Review: Redemption (Darkest Skies #1) by Garrett Leigh

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.

Gritty, complex, and ultimately so hopeful - ‘Redemption’ will break your heart and stitch it back together in the best way.

After serving six years in prison, Luis returns back to his old neighbourhood determined to stay out of trouble, and away from his toxic brother.

Despite his misgivings, Paolo decides to take a chance on Luis and hire him for his cafe (a diner, for us Canadians and Americans).

There’s an immediate connection between the two men, but it develops and builds in layers. Both MCs have their demons, and they don’t let others in easily.

Despite that, they just clicked on such a deep level. And the passion between them, once they give in to it, was incredibly intense.

I absolutely loved seeing how Paolo and Luis chipped away at each other’s walls bit by bit.


Luis, in particular, carried so much weight on his shoulders. My heart hurt for him. If only he’d let Paolo love him the way other man so clearly wanted to!

The relationship is a challenge. They may spend their days working together, and then eventually spend their nights wrapped around each other - but there’s no promise of forever about it.


There’s a sense of foreboding through the book, and Luis’ past does inevitably catch up.

While things were very uncertain for a while, the fragile love carries the two men to the other side and they end up all the stronger for it.

The ending was the perfect happy ever after for Luis and Paolo!

I’d highly recommend ‘Redemption’ to anyone looking for an angsty yet heartwarming MM read.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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