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Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick….ARC Review

Lifers releases February 7

Lifers Print-FOR WEB

Book links:

Amazon  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

 

My review:

Lifers is the newest work from author Jane Harvey-Berrick, an author I always look forward to reading.  As I sit here with my tear-puffed eyes and type this review, I know it’s safe to say that Jane has once again rocked my world.  This book is simply incredible.

Escaping a miserable, failed relationship and unhappy life in Boston, Torrey Delaney winds up in small town Texas and living with her reverend mother who she hasn’t talked to in years.  You could say she went from bad to worse.  That all changes when she meets Jordan.  He walks into the diner she’s been working at and immediately Torrey senses something about him.  She never expected the reaction of every person in the diner that morning.  Reactions of contempt and hate toward him.  Clearly there was s story there but she wouldn’t get the chance to ask him…at least on that day.  To Torrey’s surprise the mystery man shows up at her mom’s house and begins handyman work.  Clearly fate had a plan and Torrey was bound and determined to get to know this beautiful and clearly hurting man.  But like an abused puppy, she had to earn that trust.  Luckily she had all the time in the world…

Jordan Kane has finally ended his 8-year prison term and is now faced with life on the outside.  He’s on parole, which will limit almost anything he could do, but at least he was out of that cinderblock hell.  Unfortunately nothing could ever free him from the prison of his own mind.  A place that was far worse than a jail cell.  He expected the horrible treatment he was receiving from his neighbors, his parents, and the whole damn town.  He was an ex-con with no plans for a future and most likely not deserving of one.  What he wasn’t expecting was the treatment from the reverend’s beautiful and amazing daughter.  She saw him as a person and not a damaged piece of trash.  He knew he didn’t deserve it, but damn, how he longed for it.  Surely she would treat him just like everyone else did when she found out his truth…but maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t.

What starts out as a much-needed friendship for both Jordan and Torrey turns into something much deeper and it’s that relationship that will be tested.  Tested not only by the past, but also tested by the potential of a future together.

Every author has a certain character they write well.  A type of character that remains with a reader long after the book has been read.  For Ms. Harvey-Berrick, that type of character is the broken and damaged hero.  My God, does she write them so well.  I started this book and knew immediately I had to clear my calendar until I finished it.  No way could I put this book down.  And here I am, 24 hours after starting it, writing my review.  This book was amazing.  I don’t know if “amazing” can truly sum it up.  Emotionally gut wrenching, poignant, touching, beautiful, full of hope and promise, yes…all of those things.  Jordan is like a broken and battered puppy.  He’s got a huge heart and has been paying for a horrible accident that happened when he was 16.  Now 24, he may be out of jail, but he will never forgive himself for what happened just as no one else in town or in his family will.  He truly believes he deserves all of the horrible treatment he’s been receiving and he’s stuck in this town until his parole ends.  He broke my heart.  Ripped it out, stomped on it and smooshed it in the dirt.  I wanted nothing more than to heal this amazing boy.  Then, in walks Torrey.  Thank God for that girl!  First off, she is a spitfire with a dirty mouth and full of life.  I adore her.  She had me laughing too many times to count and she was exactly what Jordan needed.  Their relationship started out with Torrey busting through the walls Jordan has built up around himself and before long, the tables turn and it was Jordan’s turn to bust through her emotional walls.  To see the transformation in Jordan as the book went on was a thing of beauty.  All thanks to Torrey. On the flip side, I wanted to kick Jordan’s parents’ asses along with the other townspeople and their hideous treatment of him.  But like yin and yang, there was a balance with a few of the townspeople who believed in Jordan and helped him live again.

I honestly went through a box of tissues reading this book.  My chest physically aching for Jordan and his story while I was reading.  I can’t remember the last time I wanted a happy ever after for a character so badly.  This beautiful broken boy was just so deserving of one!  Of course I can’t tell you if it happens but if you know me, you know I don’t recommend books that end poorly.

I’m certain I will be in a serious book hangover over Jordan and Torrey for a long time.  I will always recommend Jane’s books and this is no exception.  Get it on your list.  Get some tissues and experience Lifers for yourself.  It is so unbelievably worth it.   Thank you, Ms. Harvey-Berrick, for yet another stellar read!

 

5LovesRLBFive Loves

 

About the author:

I love to write.

Out of the crowd of voices in my head, I love to thread together their thoughts and tell the kind of stories that I want to read.

I’ve written my whole life, in one form or other, but it’s only since I started writing adult/new adult books that everything finally made sense.

I’ve lived in the metropolis and now I live in a small village by the sea. Inspiration comes from unexpected places and often when I’m walking my dog.

I hope my stories make you laugh and cry, and feel every emotion in between, because then I guess it’s job done.

Without you, there’s no me.   Thanks for reading.   jhb x

 

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