Absolution by Kaylea Cross
Series: Suspense series #5
Published: January 14, 2014 by Kaylea Cross (reprint)
Genre: Suspense Romance
A lifetime of regret…
Legendary CIA contractor Luke Hutchinson unknowingly trained the man who would become the world’s most dangerous terrorist, and now must hunt him across the globe. But his enemy has targeted the only woman Luke has ever loved—his ex-wife, and she’s already facing another deadly threat he can’t protect her from.
A lifetime of pain…
Emily always hoped Luke would find his way back to her one day, but she’s finally given up on that impossible dream. Now that she’s fighting her own life and death battle, the last thing she wants is to get entangled with the man who ripped out her heart and left her to raise their son alone so many years ago.
One final chance at absolution…
Undeniable sparks fly when they’re forced to share a roof, but unless Luke can get Emily to trust him, they won’t get the second chance they’ve waited over two decades for. And time is running out. The monster Luke created is on the move again, bent on destroying him and anyone who gets in the way.
I knew going in, that Absolution was going to be really emotional; there’s so much history between Luke and Emily and we’ve seen hints of it throughout the series. Kaylea Cross is a fantastic writer and her stories always suck me in from the start. Absolution had a slower pace with less action but that was fine because it was really more about rebuilding the relationship between Luke and Emily. These two have really lived hard lives and I was so happy to see them finally get their happily ever after.
From the beginning we’ve seen how dedicated Luke is to stopping Tehrazzi and how conflicted he was over his hand in turning a young boy into a terrorist. Cross does an amazing job creating a truly complex villain and exploring the grey areas around his motivations. Luke is sure that Tehrazzi will target Emily so he insists on protecting her, but when he finds out she’s sick he realizes that he might lose his chance for reconciliation. Luke is very much the strong, silent type who’s used to taking charge and solving problems but he can’t solve Emily’s cancer. On top of that, Luke has to learn to forgive himself for his past mistakes and I really loved watching him deal with these more vulnerable moments. I do wish we could have seen more of Luke rebuilding his relationship with his son, Rayne, but since they weren’t in the same country it’s understandable.
Emily has tried to move on from Luke but he’s the love of her life and he’ll always have her heart. I felt so much for Emily who’s been dealt a lot of hard hands in life and isn’t sure if she can keep fighting. Emily was so sweet and compassionate and a natural caretaker but she doesn’t exactly know how to lean on others. She always wanted things to be perfect for Luke when they were still together, but it also meant keeping her worries and concerns to herself. Having Luke back in her life is hard for Emily but she’s so willing to forgive and enjoy the time they have together.
Luke and Emily were truly perfect together and my heart hurts for the time they had to spend apart. It was obvious from the beginning how much they still cared for each other and how strong their attraction still was. Luke and Emily had a lot to work through I loved going on this journey with them.
**Reader Safety: Heroine with cancer and undergoing treatment (on page); Hero with PTSD (referenced, mostly off page)
4 stars – it was enjoyable
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