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Rating: 5 out of 5 unicorns
I’ve just finished reading Fighting Redemption and I feel like I’ve had my heart ripped out, sewn back in and then ripped out all over again. It is an incredible roller coaster of emotion to read and so powerful in its story telling. Congratulations Kate McCarthy – this was pure awesome.
Before I touch on the story I want to acknowledge all of the wonderful people that choose a life in the armed forces. Reading Fighting Redemption I felt so incredibly proud and immensely grateful for the freedoms they ensure. Fighting Redemption was an absolute celebration of those that serve to protect our country and I am so humbled by what they sacrifice. Simply telling their story in such an accessible way and hopefully helping more people to understand exactly what they do give, makes Fighting Redemption worthy of five stars in my mind, let alone how wonderful the love story is that surrounds Ryan and Fin.
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.
Ryan was a wonderful character. So strong and purposeful. Driven by his one ‘failure’ to protect others. He deserved so much and yet felt that he deserved nothing. His connection with Fin was so much a part of both of them that to deny it was like denying a part of himself and yet he fought and fought against his feelings because he didn’t believe he was enough for her.
“Don’t let anyone stop you from being who you need to be, okay?”
I loved Fin too. Smart, quirky, clumsy and feisty enough to hold her own with the boys. Her love for Ryan was something she didn’t fully understand and watching her battle him as much as herself dragged me through every emotion possible. Sometimes I wanted to crack their heads together and tell them to sort their shit out, and yet that was exactly what they were doing, despite how painful it was to watch. Even with the challenges they faced, one thing that always shone through was the depth and intensity of their love – the challenge was for them to find their way through their own personal mine fields.
The brotherly bond between Ryan and Jake, Fin’s brother was amazing and the strength of their commitment to serve their country simply radiated off the pages. They both knew without doubt that they had each other’s backs. Fin was left to wait for both of them to come home from their tours in Afghanistan and how on earth she survived those waits I will never know.
This story was one of the most heartbreaking, love filled stories I have read in a while. As an Australian I felt connected to the people and places in way that made it all seem incredibly real. I could relate the characters to people I know and the heartbreak and sadness I felt at times was overwhelming. So much so that I had to put my kindle down, despite desperately wanting to know what was going to happen I needed the reprieve just in case it went really badly.
There is an amazing cast of characters in Fighting Redemption that will stay with me – Ryan, Fin, Jake, Kyle, Rachael – and even though there could be more story told, there doesn’t need to be. Fighting Redemption is impeccably written. Not only does it tell a beautiful love story, but it celebrates the many nameless/faceless soldiers that give us the freedoms that we take for granted on a daily basis. At the end I sat there, with a quiet tear, so thankful for what I have and for the gentle reminder to make the most of every moment and treasure those dear to me. The ending, along with the rest of the story, was perfect – thank you Kate McCarthy for this brilliant book.
Reviewed by: Tami Reviewer`s blog: Into the Night Book Reviews
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 unicorns
I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked up Girl of Lies. I haven’t read any of Charles Sheehan-Miles books before, but have heard amazing things about them, so I was very much looking forward to this story. It was filled with intrigue and suspense and there were many things I really loved about it. So why the 3.5 stars you ask – the ending just didn’t work for me. As much as I will absolutely pick up book two, I like to have some sort of closure at the end of an instalment in a series, and I really didn’t feel like I got that with Girl of Lies.
What I did get though, was an introduction to a family filled with so many facets I just don’t know where to start. I haven’t had the introduction to the Thomson Sisters that others have, but I can tell you I will be reading the other books to learn more about them all. The six sisters all have their own stories, but what is clear is their commitment to looking after each other. The dysfunctional relationship of their parents has forged a strong bond between the girls and this bond is critical to their future in this story.
In Girl of Lies the focus is on Andrea, the youngest sister – but there is plenty of detail about the other sisters and also Adelina, their mother. What is clear is that the lives and family the girls thought they knew is not what they believed. Through the course of Girl of Lies we discover the truth behind Adelina and Richard’s relationship and the facade that was their marriage, which has serious consequences for all of the girls.
There is much intrigue in this story and I am dying to find out what is going to happen next. What I loved was that there are some many different dimensions to this story-although a couple of times I was a little confused about who was who, as there are many characters to keep track of. The girl’s father, Richard, is clearly not what he seems and I don’t like him very much at this point.
Sheehan-Miles has a fabulous writing style. So easy to read, so engaging and his capacity to build tension and mystery throughout the story is better than many I’ve read. As I said, I will absolutely pick up the next book in this series because I have to know what will happen for Andrea and her sisters – I just would have loved a little more closure to the final events in this book to feel more satisfied with the story so far.
Reviewed by: Tami Reviewer`s blog: Into the Night Book Reviews