Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick

After eight years in prison, twenty-four year old Jordan Kane is the man everyone loves to hate.

Forced to return to his hometown while on parole, Jordan soon learns that this small town hasn't changed since he was carted off to juvie all those years ago. He is the local pariah, shunned by everyone, including his own parents. But their hatred of him doesn't even come close to the loathing he feels every time he looks in the mirror.

Working odd jobs for the preacher lady, Jordan bides his time before he can leave this backwards town. But can distance erase the memories that haunt him? Trapped in the prison of his own mind Jordan wonders if the pain of living will ever subside?

Torrey Delaney is new in town and certainly doesn't behave in a way the locals believe a preacher’s daughter should. Her reputation for casual hook-ups and meaningless sex is the talk of the town. Add that to her budding friendship with the hardened ex-con handyman, and the good Reverend is less than thrilled with her estranged daughter’s path.

As friendship forms, is it possible for two damaged people who are afraid to love take their relationship to the next level? Can Torrey live with Jordan’s demons, and can Jordan break through Torrey's walls? With the disapproval of a small town weighing heavily on them, will they find their place in the world? Can they struggle against the odds, or will their world be viciously shattered?

Is love a life sentence?

Due to scenes of a sexual nature, not recommended for under 18.

4 Prisoned Stars
Review by Faith Dotson
When you live the life of solitude for almost 8 years, can you really fall in love with the first person that pays attention to you? Can you really look past someone's past when the whole town is against them? Sure you can!!!

When Torrey took off from her home town after hooking and unhooking up with her boss, she wasn't looking for love. She thought never again would she let her get herself that emotional involved. Quick hook-ups were more her thing. Moving in with her mother, the Reverend of a town in Texas, she figured she would stay for a little while then take off. Torrey is a woman who most of the town thinks of as "trashy" Really,  she isn't trashy. She knows what she likes, and nobody can make decisions in her life. She will talk to and do what she wants. Her sass and out-spoken ways have the town against her. She does come off a little strong in the first couple of chapters, but she soon wins your heart over when her "actions speak louder than words" outlook in life.

Jordan arrives in the same small town, but for him it's more like a return to the town that shunned him. He has no choice. With his parole, he can either move back home to the parents that feel he is dead to them, just like their other son, or live in a half-way house for prisoners returning back to society. Jordan thinks this is the way his life should be; to keep paying the price for one, huge mistake. He takes everything the town people throw at him and never fights back. Itâ's his punishment for living, he thinks. And the only person that tries to help Jordan is the Reverend and she can't do much because of the way the town has turned against him. Or so he thinks, till Torrey enters with a cup of coffee in hand. 
"I just don't want you thinking about any other guy when you're with me. I want you with me-all of you. It's not just fuckin'. Not for me, not with you. I know you think it's because I haven't slept with a woman in a long time, but it's not. It's because it's you, and I meant it when I said I wanted to make love to you.
Being isolated and lonely is pretty much what most of Jordan's life has been like. He is accustomed to doing what he is told and being a neat freak. Thank the heavens that he meets Torrey and she helps him take back his life. He may never feel that it was just an accident, but he learns to live for his brother and himself. 

“Jordan,” I said, kissing his shoulder gently, “you can be whoever you want to be. You’ve got to take a chance on life. You, you’ll get shit thrown at you, but there’s more to you than the sum of your history, more waiting for you than this small town. You have a good heart, and if you let people get to know you, they’ll see that for themselves.”

My heart ached when I first met Jordan. The author does a wonderful job portraying the way Jordan was feeling and how the town treated him like an outcast. The every day battle that he and Torrey went through keeps you fighting for them all the way through their story. Don't think this is all torment. There is loads of hilarity, anticipation, fury and hot, sweltering passion. Torrey keeps many parts light.
"Um, thanks. I was joking actually. I'm a complete bitch most of the time and have gazillions of annoying habits."
I coaxed his lips to open and licked his bottom lip, then tugged it gently with my teeth. A sound like a whimper slipped from him, and I could tell it was taking all his strength to hold back from attacking my mouth with his.
Their relationship is mostly misjudged, but through all the grieving and forgiveness they must seek from themselves, they are able to find out how to move forward. Torrey is the light to Jordan's dark days. He couldn't have found anyone better than her to help heal him.
Being let down by the people they needed the most, they both crave and need love that they thought they could live without. When you find the other half of your soul that helps you believe, you also find the happiness and future that you deserve.
"Torrey Delaney, you give me hope. From the first time I saw your beautiful face, you showed me your beautiful heart, too. I didn't expect to find happiness in this world, but it's a gift you give me every single day. I love you."
The secondary characters are a variety of personalities. Most of them I wanted to throat punch; especially Jordan's mother and his and his brother's childhood friend. They do have the friends that are accepting to what happened with Jordan and help Jordan stick to the rules of his probation.
The thing with forgiveness is that it isn't always in other people's hands; it's also in the person's hands in search of it.
So, if you are looking for an original story filled with all the goodies, grab this one and run with it!!!




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