by Cara McKenna
April 15, 2014 Penguin / InterMix, ISBN: 9781101622018
ebook formats only est. 310 pages
Galley provided by publisher via Net Galley. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.
Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.
When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.
Penguin Book Page
I loved this incredibly romantic story about love, loyalty and finely drawn lines. The paradox of a state trooper’s daughter falling for a guy who is in prison for protecting his sister; meting out “red-neck” justice when justice would not be coming from any other quarter is stunning. You can feel how this well educated, middle class woman is being pulled out of the comfortable life she has built around herself, and the ideas with which we, the middle class, surround ourselves: that everyone is nice, and normal, doesn’t resort to violence outside the law, doesn’t go to prison, finishes school, will have any learning disabilities diagnosed and addressed in our egalitarian school system; the ideas that everyone will have a chance, no child will be left behind, justice will be right, fair, blind.
How far out of your comfort zone would you go for someone you loved?
I loved the relationship; how he even approaches her is romantic, and sneaky. His character is that noble, uneducated man. You could find him in a romance novel set in any time.
I loved the dichotomy presented of the good, middle class boy with a drinking problem who was bad and violent against the self-proclaimed “white trash,” uneducated, non-abusive guy. The socially-acceptable, supposedly safe guy is anything but. Where the guy who is going to give her grandmother a heart attack is the perfect guy for her.
The sex is hot, dirty, and much nastier than we like to think of southern girl librarians as wanting. But even without the sex I would not have been able to put this down. And, I did not put it down until I hit the last page with a sigh and wished for more.