Review | Lethal Redemption (Steele Ops 2), April Hunt

LethalRedemptionLethal Redemption is a fast-paced and thrilling second-chance romance between FBI profiler Grace Steele and security firm operative Cade Wright. I absolutely loved the chemistry between the leads — their initial breakup was pretty messy, and truly broke Grace’s heart, and so it was great seeing how they navigated having to deal with each other again. There was tension in terms of Grace being super cautious about opening her heart up to Cade again, but there was also an undeniable continuing attraction between them, and also mutual respect born from a friendship that started from childhood.

More than the romance between the leads, however, I really loved the relationships between the family members, and between Cade and the Steele family. Grace was adopted into the Steele family after escaping a cult as a young child, and so it was heartwarming to see how much she found love and belonging with her brothers. The banter between the brothers and with Cade felt natural, and I could believe they’d known each other for most of their lives.

I also loved the mystery aspect of the novel, which isn’t often the case as romantic suspense for me is often touch and go. I usually find myself being more interested in one of the plot threads, and wishing there was more of it, but this was a book where I love how the mystery/thriller and the romance really meshed with each other. I also find stories about cults fascinating, particularly how a leader — no matter how charismatic — manages to bring so many people under their spell, and how someone can manage to break that hold on a large scale.

The cult in this novel is personal to the main characters, since it’s the same one Grace escaped from when she was little, and her birth mother is still in love with and second in command to the cult leader. So that personal connection brings even more drama into the mix, and raises the stakes for Grace and Cade. I loved how the author explored Grace’s psychological fallout from her experience with the cult, and how complicated it was for her to have to confront her birth mother again in such a charged situation.

Overall, this was a fun and emotionally gripping read. From the excerpt of the next book at the end, I’m definitely hooked on Roman and Isabel’s upcoming story as well. I also fell in love with the character of Liam (the nerdy Steele brother) in this book, so I’m really excited for him to have a romance of his own as well.

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Thanks to Forever Romance for an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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