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New Release Review! REDEMPTION by Karina Bliss (Rock Steady #4)

Redemption cover

From rock icon to house husband.
From academic historian to tell-all memoirist.
They changed their lives for each other.
Now they need to change them back.

What follows happily-ever-after? Love gets real.
Like every woman emphatically in love, academic Elizabeth Winston figured she’d fix her rockstar lover’s emotional problems with her shiny, all-encompassing acceptance.
Oh boy.
Even though she’d heard her minister father counsel couples throughout her childhood, she forgot the take-away. You can’t force someone to heal before they’re ready.
Now she’s five thousand miles from the man she loves and hawking intimate details of their relationship to salvage his iconic legacy. Struggling to keep her own identity, and increasingly unsure whether Zander’s even on board.
Can she redeem his reputation while holding onto her career, or is she making things worse on all fronts?
And that’s before she makes a mistake that changes everything.

He gave up the world for love. The world isn’t ready to let him go.

Fame is a destroyer.
Which is why Zander Freedman quit music.
These days its moderation in all things, except Elizabeth Winston.
But building an ordinary life with an extraordinary woman isn’t easy.
For one, she’s deep in the snake pit he left behind.
For two, he has a stalker that stops him being by her side.
Loving her is easy. Letting her love him is something he works on every day.
How hard does Elizabeth’s life have to be before she regrets choosing him?

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So, so good!

OK, so it’s been almost six years since I read Rise and with the eleventy-billion books I’ve read since then, I mostly have vague memories of Elizabeth and Zander’s origin story, mainly recalling that I liked it a lot. So as I started reading Redemption, Elizabeth and Zander 2.0, there was a lot of oh, yeah… and hmmm, that seems slightly familiar…s going on. You won’t have to have read Rise first, since this is a complete story on its own, but I *do* highly recommend it (plus, right now it’s free! So quick, grab it while you can) because 1) it’s a fabulous book and 2) this one will have even more meaning to readers who’ve read the first one. Even if it’s been a while.

When done well, I do enjoy reading the “after” part of HEAs for characters I love–and Redemption was done very well. Even though Rise left our characters in a good place, both Elizabeth and Zander have issues to work out, individually and as a couple. Elizabeth is still hoping that Zander’s career can be resurrected (he’s not too sure that’s a good idea) and her book tour and recent fame is bringing up her worries about her own inadequacies. Zander isn’t sure what to do with his life if he isn’t doing music–though music might actually be a possibility again!–and he’s still working on his “be in a committed relationship” skills (OMG, I snort-laughed every time he called his reading pile his “relationsh!t” books).

And then of course life throws a few surprises their way. More than one, actually–and boy, are they huuuuuuge. And life-changing. One of them is even life-threatening…clearly, Ms Bliss enjoys making her characters work for it!

And work for it they do, and after so many white-knuckle moments (who knew reading this book could be so stressful! All I know is this morning I had to stop reading at THE WORST point–it just about killed me. Darn this having to work for a living thing!) we finally get to (another) HEA for Elizabeth and Zander.

And it’s glorious!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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