Hard Time, Cara McKenna.
Hard Time, Cara McKenna.
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
So, what to expect from this book? Well, I had no idea. How could someone write a romance when one party is in prison? How could/would that work? Would it just be conducted by letters? All questions I had, but didn’t know the answer to – so I was intrigued to see what Cara would do, and if I would like it.
Well, a great surprise, I didn’t really feel convinced this would work and yet – I Loved it – a beautiful and inspiring read. From the moment Annie and Eric set eyes on each other there’s a searing, visceral attraction that bounces out from the story. Tension the reader can feel. Cara sets that up so well, they felt real and I was excited and nervous along with them. Annie – she’s lovely, been hurt terribly by her ex, and he was her only experience of boyfriends, but she’d managed to leave him and his mental and emotional abuse, however it left her scarred and scared, and unwilling to even contemplate another relationship. Now several years on she starts her new role as the prison outreach librarian, and seeing Eric has made her feel something she thought was dead, an attraction to another person. She feels safe imagining a time when its her and Eric together, after all she knows he’s in prison for years so it can’t really happen. That’s further than she’s done for a long while, so a huge step for her, and then Eric takes a chance and writes to her. Something neither are supposed to do. His letter touches her and stirs her emotions, and they embark on a surreptitious correspondence, that quickly devolves into erotic, sexual writings. Annie is both scared and excited. How can this man, this prisoner, who must have done something bad, make her feel this way just with looks and words on paper? Eric wasn’t expecting to meet someone this way either, but Annie has him hooked, he’ll take any risk just to feel close to her.
Then….parole. Something he wasn’t expecting and hadn’t told Annie might happen. Can they work in real life. Will she want to? Will they be the same or was the prison experience all they can have? Lots of questions to answer, and all I can say without spoiling it is this was beautiful. I felt so cross with Annie sometimes for not taking an risk, but also understood her fears, and why she held back. Eric, what a man, and eventually we find out why he was in prison, well part of it. Can Annie let that go or not, he’s scared she won’t and yet desperately hoping she will. There’s a lot for them to work at, and though the sex between them is sensational, hot, erotic and well written, that didn’t make up for the problems facing them. Eric said he’d do the same again in the same circumstances, and that’s what Annie is afraid might happen – and that she’d lose him for good. They need to work hard to make a go of their relationship, and the problems and possible consequences made me thing “what would I do? /How would I react?” and I love that sort of read, where I can put myself in the other persons place and feel its all real.
So, a fabulous read, one to mull over and think about how and why people act as they do, that life isn’t good/bad, black/white but a myriad of incidences in between. Its priced at £2.42 for 310 pages.
Stars: Four and a half, unusual and surprising read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley