It’s always the strongest that fall the hardest……
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
5 ++++ Beautiful and Emotional Stars
Jenny: Well G, this certainly had us sobbing didn’t it? Fighting Redemption was such an impassioned, rich and beautifully told story of love friendship, loyalty, pain and loss. It was an intensely emotional, passionate and moving read and one I couldn’t put down, even sneaking reads here and there so as not to miss a moment of the yearning love between Fin and Ryan. My heart was put through the wringer many times as I cried, loved and lived every moment with these beautiful characters and I know you felt the same too Gitte.
“I just want you to know that having to watch you leave is going to be one of the hardest things I ever have to do.” – Fin
“Every piece of me is in here.”…”My breath, my heart, my life. I won’t ever leave you if you keep that inside of you.” – Ryan
There was so much depth to this story. Not only do we witness the budding, yet intense love between Fin and Ryan but the secondary relationships, the camaraderie between the SAS crew and the special brotherly bond between Ryan and Jake together with the bonds between Fin and her brother Jake were so well developed also. These relationships and characters were all so beautifully woven together in a story that had my stomach in knots and heart alternatively melting and hurting. Kate McCarthy sure gave us a winner here didn’t she Gitte?
Gitte: Oh wow she sure did. What an absolutely heart-wrenching beautifully told emotional story. It was quite simply stunning.
“I’ll love you longer than the stars that live in the sky.”
This is one of those stories I urge everyone to pick up and read, because this is not only a journey which you literally live with the characters, this is life.
“There are no goodbyes in life. Only see you later” – Ryan
It has so many aspects that will touch your heart, make you cry, make you feel hopeful, make you laugh and make you realise just what you have and what you can achieve.
“Don’t….Please don’t cry. You have such a big future ahead of you. You’re going to do big things with your life. Don’t let anyone stop you from being who you need to be, okay?” – Ryan
It’s a lesson in life and love, in friendship and family. It had such passion and feeling; it’s inspirational. This Author quite simply put me on my knees in agony at times for sure but also in awe as well. Like I said, Fighting Redemption is stunning!
“I need you to wake up and smile at me like I’m your everything, because without you, I’m not anyone’s anything.”
Jenny: Ryan had suffered abuse and was denied the nurturing from his parents that should have been his right and carried a burden that wasn’t his to carry. This man held onto guilt and blame and felt unworthy because of it.
“You have to stop doing that, Ryan. Stop fighting what’s in your heart. Maybe if you do, you’ll realise there’s nothing to forgive.” – Fin
Ryan was welcomed into the Tanner household after Jake, his best friend became aware of Ryan’s unfortunate home life and thus began a relationship bond that was unbreakable.
“I carry scars Fin, both inside and out.” “Everyone’s perception of beauty is different.”- Ryan
Ryan always wanted to be a soldier. He had an intense need to serve, protect and fight for others. Jake shared Ryan’s dream and both enlisted into the SAS after passing the rigorous training, forming bonds that went deep. Both were shipped to Afghanistan leaving as boys, returning as men hardened by war.
“War is a cold, selfish bitch, Kendall. It changes you. It makes you hard, and it makes you hurt, yet somehow, we keep going back for more.” – Kyle
“Because we’re soldiers.” – Ryan
Ryan Kendall was a true hero in every sense of the word. He was compassionate, loving, brave, strong, determined and….well…very alpha (who didn’t talk in monosyllabic tones thank goodness!) in every sense of the word yet so sensitive and loving. I bloody loved this guy and he certainly stole my heart and yours too didn’t he G?
Gitte: Oh my days Jenny,….Ryan! Where do I even begin with what I felt for this man? The life he was given, the boy he was and the man he turned into. His journey was the hardest to read and his strength, his inspirational courage and the size of his heart was truly admirable and I fell in such love with this man.
“I want to be SAS,” he replied…”The best there is. There are countries full of people unable to fight for themselves. I want to be there to do it for them in the only way that can make a difference.” – Ryan
Ryan’s relationship with Jake and Fin was beautiful. Despite the fact that he was the one who was suffering through an awful childhood; he was the rock in everyone’s life. He carried such a huge burden on his shoulders alongside an immeasurable guilt. None of which he deserved. His love and friendship with Jake and Fin was heart-warming, he protected them and was there for them to the best of his ability despite his inner suffering.
“Don’t hope for us, Fin. Please. I can’t have you wasting your life waiting for someone who might never return.” – Ryan
What do you do when you find your soul mate as a child? Love; which is pure and innocent and grows into so much more. A love you deny yourself because you feel undeserving. I bawled my eyes out. Not going to lie!
‘Where did he go from here? He was so fucking lost. He buried his head against his knees, gasping with laughter. Hadn’t he always been lost?’
The love story in Fighting Redemption broke my heart, not only because it was so damn emotional and sad, but also because it was so bloody beautiful and romantic. Oh and it was extremely passionate too. The setting of the romance making it even more dramatic.
‘The taste of Fin was like the purest Heaven and the hottest Hell.’ – Ryan
Jenny: Absolutely. The love story was beautifully sad and really spoke to the heart. Fin was such a beautiful, innocent and loving character. Her heart always belonged to Ryan, yet was so conflicted by her feelings. While Ryan chose to join the army, Fin was forced to move on and form a life for herself, and try and forget the man who owned her heart. Fin really did have so much to contend with and displayed so much strength yet her vulnerability was so unbelievably endearing.
“I’d have given you my entire heart if you’d only asked, but it’s not yours now. It’s not yours.” -Fin
Gitte: Aww I loved Fin, this poor girl knew where her heart belonged but the obstacles and secrets prevented this girl from true happiness and love. Her character was so well written and I completely understood and connected with her. She was so strong under the circumstances and had a fierce loyalty to those she loves. She made me laugh at times and made my heart ache in equal measure.
‘Ryan grinned. “You’re a nerd.”….’An utterly beautiful, adorable, clumsy nerd.’
Watching Fin trying to get on with her life was tough at times and it wasn’t helped by countless misunderstandings and lack of communication. However these were completely believable and never went too far. I have to admit to shouting at Fin and Ryan a few times though!
‘Your touch is warm and your palms are rough, and it hurts to have you so close when you don’t want me.’ – Fin
J&G: Theirs was a once in a lifetime love born from a connection that was a passionate and all-consuming yet when honour and duty are involved, the heart sometimes suffers.
“I’d give up almost anything to wake up to that every morning.” -Ryan
“Almost anything…That’s always been our problem, hasn’t it?” – Fin
Ryan and Fin’s story took us through the complexities of healing such deep emotional scars and this author brought forth such rich and realistic characterisations which made you FEEL you were part of their story. These soldiers not only sacrifice themselves when they choose to serve and protect but they sacrifice those they leave behind also and through this story you feel their loss and their pain.
“Stop trying to be a hero all the time. You’re so busying saving everyone else you forget about yourself.”
Fighting Redemption is a story of love, loss, friendship and loyalty. It’s about soul mates, about hanging onto hope, it’s about bravery, mateship and of learning to take risks with your heart and never giving up on a dream. It’s about living every minute as if it’s your last, never forgetting and never regretting. This was a love story in every sense of the word. It was highly emotive, beautiful, moving, tragic, romantic, passionate, haunting and breathtaking which all makes up to this being one of our favourite reads of 2013.
“I have thick skin baby, but your under it, you’re buried in 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, you’ve always been mine.”
Kate McCarthy, thank you from two very grateful readers for bringing this story and these characters into our lives. We absolutely recommend Fighting Redemption be added to your TBR’s…NOW!
*ARC Provided by Author for an honest review*