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Fighting Absolution by Kate McCarthy

Release Date: September 10, 2019

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Fighting Absolution, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by USA Today Bestselling author Kate McCarthy.

At fifteen, Jamie Murphy finds herself broken and alone, convinced she doesn’t need anyone.

Until she does.

Bear is the boy behind the fence, the one who was there for her when no one else was.

Until he’s not.

Left with nothing, Jamie joins the army hoping it will give her purpose. The last thing she expects is the best friend from her past to reappear in the dusty plains of a war-torn country. No longer the boy she once knew, Bear is now a man: big, bearded, and SAS—one of the army’s elite.

Soon Jamie finds herself not only fighting against her enemies, but her feelings for a man who left her once before. Can she risk losing him all over again?

Fighting Absolution is a friends to lovers romance and features characters from Fighting Redemption, but is written as a standalone.

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My Review

Absolution is an act of forgiveness…it’s an act that works to absolve a person of a sin committed, and once absolution is given, redemption is hoped to be reached, offering the sinner a second chance…a clean slate, so to speak, that should not be taken for granted.

Little Warrior – I don’t think there’s a more perfect name to describe Jamie Murphy, both as a teen and as an adult; because since the day her father died, she’s had to fight every step of the way, not just because she was left with no one at her back, but because she was constantly searching for a purpose, for direction, for a place and perhaps even a person to call her own; except, the person she thought was there for her left, just like her father, forcing her to fight, or at least leading her in that direction, but it’s a much different fight – one that could end up getting her killed.

I wouldn’t say that Jamie is on a road to absolution because the only thing she’s done is try to make herself whole in whatever avenue she thought she could accomplish it. But she most definitely is on a journey of self-discovery, and while it’s a bumpy and road blocked path, it’s one that will, hopefully, give her a purpose…a reason for continuing to survive as her past merges with her present and she reconsiders her choices and her ultimate goal.

Throughout the story, there are characters who ARE fighting for absolution, but there’s one in particular, and you’ll know who when you meet him who owes it to himself and to his little warrior to sort through the chaos and come to terms with what it will take to seek the forgiveness he needs and find absolution that will last him a lifetime.    

The story’s use of text messages, letters, and other forms of communication gives an authentic feel to how soldiers communicate with those they love and say the things that need to be said but might be a bit too difficult to express face-to-face. It also serves to remind readers the loneliness and the fear that comes with being deployed and wondering whose lives may be lost and how their families would feel if they didn’t come home.

Amidst the extraordinarily harsh circumstances of war, hope and faith may be difficult to have, but there are lessons to be learned even when doubts or insecurities may fuel decisions, and in the simplest of terms, the message is clear –

choose to be happy…to truly live…to not just exist to serve but to do it because it’s your calling, it’s where you’re destined to be. Because if it’s not truly your purpose, then you need to have the strength and the courage to head in the direction you’re supposed to be, regardless of the uncertainty that awaits.

My love for Kate McCarthy and her books started with Give Me Love, and since that book, I’ve witnessed her growth as a writer and a storyteller. Her stories are meticulously researched, as evidenced by the open and honest details that make up the sentences, paragraphs, and chapters of every single one of her narratives, and her multifaceted characters are brought to life in ways that allow readers to see every side of these broken, scarred, and more than deserving heroes and heroines.

Even though I just finished Fighting Absolution, I’m so ready for more of Kate McCarthy’s words, which means I’ll be impatiently waiting for her next book!

4.5 Poison Apples

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After an early night, I wake in the morning with my body sagging into the ground. “What the hell?”

I roll and flail, my air mattress squeaking like a little bitch.

Bear laughs and I turn. He’s watching me, thoroughly amused. “I’m not here for your entertainment,” I hiss, my back aching from an uncomfortable sleep.

“Someone needs her coffee.”

“Did you poke a hole in my mattress?”

“No, but there’s something poking a hole in my—”

“For the love of god!” I rise up, the knife from beneath my pillow in hand. “I’m gonna stab yours just for that.”

“No!” He laughs, half-rising from his own bed, warding me off with his massive paws. “That damn thing is probably why you woke up on the ground.”

I lunge across the tent, my knife jabbing straight into his inflatable mattress. It tears a long, deep gash in the corner. Air hisses out in a wheezy rush. “What in the actual fuck?” he shouts, falling back with a stunned laugh. “You’re such a bitch!”

The knife drops from my hand, and I double over, gasping with laughter while the airbed deflates around him, sinking him slowly to the ground.

“Now neither of us have a bed!”

“Oh well.” I tuck my knife away. “We can start on those bottles of red tonight until we can’t feel a damn thing, and then it won’t matter.”

I unzip the tent and step out, my jaw cracking from a yawn that stretches my face. “Bring me coffee!” he orders from inside the tent.

I turn my head, sneaking a glance his way. He’s standing over his duffel bag, clad in nothing but a tight pair of bright blue cotton boxer-briefs. It’s almost a physical punch. I linger a moment before I look away, back to the ocean, trying to dispel the image, but my mind won’t let it go. The wide, muscled shoulders, his tattooed arms, the thick washboard abs, his body scarred from combat and a lifetime of hard and heavy training.

I shiver with a sense of longing and have to remind myself that it’s just Bear as I start on the coffee. The same Bear who laughed his ass off when I tripped on the edge of the jetty in Broome and fell in the water. The one who snores like a freight train after one too many beers. The one slowly turning into a mountain man because he hasn’t shaved since we left. The very same Bear who tips his head back each night in his camp chair and makes me scratch his head with my nails while he sits there and whimpers like a little girl.

About Kate:

Kate is the USA Today Bestselling Author of The End Game and Goodreads Nominee for Best Contemporary Romance Fighting Redemption, and the Give Me series.

When she’s not plotting or writing, she works as a financial officer.

Kate has two mini me’s (both bookworms to her delight), three Dachshunds named Petie, Maximus and Thor, and a fish named Cash (who unfortunately suffers resting bitch face). She lives in Brisbane, Australia and decided to miraculously stop ageing at 30.

Connect with Kate:





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  1. Pingback: The Fairest of All Book Reviews’ Year in Review and 2019 Top 22 | Fairest Of All Book Reviews

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