Many of the new adult novels currently topping the bestseller lists are tales of redemption. They feature scarred heroes and heroines with tortured pasts who get a second chance at love. While their emotional baggage might threaten to keep them apart, they’re survivors, and readers can identify with their imperfections. These characters have been to hell and back, and they find heaven in the arms of the one they love.
Into the Deep by Samantha Young is a second-chance romance featuring star-crossed lovers who fell for each other when they were sixteen-years-old in Indiana. Despite the intensity of their young love, Jake Caplin suffered a personal tragedy that tore him away from Charley Redford and broke her heart. Four years later, Charley travels to Edinburgh with her best friend to study abroad for a year and encounters Jake at a party—with another girl. Charley is not only surprised to see Jake but also shocked to find him in love with someone else (or so she thinks). Jake still has feelings for Charley, but it won’t be easy to win her back—or get rid of his lady on the side.
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen is the sequel to The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, a story about two emotionally and physically scarred individuals who suffered severe abuse as children. They attended the same school together when they were young, but Callie was a shy outcast while Kayden was a popular athlete. At a high school graduation party, however, Callie saves Kayden from the wrath of his abusive father, and their paths cross again at college where they become fast friends and eventually lovers. At the end of the first book, Kayden suffers a breakdown. He tries to push Callie away, but she refuses to leave him in his time of need and spends most of the second book trying to save him. Despite the very dramatic issues that the characters face, readers found the story to be a slow, gentle, heartwarming romance that was deeply emotional but not overwrought.
Trust Me by Melanie Walker is the first in a new series featuring a heroine named Carrie with a past history of sexual abuse. Her brother Noah rescued her from their painful lives and tried to protect her from anything that could hurt her—even his own friends. Sexy rocker and tattoo artist Chad fell for Carrie when he first met her, but he stayed away because his friend and band mate Noah warned him against getting too close. Carrie and Chad’s connection can’t be denied, however, and they fall for each other despite the odds against them.
Bring Me Home by Cassia Leo is the conclusion to the Shattered Hearts trilogy featuring a tortured heroine named Claire. At the end of the first book, she broke up with her first love, Chris, so he could be a rock star, and she gave their baby girl up for adoption. In the second book, she fell for a sweet surfer named Adam who brought her back from the edge of despair. In the third book, Chris comes back to town. He wants Claire back, and he wants to meet their daughter. Claire has to make a choice between the two men she loves and who love her in return.
Eliza Smith, the heroine of Who He Is by S.Q. Williams, suffered abuse in her past and hides out in her room, waiting for her life to begin. When her father, the manager of a rock band called FireNine, demands that she go on tour with the band, she’s forced to come face to face with her former crush, Gage Grendel, the lead singer. He’s sexy as sin and knows it, but she’s willing to have a no-strings attached fling with him—she thinks. Feelings run deeper for both of them, however, and she’ll have to choose between the life she thought she wanted and the love she might have found.
Josh Turner, the hero of Josh and Hannah by Lynda Chance, endured poverty and abuse while living with his alcoholic father, but he’s found a refuge at his aunt and uncle’s house. His neighbor Hannah McIntyre is a pampered princess, but she’s always had a crush on Josh. Because Josh is three years older than Hannah, they have to wait to consummate their love, but when they’re finally old enough to take their relationship to the next level, there’s no turning back for either character. Readers were charmed by Josh’s fidelity to Hannah and his alpha-male characteristics.
Blythe McGuire, the heroine of Left Drowning by Jessica Park, tragically lost her family in a fire. She blames herself for their deaths and has struggled to make her way through college while being emotionally numb. Then she meets Chris Shepherd, a caring soul from a large family who has secret hurts of his own, and he makes her feel again. Chris saves her from herself, but when he’s overwhelmed by his own demons, Blythe will have to save him as well.
Finally, Scotlyn, the heroine of Freefall by Tess Oliver, is a majorly damaged heroine who was so traumatized by the loss of her family that she stopped speaking and took to the mean streets of Los Angeles as a teenager. A controlling man named Lincoln rescued her from a terrible fate and gave her a job modeling, but then he felt like he owned her. When she falls for a sexy tattoo artist named Nix, she feels hope again for her future, but first she’ll have to escape Lincoln’s evil clutches.
What books are helping you get through the summer?
Brittany is a freelance writer, aspiring novelist and small business owner who hopes that heaven will be like a bookstore with an endless supply of free books, free coffee and super comfy chairs.