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Friday, February 6, 2015

ARC Review: Redeem Me by Eliza Freed

Redeem Me is the second book in the Lost Souls series by Eliza Freed. These books are not standalones, and should be read in order. If you haven't read the first book in the series, Forgive Me, I would recommend you stop reading to avoid any spoilers. I really loved the first book in this series, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on Redeem Me. But I will admit that this is a hard review for me to write. While I did enjoy parts of this story, I was a bit upset that the author chose to go this route. I am curious to see what will happen in the next book, but I will say that this was not the way I had hoped for this book to go.

After losing both her parents, Charlotte O'Brien found comfort with Jason Leer. They had known each other since childhood, and were able to lean on one another. Their relationship wasn't perfect as they were separated by distance, but they had plans for a future together. But one mistake changed everything for them, and now Charlotte is worse than when she lost her parents. She finds herself unable to forgive or forget, and sinks further each day. But with the help of her childhood friend Nick "Noble" Sinclair, she finds herself experiencing some happiness once again. She knows that she isn't ready to move on completely yet, but she has hope that one day she will be ready. Will Noble be the one to help her leave her painful past behind?

Okay here is where it gets tough for me. I love Noble. He is a fantastic character, and couldn't be a better guy. So the problem comes in where I don't think that he and Charlotte belong together. Is Noble practically perfect? Yes he is. He is sweet and charming, really thoughtful and kind. He is funny and fits perfectly with not only Charlotte, but all of her friends. But I honestly do not feel the romantic connection between these two, and I don't believe that they had even close to the same chemistry as she had with Jason. While I liked that Charlotte was able to lean on Noble when she needed him, I felt it was unfair to both of them. She was still in love with Jason and I just didn't like her with Noble, even knowing that she was honest with Noble. I felt like he deserved better. Charlotte was very different in a lot of ways in this book than the first, and yet she was still similar in a lot of ways as well. We really got to see how torn up she was by what happened in the first book, and how much that affected her. She was dealing with so much grief, and I felt like she really just couldn't catch a break at first. But I will say that part of the problem with what happened in the first book was due to her actions, and I don't think the blame should be only on Jason's shoulders. I also felt like though Jason did wrong and definitely should have handled things differently, that he had been wronged as well. She spent the majority of this book thinking about Jason and knowing that if she actually talked to him that she would most likely give in to him, which is why the growing relationship between her and Noble bothered me. I felt like she really needed to deal with her past and put things to rest once and for all if she really wanted to move on. Her not dealing with Jason directly was a sign to me that she was still in love with him and either wasn't ready to move on or didn't want to move on.

Overall, this was a good book despite the fact that I didn't want the author to take the story where she did. I felt like this book at it's heart was really about Charlotte more than anything. We really got to see her journey through her grief over not only her parents, but the end of her relationship with Jason. While it was nice to see her having to face things, I felt like she was a bit wishy washy throughout this book. I wanted her to stop pining over Jason or to just deal with it already. Even after everything that happened, I find myself solidly on team Jason and I really hope that things work themselves out in the next book. It was clear throughout this story that she is still in love with him, and I believe that they belong together. I also saw that Jason wasn't willing to give up on Charlotte, and that tells me that their relationship is definitely one worth fighting for. I think Noble is fantastic and truly deserves an HEA, I just don't believe that it should be with Charlotte. So while the writing was as fantastic as the first book, I had to give this one a lower rating because of the story itself. I think that some readers will really enjoy where Eliza Freed took these characters, and I am sure that Noble has a ton of supporters. I just happen to want to support him with someone else instead.

**ARC Provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing)**

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