Title: Redeem (Under My Skin #4)
Author: Christina Lee
Publisher: Christina Lee
Release Date: February 28th, 2019
Page Count: 240
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Successful financial analyst Michael Walsh leads a picture-perfect life that anyone would envy—unless they caught a glimpse beneath the surface. Haunted by failed relationships and self-doubt, Michael harbors a soul-deep loneliness that no number of casual hookups can fulfill. So why can’t he stop thinking about his New Year’s fling with a man whose quiet desperation matched his own?
Barista Stewart Jenkins has an abysmal track record with relationships, and no matter how hard he tries to keep things tightly under wraps, his life is spinning out of control. His hookup with the gorgeous Michael was only supposed to be sex—hot, dirty, uncomplicated—but that small taste leaves him yearning for more.
Every no-strings encounter that follows between Michael and Stewart peels away more layers, blurring the lines, until they’re left with a raw tenderness and acceptance they both crave. A relationship seems out of the question—they come from drastically different lives and are plagued by inexcusable sins. Being vulnerable is sure to reveal old wounds, and forgiveness seems out of reach, unless they can find a way around their fears on the road to redemption.
This just really hit me hard. These boys were both so broken. Gah. Unbelievable story of love and hope and belonging.
Michael has a solid job, enough money to throw around, and a new-found proclivity for men. His last relationship was…unhealthy. But, he’s taken the time to look at himself and realize if he doesn’t do something, he’s going to turn into his father.
Stewart is a barista. He’s happy with where he is professionally, but his personal life is a mess. With repressed anxiety from his upbringing, his nightmares have returned, he’s gone through a relationship crisis, but he’s seeing a professional now. The meds are working. He’s had less panic attacks, but he’s not ready for anything serious. So, when a quickie in the bathroom on New Year’s Eve won’t leave his mind, he’s surprised to see Michael show up again at his work.
From the start I was loving the fact that both Michael and Stewart were seen as the bad guys in past relationships. It’s so difficult to pull a jerk into a new role as someone you want to see end up happy and Christina Lee pulls this off so well.
Both boys were so broken and working so hard to get better and I just loved how intuitive they both were at finding what the other one needed and just being there. There was so much honesty in this and love.
Christina Lee writes with so much emotion and just has a way at getting under your skin with the raw honesty of her characters and their dialogue and desires. I loved this story. I loved her interpretation and gift for hurt/comfort and couldn’t recommend this book more.