A MelanieM Review: Wolff (Redemption #1) by J.J. Harper


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Twelve years ago, Wolff Mannheim was afraid. Afraid to admit he was gay but also in love. He broke up with his boyfriend, Gage Norton, in the most heinous of ways. When Wolff accepts his dream job, he finds out his ex not only works there but is also his superior. Memories of the last time he saw him come rushing back and bring a deep level of shame. Now, older, wiser, and definitely out and proud, Wolff reaches out, through social media, to explain to Gage. All he gets is a resounding “no.”

Gage can’t believe his ears. He is filled with happiness as he’s finally made partner. His joy is quashed, though, when he finds out the name of the person to fill his vacated position: Wolff Mannheim

The moment Gage accepts his friend request, he regrets it. He decides the best way to deal with his nemesis is to ignore him, to have nothing to do with him outside of work. So why does he want to seek Wolff out, to hear what he has to say, and to tell him about his own past? When did his hate turn into caring about him? And maybe more.

Wolff recognises he’s still in love with Gage, but how does Gage feel about him? There’s no way Gage could still have feelings for him. Not after what he did.
Wolff is the first book in the Redemption Series and is not a stand-alone novel. The story continues in book 2, Gage. Wolff takes place in England.

Redemption is a two-book series each named for one of the main characters, the first being Wolff, and the second Gage.  It’s a format I’ve seen before and used to wonderful effect.  Normally each book is told from that character’s point of view….which is why you have it titled after them.  So right off the bat I;m puzzled as to why J/J/ Harper has alternating pov from both Gage and Wolff in each story.  Starting in Wolff its as much Gage’s perspective as it’s Wolff’s so I’m totally perplexed as to the title and the format.  You might as well mixed the two together for one novel and have been done with it.

Both characters are appealing and at the center of the story is a traumatic event that occurred when both were young and one was about to leave for college.  One heinous act that left one shattered with devastating effects that would last years.

This is a second chance, lovers reunited trope which normally I love but the launching point for this couple is a hard one to take, even given their age and forgiveness.  I do like Gage and the manner in which he has worked hard through all his pain, the scars of which he carries daily.  The author does a terrific job of making the reader feel the impact of all those years it took to reach the growth he’s now attained.  Too good a job actually because within the story, all it take is one month to erase the hatred he carries for Wolff and the past.  Doesn’t exactly seem realistic actually.

Wolff also has forgotten about Gage and his actions until the job he wants makes it impossible.  Then he has to confront the actions of the past and the person he was and is.  Again, I thought it very believable both his roommate’s reactions to his revelations and wallowing to working through the truth about the damage he caused.  That all rang true.

The immediate rush to sex and “truelove”? That seemed to negate the authentic angst and realistic slow moves that went before.  The story seems to waver between gushing romance and a real relationship between adults that are working hard to overcome a betrayal of incredible magnitude that shattered another person, albeit in the past.  One that tooks years of therapy to work through.  No, don’t see that happening in a month, do you?

Given that the books are named one for each man, you would expect the first to be told entirely from Wolff’s perspective.  Again no. It’s a full mix  for both, as it is for the second which picks up directly after the first ends.  So why the titles?  Not a clue.  Especially since the first story feels much more about Gage than it does about Wolff.  Again odd.

It’s not as though I didn’t enjoy the story.  I did but given the quirks and the manner in which the story was carried out, I feel the story could have been so much better.  But that’s my opinion.

Cover art depicts Wolff during a scene and it works.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 129 pages
Published December 18th 2018
Edition Language English

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