She’s a combat medic. He’s SAS, and her best friend. They weren’t supposed to fall in love.

Today we are delighted to be on tour Fighting Absolution, an all-new contemporary romance stand-alone by USA Today bestselling author
Kate McCarthy

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At fifteen, Jamie Murphy finds herself broken and alone, convinced she doesn’t need anyone.

Until she does.

Bear is the boy behind the fence, the one who was there for her when no one else was.

Until he’s not.

Left with nothing, Jamie joins the army hoping it will give her purpose. The last thing she expects is the best friend from her past to reappear in the dusty plains of a war-torn country. No longer the boy she once knew, Bear is now a man: big, bearded, and SAS—one of the army’s elite.

Soon Jamie finds herself not only fighting against her enemies, but her feelings for a man who left her once before. Can she risk losing him all over again?

Fighting Absolution is a friends to lovers romance and features characters from Fighting Redemption, but is written as a standalone.

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Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you after reading an epic love story, but it was a first for me. When I turned the last page of Fighting Absolution, I rushed to my PC, opened a doc and then stared at the screen gormlessly. No words came, just tears. I needed to collect my thoughts before even attempting to put pen to paper, but I simply couldn’t. It took me exactly a day to read but ages to write this review. Now, this isn’t normal, Fighting Absolution isn’t your normal military romance, either. McCarthy took me on a roller-coaster ride which squeezed my heart, touched my soul and gave me a profound feeling of hope.

The character development is nothing less than spectacular. In their own way, they all have imperfections, making them so much more relatable. The storyline is dramatic without being overdone, the pace is fast, keeping me on the edge from the beginning to the end. It’s a real-life warzone. It’s battling with emotions so deep, those affected can’t see what’s in front of their very own eyes. The details of the surroundings at home and away, the camaraderie shared hardships to heartfelt friendship, trust and love are carefully thought-out. Nothing is left out, nothing is exaggerated.

“Isn’t that why any of us join the damn army in the first place? We’re hoping it’s going to perform some kind of miracle and piece us back together.”

Young Jamie Murphy is in need of a friend and she finds one on the other side of a fence, but they never cross the panels. Not one to tell all, she gradually opens up to Bear. But who is he? Why does he hold back on her? You’ll see although one thing’s for sure, she’s his Little Warrior.

“There’s the little warrior I know. I would laugh if we both weren’t hurting so much.”

What he sees in her is strength; a strength he encourages and oh boy, she’s going to need every ounce of it. I really and truly liked Jamie. So unpretentious, her beauty doesn’t even register with her. When she’s on form, you’ll love her dry wit and through it all, she still managed to make me smile.

‘Careful. You cracked a joke. Isn’t that your quota for the year?’

The worse happens, he’s gone, she can’t find him. Wow, to say she was peeved would be putting it mildly. Hmm…so it’s his bad luck, life goes on and she has a plan. A plan which not only turns out better than she could ever have imagined, but in its way, also reflects on future happenings which for this reader, caused utter despair.

‘Maybe that’s what life is all about. Snatching moments like this. Ones that get you through when you have nothing else.’

As fate would have it, the same war-torn road they’d chosen to go down brings Bear and Jamie together. Their friendship rekindles, he becomes her rock and to be perfectly honest, I still don’t know if I cried more for him or Jamie whilst learning how they coped with loss. But there are happy times which melted my heart. Their leg-pulling and comebacks; a welcome reprieve, had me grinning from ear to ear. How Jamie and Bear’s story evolves brought out more crushing feels if that were ever possible. And in all fairness and as much as I would like to tell you the outcome of their journey, I can’t. What I can say is this book will captivate you and be warned, having a man-sized hanky at hand is a must.

“There’s no such thing as stupid when it comes to grief. We all deal with it in our own way.”

I would love to have two besties with such wisdom in my life as does Jamie. Wood with his clumsiness, affection and encouragement. Erin who with no holds barred, makes her stubborn friend see things for what they are. And Bear’s mate Ryan, still hurting inside, is there when most needed. Meeting Fin through Jamie’s eyes left a lump in my throat but hey, this tight-knit group became my people.

“You can’t lose the memories inside your heart.”

The dual narrative written in the present is particularly important as it gave me the two sides to the story and although the protagonists’ inner thoughts were at times contrasting, both of them express how they feel perfectly. Fighting Absolution is without a doubt, one of the best love stories I have read this year. Bravo, McCarthy!

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© 2019 Kate McCarthy
All rights reserved.

After an early night, I wake in the morning with my body sagging into the ground. “What the hell?”I roll and flail, my air mattress squeaking like a little bitch.Bear laughs and I turn. He’s watching me, thoroughly amused. “I’m not here for your entertainment,” I hiss, my back aching from an uncomfortable sleep.“Someone needs her coffee.”

“Did you poke a hole in my mattress?”

“No, but there’s something poking a hole in my—”

“For the love of god!” I rise up, the knife from beneath my pillow in hand. “I’m gonna stab yours just for that.”

“No!” He laughs, half-rising from his own bed, warding me off with his massive paws. “That damn thing is probably why you woke up on the ground.”

I lunge across the tent, my knife jabbing straight into his inflatable mattress. It tears a long, deep gash in the corner. Air hisses out in a wheezy rush. “What in the actual fuck?” he shouts, falling back with a stunned laugh. “You’re such a bitch!”

The knife drops from my hand, and I double over, gasping with laughter while the airbed deflates around him, sinking him slowly to the ground.

“Now neither of us have a bed!”

“Oh well.” I tuck my knife away. “We can start on those bottles of red tonight until we can’t feel a damn thing, and then it won’t matter.”

I unzip the tent and step out, my jaw cracking from a yawn that stretches my face. “Bring me coffee!” he orders from inside the tent.

I turn my head, sneaking a glance his way. He’s standing over his duffel bag, clad in nothing but a tight pair of bright blue cotton boxer-briefs. It’s almost a physical punch. I linger a moment before I look away, back to the ocean, trying to dispel the image, but my mind won’t let it go. The wide, muscled shoulders, his tattooed arms, the thick washboard abs, his body scarred from combat and a lifetime of hard and heavy training.

I shiver with a sense of longing and have to remind myself that it’s just Bear as I start on the coffee. The same Bear who laughed his ass off when I tripped on the edge of the jetty in Broome and fell in the water. The one who snores like a freight train after one too many beers. The one slowly turning into a mountain man because he hasn’t shaved since we left. The very same Bear who tips his head back each night in his camp chair and makes me scratch his head with my nails while he sits there and whimpers like a little girl.

Meet Kate

Kate McCarthy is a USA Today Bestselling author who resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works full time on her writing.

She has two children, two dogs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the world that help keep her sane.

When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, and writing books, you can find her

curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites.

Connect with Kate:

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