Friday, September 13, 2019

REVIEW: Fighting Absolution by Kate McCarthy

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Fighting Absolution by Kate McCarthy
Release Date: September 10, 2019
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Court: I have spent life waxing poetic with how much I love Kate McCarthy, her writing, her characters and just everything this woman does...and I legit thought I had reached just about the top the bar that she set for me in which I could love her. I was wrong. This book absolutely slayed the best way possible. I honestly thought that Fighting Redemption could not be topped, because it was an epic tale of love, loss and ahem, redemption. This book however, really delved deep into what we knew before and gave us such a better understanding of really Ryan, Jake and Kyle. I am so in love with these characters, and to be honest know ahead of time that you can read just this book and live life fine...but you really are highly recommended to read Fighting Redemption first. Shel: OmGOSHYES to all things Court just said. Kate started out as an amazing romcom + adventure writer and I loved her for it; then she slayed with the emotional roller coaster of Fighting Redemption and she just keeps one upping her self and I have no idea how it's possible, but she shows us that it is. Fighting Absolution took all the things we loved about her writing and the characters we knew in Fighting Redemption and went dug in--the emotional parts were even more emotional and the funny bits, funnier, and the romance was just so incredibly sweet.

Court: Jamie has a legit rough go of it, and I really enjoyed how we get snippets of her life in a way that really helped the journey of the story move. Shel: I felt the same! I didn't feel that those scenes took away from the story at all (nope), and how she developed a powerful relationship with a boy she barely saw through a fence was everything and hit me hard emotionally. Hopefully Shelley can help me elaborate on this, but this girl has known loss and has a hard time accepting any emotional support from anyone around her. The things she experiences in the army and out of it really shape who she is and shows us all that she has overcome, and still has to overcome. Shel: Yes, she was built to be strong, to suck up every ounce of weakness that wanted to come to her surface and push it down and down and down--I have no idea how she made it through what she did without breaking; she was so tough. She was exactly what is referenced in the title: a fighter. She barely let anyone in because they always seemed to leave her and so she carried almost all burdens on her shoulders, alone. I don't know how she didn't suffocate from it all but she didn't and while I admired her strength, I also needed her to see that needing others didn't make her weak. Thankfully there were a few characters who showed her how it felt to be loved, how to grieve loss, and how to allow yourself to need others, in a healthy way.

Court: This book is an emotional heavy hitter, and I really, really, really, really cannot say enough how much I loved every single word. Every. Word. I love the character development, and the honesty, and the real journey through grief in multiple capacities really helped me a lot. There are things that still are hard for me and I appreciate an author's ability to put into words thoughts that I have with myself. How to hold on, and let go at the same time...still perfecting that, but Kate McCarthy nailed it. Shel: She really did. It is so very evident that Kate takes the time to make sure every piece and part of her novels are just right. The dialogue, pacing, and details are pitch perfect, as they always are and I love that Kate can give us hilarity in one novel and devastate us in another and always have us begging for more. 

I know you should be riding the high of the great reception you're going to get for this book, Kate McCarthy, but I really hope you're plotting and writing what we're getting next because I'm so ready for it.

Fighting Absolution, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by USA Today Bestselling author Kate McCarthy.
At fifteen, Jamie Murphy finds herself broken and alone, convinced she doesn't need anyone.
Until she does.
Bear is the boy behind the fence, the one who was there for her when no one else was.
Until he's not.
Left with nothing, Jamie joins the army hoping it will give her purpose. The last thing she expects is the best friend from her past to reappear in the dusty plains of a war-torn country. No longer the boy she once knew, Bear is now a man: big, bearded, and SAS—one of the army’s elite.
Soon Jamie finds herself not only fighting against her enemies, but her feelings for a man who left her once before. Can she risk losing him all over again?
Fighting Absolution is a friends to lovers romance and features characters from Fighting Redemption, but is written as a standalone.
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After an early night, I wake in the morning with my body sagging into the ground. “What the hell?” I roll and flail, my air mattress squeaking like a little bitch. Bear laughs and I turn. He’s watching me, thoroughly amused. “I’m not here for your entertainment,” I hiss, my back aching from an uncomfortable sleep. “Someone needs her coffee.” “Did you poke a hole in my mattress?” “No, but there’s something poking a hole in my—” “For the love of god!” I rise up, the knife from beneath my pillow in hand. “I’m gonna stab yours just for that.” “No!” He laughs, half-rising from his own bed, warding me off with his massive paws. “That damn thing is probably why you woke up on the ground.” I lunge across the tent, my knife jabbing straight into his inflatable mattress. It tears a long, deep gash in the corner. Air hisses out in a wheezy rush. “What in the actual fuck?” he shouts, falling back with a stunned laugh. “You’re such a bitch!” The knife drops from my hand, and I double over, gasping with laughter while the airbed deflates around him, sinking him slowly to the ground. “Now neither of us have a bed!” “Oh well.” I tuck my knife away. “We can start on those bottles of red tonight until we can’t feel a damn thing, and then it won’t matter.” I unzip the tent and step out, my jaw cracking from a yawn that stretches my face. “Bring me coffee!” he orders from inside the tent. I turn my head, sneaking a glance his way. He’s standing over his duffel bag, clad in nothing but a tight pair of bright blue cotton boxer-briefs. It’s almost a physical punch. I linger a moment before I look away, back to the ocean, trying to dispel the image, but my mind won’t let it go. The wide, muscled shoulders, his tattooed arms, the thick washboard abs, his body scarred from combat and a lifetime of hard and heavy training. I shiver with a sense of longing and have to remind myself that it’s just Bear as I start on the coffee. The same Bear who laughed his ass off when I tripped on the edge of the jetty in Broome and fell in the water. The one who snores like a freight train after one too many beers. The one slowly turning into a mountain man because he hasn’t shaved since we left. The very same Bear who tips his head back each night in his camp chair and makes me scratch his head with my nails while he sits there and whimpers like a little girl.
About Kate: Kate is the USA Today Bestselling Author of The End Game and Goodreads Nominee for Best Contemporary Romance Fighting Redemption, and the Give Me series.
When she's not plotting or writing, she works as a financial officer.
Kate has two mini me's (both bookworms to her delight), three Dachshunds named Petie, Maximus and Thor, and a fish named Cash (who unfortunately suffers resting bitch face). She lives in Brisbane, Australia and decided to miraculously stop ageing at 30.
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