Monday, March 8, 2021

Review - - Redemption

by Inara Scott
Bad Angels - Book 3
Publisher: Inara Scott
Release Date: February 13, 2021
Reviewed by PJ

Two people used to having everything will have to figure out how to survive with nothing...

It's the road trip from hell for business tycoons—and long-time rivals—Nate Etherley and Cece Kerr. To convince the owner of the viral new app Byways to sell, they'll have to use the app to take a backroads trip from San Francisco to Taos—with no phones, credit cards, or five-star hotels to bail them out. From truck stop coffee and flat tires to stars in the desert sky, they've got a lot to learn—about themselves, and each other.

They'll either kill each other...or fall in love.

PJ's Thoughts:

I loved this book. It spoke to me on so many levels. First off, it's an enemies-to-lovers story, one of my favorite tropes, and wow, do these two ever bring it to life. The tension and animosity, the snippy banter, the one-upmanship; they're all fully evident whenever Cece and Nate are in the same area. But there's much more to each of them than one would think, an unanticipated sweetness and vulnerability, an unexpected opportunity for reflection and growth, hidden depths that Scott slowly and skillfully unveils during their five-day road trip from hell that turns into something neither expected, nor wanted, but can't deny. I couldn't get enough of it, or them. 

I've been stuck at home for a year now. A good road trip is something I'm craving and reading Redemption was almost as good as being out there myself. The pictures Scott paints with her words immersed me in the grandeur of the Rockies, the stark beauty of a desert night, the all-encompassing awe of a midnight sky flooded with sparkling stars so bright they hurt your eyes. She doesn't only tell us about Cece and Nate's backroads adventure; she takes us along for the ride. If ever a book made me want to hop in my car and explore this country, not from the expedient interstates, but via leisurely drives through small towns, national parks, and roadside attractions, this one is it. Then there are the characters they meet along the way, each one adding richness and depth to the journey with the stories they tell, the unexpected lessons they impart, though in some cases it takes a while for those lessons to sink in. I wanted to spend time with them too.  

But at the heart of the story, are Nate and Cece, two driven workaholics who are forced to slow down, disconnect, and confront the fears, anxieties, and yes, the reluctant attraction, bubbling just below the surface. Scott takes her time with them, slowly and realistically peeling back the layers until finally those deepest fears, yearnings, hopes, and desires become clear. Until they are laid bare before one another, with their weaknesses and vulnerabilities on full display. Only then, can the emotional baggage they carry (and there's a bunch) be dealt with. Only then, will they have any hope of rebuilding a strong relationship on ground solid enough to last a lifetime. 

I was with these characters every step of the way, laughing, crying, aching, and sighing. Nate and Cece are one of my favorite contemporary couples and I have no doubt they will stay with me for a long time. I've already read their story twice. I'm sure I'll be revisiting them again. This book is just that good. 

Redemption is the third installment in Inara Scott's Bad Angels series. It can be read on its own though you will meet the couples from the first two books in the series, both of which I also recommend. 

Heartbreaker - Book 1 (read my review)

Temptation - Book 2 (read my review)


  1. WOW! You have given me quite a window into this book and this series. I thank you for the review. One more time, a new to me author and a book I know I would enjoy.

    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    1. I hope you give it a try, Annette. It's going on my Best of 2021 Watch List.

  2. I'm ready to read another book that the descriptions just make you feel like you are there. Thanks for the review PJ.

    1. When I was a pre-teen (back in the early interstate days), my family took a four-week, cross-country road trip on mostly two-lane roads. It's a trip we still reminisce about almost 50 years later. This book made me feel like I was back on that trip, experiencing the majesty of Yosemite, quirky roadside attractions that littered Western states, little nondescript diners that serve the best food ever, and the hospitality of small-town folks opening their homes to weary travelers. That part of the story was like a big, warm hug I didn't realize I needed.

  3. This book sounds like the perfect read, especially now. Like you it has been a year since I have gone anywhere except to doctor appointments. Before the shutdown, we took a 2 1/2 month road trip to Alaska and back to TN. We bought a used RV for the trip and it made a big difference. I didn't like having to drive something that big - not a bus, but big enough - and the miles per gallon were painful, especially when it was $5.75 a gallon. However, it was worth the convenience for this type of trip. The flexibility is really nice. Pre-RV, we have taken weeks long road trips. I planned them well in advance and had our routes and hotels lined up. Too often we would find a place we wanted to stay longer to explore, but couldn't because we had reservations down the road.

    We try to do back roads as often as possible. You see so much more and find so many unexpected treasures. That is one thing I like about taking a car. It is easier than the RV on back roads. However, there are long stretches with no towns or places to stop, eat, or stay. We don't have a vehicle to tow which does limit some options.

    Enemies to lovers is a friend trope and if it happens on a road trip, the relationship should be pretty solid. After being in a car for days/weeks you are more likely to have a friends to enemies story. I was very surprised we were still on friendly terms after such a long trip. I put that to not being rushed and having to worry about a place to stay or get a good meal.

    The cover for REDEMPTION really doesn't give much of an indication of what is in the book. It is a book I would not even have checked the blurb to see what it was about. Thank you for the review and recommendation.

  4. Great review, PJ! Like you, I loved Redemption, and I loved Inara Scott's whole series! What a treasure!