REVIEW: Redeemed by Lauren Asher
Redeemed is the conclusion to the Dirty Air series (previous reviews found here), and it is hands down my favourite of the quartet.
We first met Santiago Alatorre all the way back in Throttled—but the Santi of Redeemed is not the same man. After a horrific racing accident caused him to lose his leg, he's turned into something of a hermit, holed up in a house in Italy avoiding pretty much everyone and everything.
Enter Chloe Carter, a young American who knows nothing about racing and is simply trying to find her biological father, who she believes to be Santi's next-door neighbour.
They absolutely get off on the wrong foot when Santi accuses Chloe of being a thief trying to break in—when in reality she's bolting from her father's house after psyching herself out and then attempting to get her phone back. Everything is set to go down in flames, until Santi's sister, Maya shows up with her husband Noah and their frankly too adorable for words son, Marko. And then Santi takes the reckless course of action and claims Chloe is his girlfriend to try and get Maya to stop worrying about him.
Hey, nobody ever said the man was smart.
What follows is a brilliant grumpy-sunshine, fake-dating romance, in which both Santi and Chloe figure out who they are, and manage to find a home in each other. They grow together so wonderfully, and find the healing that both of them so desperately need. I love that they don't necessarily find this in each other—their relationship doesn't solve either of their respective problems. But by having the love and support of another person, they're able to push themselves to do the things that scare them.
Redeemed honestly brought me to tears, which is a very hard thing to do! Asher, as always, delivers a beautiful story, with some real heart-wrenching, incredible moments. There's a real tenderness to Chloe and Santi's relationship, and I couldn't help but fall more and more in love with them with every page. It was also brilliant to see Maya and Noah again, several years on from the events of Throttled, and see how they're doing. And, of course, Marko was a real highlight, because the little tyke is so freaking cute I can't actually cope with it.
Final Verdict: Tender, sweet, and steamy in all the right ways, Redeemed is a hands-down, all-time favourite. 🍯🍯🍯🍯🍯/5 honeypots!