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Heroine: Finlay Tanner – Science Nerd, Vibrant
Hero: Ryan Kendall – SAS Soldier, Beautifully Damaged
Fighting Redemption is a deeply touching, emotionally charged, well-developed new adult romance filled with heartbreak, fiery chemistry, and loveable characters. Go ahead and grab the Kleenex, you’re going to need them. This story kept me in a constant state of tears and high emotions. I love this book hard.
"I'll love you longer than the stars that live in the sky."
Ryan Kendall comes from a broken home, where his father abused him and his mother ignored him. He learned at the age of seven about pain and suffering. His life changed for the better when he met two new students at his school. Jake, with is laidback and playful personality, immediately became Ryan’s best friend and was always by his side. Then there is Jake’s little sister, Fin, who Ryan felt an immediate attachment towards with the need to protect and, as they grew up together, silently fell in love with her. Ryan has dreamt of being a SAS solder since he was ten years old. It gives him purpose and a way to escape his broken home life.
Finlay Tanner is a compassionate, sweet girl who loves science and has a bright future ahead of her. She eventually comes into her own as a young woman. The feelings Ryan has always had for Fin grow more every day as he watches her grow and change. He loves her, but won’t let himself have her. Not to mention he is leaving one day to join the army to start his new life. Fin has also developed feelings for Ryan. No boy can hold a candle to what she feels for Ryan.
No words were ever spoken about their feelings towards one another, but they both knew they were there. Even if they never acted upon them. Ryan kept his distance from Fin until the time came for him and Jake (who would follow Ryan into hell) to leave for boot camp and then deployed to Afghanistan to join the war. And six years go by before Ryan and Fin see or talk again. Fin moves on with her life, eventually, during that time but never truly moves on from Ryan. She thought she had it all figured out, until Ryan finally comes back home and everything changes.
Ryan comes back from the war older, harder, edgier, and sexier. He’s an incredible yet complicated man. He’s driven by the need to save and protect people. He’s a war hero who fights hard and loves even harder. But he’s a broken man who has never confronted the past nightmares that have shaped and molded him into the intense, tortured man he is today. If he wants to be truly happy, he must face the demons that haunt him day after day. And now that he’s back home, it’s time to face the girl that has always owned his heart.
One of the main things that drew me to this story was the idea that two friends who grow up together eventually fall in love. Ryan goes off to war before anything develops between them, but they both continued to carry a flame for each other. The love between Fin and Ryan is one of a kind; unbreakable and deep. And, for six long years, the heart-pounding chemistry between them laid dormant… until they see each other again. The love, the passion, and the undeniable lust between them, come skyrocketing to the surface the moment they see each other again. I felt it all strongly. However, there is a lot of emotional turmoil and complicated issues between them that need to be hashed out. So much so that, as much as Fin would like to drop everything for Ryan, she can’t just let him into her heart and… into her bed. This doesn’t stop Ryan from revealing to Fin all the things he should’ve told her years ago. And the things Ryan would say to Fin… be still my heart. Ryan melted me with his honest and passionate words.
"For six years I fought every day not to think of you, and I lost, because every day you were all I could see."-Ryan
"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
As the story continues, it felt like the world was working against this couple being together. So much happens in this story with its layers upon complicated layers that revolve around unbreakable bonds, loss, grief, self-sacrifice, broken hearts, redemption, forgiveness, personal healing and, most importantly, war. Fin and Ryan had so much to overcome before they could be together. Just when you think they will finally be happy together, the story would take a turn that would make my emotions clinch – which happened often – and the tears would fall. There were scenes where my heart was pounding with every emotion expressed, every action taken, and every reason behind their words or feelings.
This book has so much heart. I loved the beginning, the middle, and the end - which almost gave me a heart attack. I honestly felt breathless and emotionally exhausted by the last page. The scenes with Ryan in Afghanistan were depicted so realistically. I don’t know much about the military but this part of the story was well-done and intense. I would love to read more about Ryan and Jake’s army buddies and see each one of them find love. I HIGHLY recommend you grab this book ASAP!
About the Author
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.
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