Hard Time by Cara McKenna

hard timeTitle: Hard Time

Author: Cara McKenna

Genre: Contemporary

In this all-new novel from the author of Unbound, a woman with a rocky past finds romance in the last place she’d ever expect…

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.

Thoughts: When I received this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. I typically don’t like books where the hero or heroine have been in jail, met in jail, or are criminals (unless its an MC book and then you know what your reading ) because my husband was a cop. It didn’t take me long in this book however to quickly fall in love with Eric.

I have to preface this review with the fact that if it hadn’t been for some people on Twitter who I trust to have my reading back assuring me I would love this book I wouldn’t have made it past chapter one. Why? Because it’s told in first person and I didn’t connect with that voice at all. But trust them I do, so I kept reading, and was so happy I did.

Why?

Because of Eric.

With each letter he write Annie, we got to see this man, who while yes is in jail for a violent crime, is at his core a good man. The reason he was in jail is because he owned his crime, didn’t apologize for it, and told the judge he’d do it again. When you find out why, you see straight to his soul. His very sensitive heart and soul. When Annie breaks his heart, even though it’s through her pov you feel his heartbreak coming off the pages. I wanted to reach into the book, slap her and take him into my arms.

Their journey to HEA isn’t an easy rode. But its one that speaks clearly to who these two people are, where they have come from, how their family’s and backgrounds have shaped them. It makes what they find together that much more powerful.

This is one of those books that changes the way that you look at people, the way you look at yourself, and the way that you look at the world.

This was my first Cara McKenna book but it won’t be my last. With one book she’s hooked me on her heroes that come  from walks of life we don’t normally think about in our romance heroes. I can’t wait to read more from her.

Grade A+

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