Author: Kate McCarthy
Release Date: November 30, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
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.
If you are searching for a book to knock your socks off, drench your shirt with tears, and leave you feeling hopeless and hopeful in one fell swoop, look no further. This is the book for you! Everlasting love, perilous conditions, and angst to keep you up all night long. Get ready to dive into Fighting Redemption.
The call disconnected before she could reply, and she tossed the phone beside her with a sigh. Pushing up off the bed, she walked towards her wardrobe. Catching movement from the corner of her eye, she turned her head and jolted. Ryan was leaning casually against the doorframe, his arms folded. Licking his lips, he stepped into the room and shut the door behind him.
“Ryan. You scared me.” She reached for the top she’d tossed on her corner chair a few minutes ago and gave him her back.
Fin felt him come up behind her and she shivered. He reached around, grabbed the shirt from her hands and tossed it on the floor. Suddenly breathless, she looked at it, then at his hands where they came to rest on her stomach.
He was an asshole for doing this to her, but her door was ajar. When Ryan heard her voice and saw her lying on her bed in nothing but lacy pink underwear, he couldn’t stop himself. How did she manage to look so innocent and so sexy all at the same time?
His lids lowered as he looked down over her shoulder, watching his hands as they skimmed up the smooth, taut skin of her belly to cup her breasts firmly.
Her body trembled as he rubbed his thumbs across her nipples. He felt them harden beneath the flimsy lace of her bra.
“Fin,” he breathed, running one hand down along the inner edges of her tanned thigh. Fuck. Her legs were smooth and warm, and he wanted them wrapped around him as he sank himself deep inside her.
Burying his head in her neck, Ryan shifted his hand to cup the pretty lace panties between her thighs and took a deep, shuddering breath. God, he shook with the need to taste her.
“Ryan,” she moaned.
With his other hand, he fisted the soft strands of her hair and yanked her head back, exposing the line of her throat, and he fell on it—sucking and biting the sweet skin until he was unbearably hard.
A tap came at the bedroom door and they both froze. “Fin? Are you heading out soon or eating here first?” Jake called out.
“I-I’ll be right out,” she stammered and took a step forward out of Ryan’s arms. She turned around, meeting his eyes.
“Okay,” Jake called back.
Ryan’s blood pulsed so hard it was a roar in his ears as they stared at each other wordlessly. After a beat of silence, she tore her eyes away and opened the wardrobe door.
“Are you happy now?” she hissed as she grabbed a pair of jeans from the shelves.
His eyes on her ass, he muttered, “What?”
She threw the jeans at him and he caught them when they hit him square in the chest. “This. Us. Yes, okay? I want you. Is that what you want to hear? That I dream of you too?” she choked out. “Your hands on me, inside of me, and I ache too.”
Ryan took a step towards her.
“Don’t.” She snatched the jeans out of his hands and tugged them on.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured.
Fin turned, rummaging for a top. She pulled one off a hanger and tugged it on furiously. “You’re sorry. I’m sorry. Everybody’s sorry. Well it’s just one sad, fucking sorry situation, isn’t it?”
Christ, Fin was a fiery inferno when she was mad, and it had his dick swelling even harder. “Fin, I—”
“Enough!” She jabbed a finger in his chest. “There’s hurt in there. I know it. You know it, but you’re not going to move on from it until you let that shit out. Whatever you’re doing now isn’t working. Own it, Ryan. Stop letting it own you.” With that she brushed passed him and opened the bedroom door. She looked at him over her shoulder before stalking away.
Yes. Your touch is warm and your palms are rough, and it hurts to have you so close when you don’t want me.
Honest to goodness, 100% being truthful with you right now. Stop whatever you are doing and grab this book! Grab a box of tissues; make sure you have no distractions and a few hours to spare. Trust me when I say that once you start reading this epic story, you WILL NOT want to stoop! Not only will you not want to, you simply won’t be able to.
“But he’s not here. I am. I’m the one touching you. I’m the one holding you, because you’ve never been his.”
So with that warning, we are ready to delve into the world of Ryan and Fin. From the very first pages we are filled with a sense of impending doom. Kate McCarthy leaves the story up for interpretation and you will literally be guessing until THE very LAST sentence! Literally, last 50 pages, my heart was lodged in my chest, never knowing if it would see the light of day again. I fell SO HARD for these characters, and Kate tells a story so fluently that you feel as if you are living their romance with them. You feel all their pain, all their hope, all their love. This was my first time reading any of Kate’s books, but she has most definitely made a fan for life. I have her other books, but you know how endless TBR’s are!
Christ. He didn’t just love her, he fucking adored her. He’d give his life for her if he had to.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. Fin and Ryan meet in grade school and he becomes best friends with her brother Jake. Due to horrible situations going on at his house, he, for all intents and purposes, becomes part of their family. He isn’t simply Jake’s friend or Fin’s protector, he is their brother. In their parent’s, Ryan finds the stability, love and encouragement he so deserved yet never received. Ryan has always been sure of two things in his life. That he loves Fin with all of his being and that he wants to be a soldier for the Australian Army. Oh, did I forget to mention that? What makes this story even MORE delicious? It is set in Australia.
“I have a thick skin, baby, but you’re under it. You’re buried in there so deep it’s like I was born with you in my soul. When 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.”
This story CONSUMED me! Oh the feelings it invoked; the heartbreak that ensued rivaled any I’d felt before. I simply didn’t know how it was going to end. I had preconceived notions as to how I WANTED it to end, but I never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined how it did. This isn’t a story that you simply turn the page on and go about your day. This is a love story that you live, that you breathe, and more importantly, that you FEEL. If you take the time to read nothing else this year, read Fighting Redemption.
Why did everyone always paint love as pretty rainbows and happily ever afters? It wasn’t any of that. To love was to feel the greatest of agony, burn in the hottest fires of Hell, and fail the only people who ever mattered.
There are so many twists and turns in this book that I choose to not give you many details at all. This is a journey that you must take on your own. You must experience everything that I did first hand. It would be a disservice to read it any other way. Just know that it is delicious, one of the most harrowing love stories I have EVER read. The love these two have for each other rivals any other, and it will definitely be a book I come back to many times in the future to read again. It’s real, it’s gritty, and it’s honest. Above all, IT IS PHENOMENAL! I cannot give this book five stars, because five is simply too low of a number. So nice I rated it twice, Fighting Redemption gets ten I’ll love you longer than the stars that live in the sky stars!
“You’re the strongest person I’ve ever known, but someone smart and brave once told me that it’s always the strongest that fall the hardest. You can trust me, Ryan. Let go. I’ll be here to catch you. I’ll always be here.”