Release Date: November 2nd, 2021
CW/TW: Mentions of alcohol and substance abuse, mentions of sexual abuse
Max Marshall is feisty, a little too honest for her own good, and so not here to babysit a fallen rock star. And nobody has fallen farther in her mind that Kristoffer Westberg. So when she’s forced to catalog his so-called “apology tour,” she has little hope that it’ll be anything but a headache dealing with the entitled, washed-up rock star she used to worship before she knew better.
If West hopes to have a snowball’s chance in hell of changing Max’s — and his fans’ — minds, he’s got some serious groveling to do. Will he manage to fake it till he makes it, or will he be exposed as the lost cause everyone is convinced he is? And will he learn the real meaning of redemption in time to win Max’s trust and her heart?
My god, this book. It was an absolute rollercoaster of a story and toyed with my emotions in ways that I did not expect. And that’s why I loved it so much. Every time I thought I had an inkling of what was going to happen, it was completely ripped apart and tossed aside. Melanie A. Smith has outdone herself with this story and the relationship between Max and West.
Kristoffer “West” Westberg is fresh out of rehab and working with his band again as they figure out their upcoming tour and their new album that’s been released. Sales aren’t as good as everyone expected, so they need a hail mary to pull them out of this. Enter Max Marshall, rock music journalist and queen of sass. She rocks West’s world in a way he didn’t expect and it prompts the idea for an apology tour. All West has to do is apologise to the people who’ve hurt him the most and use that to push the sales of their latest album. Easy, right? Nope.
I was already sold on this book simply because it’s a rockstar romance and those are always so great. Plus, I devoured and enjoyed Melanie’s Life Lessons series earlier this year and needed more of her stories in my life. But I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, because everything about Finding His Redemption caught me by surprise. It was gritty, hot, sassy and smart; but it was also a book about redemption, as the title suggests. It’s a love story, obviously, but it’s not just about the romantic love between West and Max, it’s also about West loving and forgiving himself. It’s such a powerful tale of giving yourself the chance to be more than who you’ve let other people see yourself to be.
In going on his apology tour, you learn so much about the man and the rockstar that is West. I loved how in-depth those scenes were and how much we learn about West. He’s a broken character and there are times when you can’t find it in you to love him, because of the terrible things he’s done. But then you see what he’s been through and suddenly all you want is to wrap him up in a blanket and protect him for life. Melanie does such a great job of making you question your feelings for West the whole way through the book, because while you’re doing that, Max is also doing the same thing.
“Because as I taste her, as her tongue meets mine and every neuron in my brain says “more,” well, I’m pretty sure Maxi Marshall is my new drug of choice.”
Max is an incredible heroine. I love that despite having loved West and his band for so much of her life, she’s not holding onto the notion that he’s a better man right away. Max needs to see that West wants to get better and by accompanying him on the apology tour, she’s given front row seats to the grovelling and the forgiveness. From the minute we meet her, really, I was in love. She’s feisty and charming, she’s hardworking and serious about her job. And even though she doesn’t believe in this apology tour, she works her butt off to make sure that West is able to tell his side of the story as much as possible.
And man, their chemistry. It wasn’t insta-lust or love, it was a delicious slow burn. And it felt so real! I loved seeing how their enemies situation develops into mutual respect and adoration before it turns into so much more. They even admit to themselves and each other how much they don’t like or do like the other person or where things started to go wrong or how they reached the place they are – and I love the amount of communication that happens through the course of the book.
Finding His Redemption is a heavy book, but Melanie A. Smith weaves it into a romance so beautifully with a strong heroine and a flawed hero finding their way through the chaos of their lives. Cannot recommend this one enough!
Thanks to Melanie A. Smith for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.