Love and Redemption by Kelsey Hodge

Trip and Matteo have totally different beliefs yet there is an attraction that they can't deny. Situations with Matteo's family cause Trip to become faced with what he wants in his future.

From the Love and Redemption blurb:

What I did to my brother a year ago nearly killed me — quite literally — but it’s been the wake up call I need. It’s time to discover who I am away from the shadow of my parents and fight to gain forgiveness from a brother I’m not sure I deserve.

Moving to New York was the best decision, but I’m lonely. I never imagined I’d become friends with Matteo, but I have and I’m now doing everything I can to prove that forgiveness is allowed and hope he lets love in… especially mine.

Please beware of trigger warnings: this book contains suicide attempt, homophobia and religious references.

Reed Kaye's review:

I highly recommend this story. Right from the beginning the personalities and emotion drew me in and held my attention until the very end.

Matteo is a man in crisis. His upbringing and parents beliefs weigh heavy mentally on him. He feels these beliefs have led him to perform actions that he knows are wrong. This then leads him to actions of self destruction. That doesn’t work for him and he is troubled to the point of not knowing what to do. Then he encounters Trip.

Trip is a free spirit. He is a happy, bright personality. He has come from a home of original personality type parents. They have given him the self confidence to be comfortable with almost everyone. When he runs across Matteo there is the need to look out for him. He finds himself attracted to Matteo and tries to help him become comfortable in his own skin. This also involves Matteo trying to get forgiveness from people he has wronged.

Then Matteo’s dad does something that sets off others to take action to resolve problems within Matteo’s family.

This story is intense from the beginning to the end. The author has succeeded in providing me with characters that I loved and situations were so edgy that I had a hard time setting it down.

Miki J's review:

"A person is never going to fully accept being forgiven until they can forgive themselves for whatever actions they did."

Oh boy - strap yourselves in, this will take you on an emotional ride of self discovery, hope and forgiveness !! I'm tend to avoid stories where religion is discussed .... but this story didn't make an over-the-top presentation of it. It's more about a guy who's trying to find balance in his heart for both love and faith. Beautifully done....truly. Plenty of angst in this story, for sure, as Matteo works through everything - please be mindful of the TW's !! But Matteo's angst is perfectly balanced by Trip - he is just a beautiful character and as another character put it "Is he for real?!?!". And how dare he serve instant coffee to an Italian !!! bahahahaha I love it when we (as readers) get totally into and support the characters because they become real for us - that really does show that the author has written a beautiful and engaging story. Excellent book (and yes, can be read as standalone ..... but you can't miss out on how all the characters come to be part of this family !! Get into them all !!).

Love and Redemption is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.