Release Date: December 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
It's been some time since a book truly moved me. Joining Kate McCarthy's FIGHTING REDEMPTION tour I had an inkling that this will be one of those books that will seriously tug my heartstrings. And despite being forewarned by the blurb, I still wasn't prepared by how much I connected with the story. I know nothing of war aside from impressions and textbook info. However I do understand loss and KMcCarthy captured that and the essence of war not in terms of combat, but the the type that's waged long after the shooting stopped. War doesn't end in the battlefield, it seeps through these soldiers' beings and psyche. To be surrounded by death all the time; to be reminded of the temporariness of life; to relive the screams and gunfire, the sounds and smells of destruction in your head, is brutal. And this damage extends to those they leave behind and come home to, the people who pick up the pieces when these men and women come back from hell and the war they wage in their own home to bring back the soldiers paying the price for our freedom. FIGHTING REDEMPTION is a story like that.
To be more specific, the story revolves around three people. The siblings Jake and Finlay Tanner and their bestfriend, Ryan Kendall. These three have been friends since they were kids. Jake and Ryan are as close as brothers while Fin and Ryan have always had something romantic between them. As they got older, the Tanner siblings became warriors in the own way, Fin is an environmentalist while Jake and Ryan signed up for the SAS, the Australian counterpart to the US Marines. Unfortunately Jake was killed in one of the missions. This of course devastated Ryan and Fin and in the midst of mourning they found each other and in the process saved and redeemed the other.
It's a challenge keeping this review short because there's so much I want to say, I'm brimming with commentaries. I'll start with the characters and their relationships. Jake and Ryan: their sense of brotherhood is felt all throughout FIGHTING REDEMPTION so when Jake died in Ryan's arms, you can bet your cute, tight booty that I was reaching for some Kleenex to wipe away some errant tears. Jake and Finlay: their sibling relationship is nothing short of ideal full of love, strengthened by friendship and minted in loyalty. Finally, Ryan and Finlay, theirs is your friends-to-lovers romance. KMcCarthy build up the tension and angst between these two quite well so expect nothing but Passion with a capital P from these two. The secondary characters are just as great, they each highlighted the relationships and conflicts of the main characters and provided a comedic reliefs to brighten up the story.
FIGHTING REDEMPTION is a superbly written story. It is about love and not just the romantic kind. It talks of family, friendships and all of love's facets. As for the topic of grief, you won't be taken on these characters rock bottoms where they bawl, get drunk and do ugly cries. The kind of heartbreak you'll feel on their behalf is the type that hurts the most. KMcCarthy won't lance your heart with sadness, instead she'll give you the worst kind of pain. The one that will make your heart throb and ache with emptiness. KMcCarthy won't give you heartbreak, she'll give you grief.
But it's not all sadness and mourning, Fin and Ryan's love story is transcending. I love how realistic it is and devoid of dramatic overkill. Sure they've had their ups and downs and somehow they still found their way back to each other. What I love most is Fin and Ryan didn't drive each other to ruin unlike some couples we've read. They are strong independent characters on their own and together they're practically invincible. KMcCarthy didn't torture her heroes by having them go through a series of plaguing problems and tests. Fin and Ryan's journey is believable, realistic, sad and as the title indicates, redeeming. And aside from the wonderfully written characters, I love how KMcCarthy paced her story and how she cut the chapters. She gave us impressions, cutting out the more ugly and gruesome parts, leaving us with the poignant but more resounding ones.
FIGHTING REDEMPTION is such an exceptional read it most definitely earned a spot on my Best of 2013 reads!
I hope it's a comfort to you that I haven't regretted a single moment of my life, and that my reasons for for leaving are so that others can live a life of freedom - JakeWhen I'm near you, I'm consumed by you - your smile, your eyes, your heart. Even though we've never been together, you've always been mine, and even if I never get to keep you, you'll still be mine. - Ryan
Purchase Fighting Redemption
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.
Kate is giving away signed Copies + Ryan's dog tags (pic attached below), ebooks, gift cards.