August 5, 2013

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: The Redemption of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence #2)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

The Redemption of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence #2), by Jessica Sorensen
Published July 30, 2013
Publisher:  Sphere
Format: e-galley, obtained from NetGalley
Genre:  new adult contemporary romance
To Buy:  Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads) The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is out. Worse, he's facing charges for battery. The only way he stands a chance against the charges is if Callie speaks up, something he'll never ask her to do.

Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But saving him means admitting her secrets aloud. Callie and Kayden are stronger than they think, especially when they're together. Together they move forward, face their demons, and finally start to heal from their traumatic pasts.

The Redemption of Callie & Kayden was the first book I read during the NA Readathon late in July. After the crazy cliffhanger ending we all were treated to at the end of The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #1), I was DYING to read this to see how things turned out. 

Our story opens about a week after the close of book 1. Kayden is on suicide watch, which means that Callie, Seth and Luke can't get in to see him. Kayden is wallowing in some serious guilt and shame and has decided that Callie would be better off without him in her life. Callie becomes determined to prove him wrong, even if that means telling everyone about what happened to her. 

My feelings were all over the place with The Redemption. There were things I liked. Things I LOVED. Things I didn't like at all. Yeah, I know - slightly schizophrenic. Maybe the best thing to do is to break it down like that. First the things I liked.

I liked seeing Callie put on her big girl panties for once. She seemed so fragile and delicate in the first book. And Kayden was her strength. It's as if Kayden's and her roles switched in book 2. Kayden, all of a sudden, is the very broken one, so Callie makes a conscious decision to be the better half and put her own issues aside to help him work on hers. I like my female characters strong, and finally Callie gave me a very good reason to like her. 

I also liked when Callie and Kayden finally got real and came clean, both with each other and also with others. It was satisfying and SO long overdue. 

I LOVED seeing more of Seth and Luke. I know the next book in the series is about Luke, so I see the necessity there. The set-up is good. Both these guys are so compelling and interesting. I really loved seeing more about their lives and their pasts. I hope Seth continues to show up in Luke's book. They seem to have become good friends in The Redemption. 

I LOVED Callie and Kayden's HEA. I'm not really giving away any spoilers here - you HAD to know that they would have a HEA. With that kind of tragedy in their lives, a HEA is the only kind of ending that will do. It was good. 

However, one of the biggest things that bothered me about The Redemption was the lack of resolution with ALL the bad guys. Not a single one of them got what they deserved. To make matters worse, it's not just that they get away with all their awful crimes. They all just disappeared. As the reader, that was such a huge WTF moment for me. The bad guys need their comeuppance. It's just not fulfilling or satisfying otherwise. There was absolutely no resolution of those particular story lines, and that sucks. 

Given Callie's and Kayden's pasts and issues, I just have to say, my GOODNESS was The Redemption depressing. Not in a cry-my-eyes-out way, but more in a I-want-to-sit-in-a-corner-and-rock kind of way. If sad is what you want, I'm not sure this is the book for you. If overall depressing is your poison, move The Redemption up on your TBR list. Because you'll love this one.

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