Nicole Jacquelyn writes an outlaw MC series that is full of strong-willed, dominant bikers with out-spoken alpha females at their sides.
The second book in the series is Craving Redemption.
Asa and Callie had nothing in common. He was an Ace, raised in the club and loyal to it above all else. She was a high school student with braces on her teeth and a narrow view of the world.
They should have never crossed paths.
But when Callie decides to defy her parents, and Asa goes on an errand for the club, their lives collide. He saves her, and she mesmerizes him.
They part believing they’ll never see each other again.
Neither could have predicted the chain of events they’d put in motion.
Now the two have to navigate the dark waters of a relationship built on tragedy and need without drowning in guilt for things outside their control.
How do you love someone when the worst decision of your life was the reason you met them?
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Craving Redemption is a solid sequel to Craving Constellations, but it wasn’t quite a good in my opinion. I just didn’t buy it.
For most of the book, the characters are not physically together. Either they are living in different states, or Asa aka ‘Grease’ is in prison. Despite this, Callie wasn’t able to overcome the psychological trauma of her past until the end of the book, when she undergoes serious therapy following a second traumatic event that triggers a mental breakdown.
The reader doesn’t get to experience her resolving many of the issues in her behaviour because the book glosses over it to the end, where she is “better” and Callie and Grease have their happy reunion. It seems like she has all this time apart from him to learn to be independent and know her own mind and in many ways she does, but she didn’t take that emotional step to independence and healing which was really the point of her journey in the book.
The second aspect that I don’t quite buy is why Grease feels this commitment and sense of duty towards Callie. He rescues her from a dangerous situation and delivers her safely home, even though he wasn’t the one to endanger her in the first place. When his rescue marks her as a target, because the bad guys think she belongs to the club, he again swoops in and rescues her and sets her up in a new state, with an apartment in his name that he pays for, basically setting up her life and getting her enrolled in the new high school.
I don’t understand the sense of responsibility that he feels towards her. He is a big bad, weapon-dealing, drug-running, murdering outlaw biker bad boy, who is going way out of his way to financially support and care for an extremely traumatized teenager, who is agoraphobic at first. I don’t believe that he feels sexual attraction to her at this point in the story, when he is taking care of her. It would be really messed up if he was because her traumatized brain is so devastated that she is fragile, and child-like in the beginning. They don’t have any established relationship on which these interactions are based …
So why is he helping her, besides a romantic attraction (for when she has ‘healed’) or a sense of duty and responsibility, neither of which I accept.
Despite these failures (in my opinion), the story was still enjoyable and I recommend it to you, because it is part of a great series which is better than just this one book. I still rate it four stars.
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