A MelanieM Review: Gage (Redemption #2) by J.J. Harper

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Gage is happy, happier than he thought possible. He has Wolff Mannheim, the man he has always loved, even when he hated him, back by his side and in his bed. He is confident that their relationship can only grow stronger as they continue to rediscover each other.

When a letter appears after twelve years of silence from the family that disowned him and cast him out, he has Wolff to lean on. The contents of the letter have left Gage reeling but also have him reuniting with his estranged sister. When the shocks keep coming, it forces Gage back to his family home—a place he never thought he would return to. At least, this time, he has Wolff by his side as well as his sister.

As Gage faces the man who threw him carelessly away, he proves himself to be the better man, a stronger man, than the one forced away so many years earlier. With all his demons put to rest, can Gage live his life with his one true love?

This is book two in the Redemption Series and follows on immediately from Wolff, book #1.  While it can be read as a standalone, it’s best enjoyed reading in order. Contains some very steamy man-on-man loving and is advised for 18+ only.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to find in the follow up story after reading Wolff, but I found that I actually connected far better to Gage (Redemption #2) by J.J. Harper than I did the initial novel.  As I stated in my review for Wolff, it felt like that story, told by both main characters in alternating povs, was as much about Gage as it was Wolff, so why the title?

Here is Gage it’s clear that the main subject matter is indeed Gage,his past, and any affect it will have on his future with Wolff.  The story  picks up almost immediately after the envents of Wolff and their new commitment to each other.

While this is no instant love (can’t be with their background), it does read as a zero to sixty sort of  “erasing of years of hatred, emotional turmoil, severe nightmarish memories”.   Gage tried to commit suicide over the event that Wolff caused. Now they are humping like adorable bunnies in love.  Yes, that much sex.  They barely make to the office.  Which is where I have another issue with this being an unrealistic story.  Or at least one with flags.

Gage has been newly promoted to partner.  Wolff is a new hire in Gage’s old position.  Gage is now his boss.  So new positions for both men, unequal power distribution for starters, Gage has a admin who not only knows both men but is privy to knowledge that caused all the hurt and devastation to begin with.  And throughout the story, both men seem incapable of keeping their personal relationship separate from their business one. Gage ignoring work, snapping at his admin, giving work to Wolff that should have gone to someone else.  It’s unprofessionsal and the author doesn’t address any of this, which makes both their jobs seem like they are “tv lawyers” with all the authenticity that carries.

My favorite section of the story deal’s with Gage’s past, which returns in a huge way.  I loved the element with his sister and his mother, thought that was well done.

Also as interesting was the continuing threads with the best friends on both sides, Bannon and Theo.  Theo’s is left hanging with lots of speculation and I expect it will be addressed in the next or future stories to come.  The story with Jasper and Bannon and the abusive ex boyfriend was laid down neatly at the end  and i look forward to that one in the next book to come.

I think my issues with both Wolff and Gage is that I expect a little more authenticity within the worldbuilding, that includes contemporary stories.  Make me believe that they are lawyers, have them act professionally.  Same with emotional issues.  I thought the way Gage’s feelings towards his mother was handled beautifully.  Far more realistically than the manner in which he suddenly overcame his “deep seated hatred” of Wolff in the first story.

Other readers won’t have this problem and will love this continuation of this relationship.  With both books out, it’s easy to read one right after the other as they flow nicely together.  I’m looking forward to the next in the series.  If you enjoy contemporary romance, check these out.

Cover art works for Gage.  I like the tones and composition.  Great job.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6CCJ6R

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N6CCJ6R

Universal link : mybook.to/Gagebk2

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 171 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Self Publisher
ISBN 139781794164840
Edition Language English
Series  Redemption #2

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

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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
ASIN B07L8HL15P
Edition Language English

Release Day Blitz for Gage (Redemption Series #2) by JJ Harper (excerpt)

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Gage (Redemption #2) by J.J. Harper

Release day: February 7, 2019
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6CCJ6R

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N6CCJ6R

Universal link : mybook.to/Gagebk2

Gage (The Redemption series #2)

Gage is happy, happier than he thought possible. He has Wolff Mannheim, the man he has always loved, even when he hated him, back by his side and in his bed. He is confident that their relationship can only grow stronger as they continue to rediscover each other.

When a letter appears after twelve years of silence from the family that disowned him and cast him out, he has Wolff to lean on. The contents of the letter have left Gage reeling but also have him reuniting with his estranged sister. When the shocks keep coming, it forces Gage back to his family home—a place he never thought he would return to. At least, this time, he has Wolff by his side as well as his sister.

As Gage faces the man who threw him carelessly away, he proves himself to be the better man, a stronger man, than the one forced away so many years earlier. With all his demons put to rest, can Gage live his life with his one true love?

This is book two in the Redemption Series and follows on immediately from Wolff, book #1.

While it can be read as a standalone, it’s best enjoyed reading in order. Contains some very steamy man-on-man loving and is advised for 18+ only.

 

Gage Excerpt

Why did I think I’ve just seen my sister? I haven’t heard a thing from her in over twelve years. I would’ve doubted I’d even recognise her. And yet that woman waiting at the crossing looked like my little sister, Claudia. Was it the way she was standing or how she tucked a wayward lock of hair behind her ear? The cruelty of my father stretched to denying me the chance to see or even speak to her again, giving me another reason to hate him. I look away and get back to messing with Wolff.

When we get to the wide glass double doors at the entrance of our offices, I look again, but I can’t see her anymore. There’s no reason why she wouldn’t be working around her. Every building is some sort of commerce building.

“Are you okay?” Wollf looks at me as I turn back to the door.

“Yes, sorry. I thought I saw someone I recognised, but it wasn’t.”

“Who?”

“Huh, no one. It’s not important.”

“Gage don’t do that. Don’t shut me out,” he quietly implores, making me stop and listen.

“I’m sorry, hon. You’re right. I thought I saw Claudia.” I try to keep my voice as matter-of-fact as I can. I don’t want to escalate my anxiety.

Wolff frowns as I see him try to put the name to the face and why it would bother me. Looking around the street again, he remembers. “Your sister Claudia?”

I nod and swallow hard like there’s a huge lump stuck in my throat and it’s about to suffocate me.

“When did you last see her?” The pain in my lover’s voice and eyes is overwhelming me. I think he sees it because he tugs me to the side, away from the flow of bustling people.

“Um, I think it was the day after the party. I know I didn’t see her the day I was kicked out. She was on holiday with a school friend’s family.

“Shit! Fuck, Gage.” He bites on his lip.