Spike

The Search for Redemption

Romance - Suspense
254 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2018
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Spike: The Search for Redemption by A.A. Freda is the sequel to the author's well received first novel, Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody. The story follows Anthony, a Vietnam vet and NYU law student, and Angel, a musical student at Julliard. They meet when Anthony saves Angel from being arrested – or worse – at a war demonstration and the relationship almost immediately takes off. Anthony is accustomed to being the center of attention but finds he only has eyes for Angel, whom he finds intelligent and intriguing. As the relationship progresses, Anthony finds demons from the past and the ties that bind him to his family and country of birth becoming tighter. When he's accused of murder himself, Anthony must do everything he can to salvage his own life so that he can share it with Angel...if only she'll just hang on.

Spike: The Search for Redemption is a witty and fun story that was easy to dive into, even without having read its predecessor, Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody. A.A. Freda writes with a strong, dialogue driven narrative that helps to genuinely flesh out the characters and breathe life into their stories. Honestly, every time I read a line spoken by Anthony, there was a solid New York accent ringing in my head. That's how good Freda is with dialogue. It just jumps off the page. This is a really well written book with enough twists, turns, and suspense to make it worth the loss of a weekend. I'd recommend this book to all those who enjoy a unique and authentic story line with a side of love and a generous helping of surprises.

Rabia Tanveer

Spike: The Search for Redemption by A.A. Freda is the second novel I have read by this amazing author and I’m blown away by the way the author has kept the credibility of the narrative and his own writing style. While A Police Action was a coming of age romance novel, Spike is a suspense story that kept me on the edge of the seat. The first novel was soothing while this one had my heart beating fast and waiting with bated breath because I was just too invested in the story to stop reading the novel for anything.

This is the story of Anthony, a handsome man who has no trouble finding attention from the opposite sex or the trouble that always seems to follow him wherever he goes. A law student at New York University, he is ready to take whatever life gives him and he plans to come out on top of it, regardless of what he has to do. However, his resolve is tested when he faces murder charges that have the potential to ruin his life and his career completely. On top of it all, he finally meets the woman who captures his heart and his soul, but is he worthy of her? Can he clear his name before it is too late for him?

What can I say about this novel? To begin with, the characters were compelling and almost too real at times. I could see myself reflected in quite a few of them and I could imagine how I would react in situations like that. The dialogues were crisp, the plot was smooth and the pace of the story was fast, which made the novel even more interesting. And of course, the narrative was brilliant and made me enjoy the story even more. A.A. Freda has a way with words and simply knows how to make sure the words have the impact that they deserve.

Christian Sia

Spike: The Search for Redemption by AA Freda is a fascinating and suspenseful romance that starts with an unusual and interesting encounter between the ex-military law student who’s seen the horrors of Vietnam, the very handsome Anthony, and Angel, the headstrong, insanely beautiful music student. Things aren’t going to be the same for each of them after what started as a “How about that cup of coffee?” sets the two on a journey that will test their personal beliefs, set their hearts on fire, and take them on paths they never considered before. Just when things seem perfect, Anthony is involved in a murder and being charged becomes a huge possibility. Can he redeem himself and still keep the woman of his dreams?

Spike, “aka” Anthony, is a sophisticated character that readers will feel drawn to like the women who buzz around him like flies. He has a dark past and inner demons to battle, but he is strong. I enjoyed the cast of characters, from the ordinary, flirty waitress at Anthony’s favorite coffee shop to the big guns in Washington. The protagonist is imagined with many emotional and psychological layers and written with a backstory that allows readers to navigate his complex life. The narrative is done in beautiful prose, enriched by the author’s unique sense of humor and suspense, and the impeccable dialogue which adds to the endearing drama. Spike: The Search for Redemption is both entertaining and inspirational, a story of a man’s transformation. AA Freda got my attention from the first page and didn’t slacken the hold on it until the exhilarating and delightful finish. It is deft and balance, a gorgeous read, indeed.

Romuald Dzemo

Spike: The Search for Redemption by AA Freda tells a beautiful story of romance and features very interesting characters. NYU law student Anthony, also known as Spike, has been shaped by a rocky road, including a tumultuous childhood, the experience of loss, and the Vietnam War —an anti-war veteran. He is a heartbreaker with great charisma, charm, and intelligence. He first sees Angel, a music student, during an anti-war demonstration and, drawn by her beauty that he believes can’t save her from the violence of the cops, he runs to her rescue. It starts with coffee and morphs into an attraction that forces Anthony to reconsider his position about commitment in relationships. While he still has many internal battles to fight, tragedy comes along and sets him on a path of redemption. But can he escape being charged for murder and still have the woman he desires?

For romance buffs, this novel is a great treat. While the prose is crisp and enjoyable, with great economy when it comes to word choice, what fascinated me most about the narrative is the depth with which the protagonist is developed. We meet him at the beginning of the story, his mind flooded with a stream of consciousness as he observes demonstrations, reminiscing on his anti-war sentiments and portraying the general feelings of the soldiers who fight to defend their country. The backstory, which brings up the protagonist’s past, his entanglements, and his involvement with political life, is deftly handled in a way that doesn’t come across as a distraction to readers, and it takes a skilled storyteller to achieve that. AA Freda uses a narrative voice that is strong and confident, allowing humor to add flavor to the story. Spike: The Search for Redemption has characters that readers quickly learn to care about and a plot that makes the book hard to put down.

Lesley Jones

In Spike: The Search for Redemption by AA Freda, when charming, handsome law student Anthony/Spike rescues Angel from a demonstration, little does he know how she will transform his life forever. Growing up in the Bronx with family ties to the underworld and a formidable reputation in the ring, Anthony now has his sights on a political career in the Senate. He must decide whether he is ready to give up his old lifestyle for Angel, a woman he loves but believes is hiding a dark secret of her own. When Anthony’s strong morals of family and loyalty threaten not only his political career but also his freedom, he escapes to his roots in Italy until his name can be cleared. Discover if two damaged souls can finally come to terms with their traumatic past lives and face the future together.

This superb novel will draw you into the world of its complex and multilayered characters from the outset. The plot moves continually forward exposing the dark secrets of the characters little by little, and entwined into this were strong and engaging subplots. I loved the character of Uncle Augie, the underworld criminal with a good heart when it came to his family. Anthony’s values and view of the world were commendable and he made a fantastic protagonist. The conflict for me was perfectly placed in the story line and kept me completely hooked.

The section of the story in Vietnam was excellently written and gave a great insight into why Anthony acted the way he did. The relationship between each character, especially Angel and Anthony, was so believable and heartwarming because it cleverly showed how two tortured souls break down their barriers and learn to trust again. The dialogue suited the personality of each character perfectly. This is much more than a romance novel; it is a story about real people and how their past experiences mould their view of the world. It will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page. Highly recommended.