Book Reviews

Redemption by Garrett Leigh at Fox Love Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Barb on 25-June-2020

Book Blurb

Reformed gangster Luis falls hard for his boss. When friendship turns to love, it’s up to Paolo to convince him second chances are worth the pain.

Luis Pope is back on the street after a six year stretch in prison, but life on the outside seems just out of reach, especially when the whole neighbourhood knows his face for all the wrong reasons.

Paolo’s temper makes it hard to keep staff, and he knows Luis’s rep all too well. But his nonno believes in redemption, and Luis isn’t the tough guy Paolo remembers. Prison has left its mark, inside and out, and all the kindness in the world can’t fix the three inch scar on Luis’s skull.

And it can’t keep ghosts locked up. Luis’s the best worker Paolo’s ever had, and Luis’s happier than he’s ever been. But his old life doesn’t want to stay in the past. Trouble comes to call, and when it makes him an offer he can’t refuse, keeping Paolo safe hurts the most.

Redemption is an angsty, standalone MM romance novel, with second chances, found family, friends-to-lovers, and buckets of hurt/comfort themed loveliness.

Book Review

Garrett Leigh is a favorite author of mine for one reason—she delivers gritty, angsty contemporary stories that feature characters who aren’t fluffy, sweet, and collegiate. And this book is no exception.


Paolo is a restaurant owner, but he’s also the cook, waiter, dishwasher, and accountant for the little Italian place started by his nonno years before. And Paolo is far from sweet. He’s hot-tempered and unforgiving, but he’s willing to listen to his nonno’s advice and give a guy, whose only qualification is desperation, a chance to prove he’s looking to work hard and distance himself from his past. 


Luis is that guy—the one who wants to stay far away from his brother, the gang boss who got him sent to prison for six years for carrying drugs, and the one who wants a roof over his head and food in his stomach.  When he’s hired to do dishes at Paolo’s place, his total focus is doing a good job, and he far exceeds Paolo’s expectations.


Along the way, readers learn more about Luis’s past life and his role in his brother’s gang, his time in prison, and most important—readers learn who he really is, what makes him tick.  And we are treated to more of Paolo, the young man who works twelve-hour days and then spends several nights a week visiting his grandmother in one nursing home and his nonno in another.


The past is creeping up on Luis and there’s an undercurrent of angst and fear through much of the story. When his brother ups his threats to include Paolo and his family, Luis breaks, and the author keeps readers’ interest high with suspense, while at the same time driving these men closer. What happens and how it works out is a nail-biting, hair-raising tale that kept me on the edge of my seat while page-turning on the Kindle fast enough to create a blister. No breaks required. This story is riveting, full of angst and anxiety, and brings a wonderful epilogue to those who get involved with Paolo, Luis, and Nonno. 





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via Signal Boost for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 248 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-June-2020
Price $4.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback
Buy Link