the soldier facing the unknown and the strength and skill and bravery it takes to make it through each of those deployments.

Again. Dit-freaking-oh. I one chaptered myself into the wee hours of the night fighting these emotions from this book and in my head. I LOVE THIS BOOK! We talk a lot about...okay..nevermind, I see you down there stealing my thunder. Haha...just kidding, but she does mention below that there is fun in this book too! Jake is fun! Ryan is hot...and steamed up the pages exactly how we like it! 

This story walks us through tragedy and heartache and love and devotion. While it's a more serious work from Kate McCarthy, it's not without its lighthearted moments and her always hilarious quips. Even though there were moments when I had severe trepidation about what the next chapter would bring, I always held out hope for the bright spots I hoped she's provide. I was ever on the edge of my seat to find out how things end...and what the future might hold. Kate: Don't do that to me again! Ok. j/k definitely do that to me again! :P LOVED IT! <3

Another must read from Kate McCarthy! Yes!

Shelley: I give it ALL THE STARS in the UNIVERSE!
Courtney: 5 Stars! <3<3<3<3<3

Author Bio:
Kate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come from being raised in a friendly, small town area.
She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing. 
She is married with two children, has two dogs and house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.
When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce Mutha.

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  1. Fun review! Fighting Redemption looks pretty great. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Not yet!!! can't wait to get to it though!!!


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