Saturday, April 26, 2014

[Pat's Review]: "Hard Time"

Hard Time by Cara McKenna

Publisher: InterMix (April 15, 2014) 
Genre: Contemporary Erotica

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.

Where to Buy*:
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Reviews of McKenna's Previous Books:

Her Best Laid Plans -- TBQ

Pat's Review:

This is a dark, sometimes frightening love story, that started in the most unlikeliest of places,  a place most people would consider hell.  Eric Collier, inmate 802267 has been there for five years.  He does not deny his crime, he owns it. He wants to do his time and move on, somehow.

Annie Goodhouse was an undergrad five years ago, when the man she loved terrified and beat her. She is no longer that woman.  Annie is now a librarian working for the county Outreach Program.  One of her duties is staffing the prison library.  There she meets Eric, quiet, unobtrusive but somehow getting under her skin.  He begins giving her letters to read at home. Beautiful, insightful and very sexy letters.  Those letters could be a story all their own. Each letter ends with him assuring her he would never hurt her, and if she wished to continue, wear a certain color of clothing the next Friday they meet. If Annie didn't wear that color, he had his answer, and would never bother her again.  In the letters he talks about the places he would like to take her, be with her and smelling fresh air and feeling the sun. All just beautiful dreams in their hearts, until one Friday he tells her he's been unexpectedly paroled. He's being released, where could they go from here?

I loved this story. Annie trying to understand Eric's crime, his unwavering statement he would do it again if the circumstances were the same, frightens her especially after her own experience with abuse. Eric freely admits he loves her, but gives her time and space to come to her own decision. The relationship that started with beautiful love letters, is now about two people who barely know each other. The characters are wonderful, the dismal descriptions of a cold snowy winter, and a town dying of neglect,  add another depth to the story.

This is the second novel by Ms. McKenna I have read and though completely different stories, strong details and excellent writing kept my attention in both novels.  I would love an epilogue, the novel ends very satisfactorily, but I want to know more!  I will be honest, I went to bed after starting this novel, and I was up at the crack of dawn to finish.  I couldn't get it out of my head.


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Pat received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for her honest opinion.

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Thanks for the review, Pat! :) As you know, I bought this one on release day, but have not yet had a chance to read it. It's high on my list though, and I'm glad to hear you loved it so, so much!

Have you read Cara McKenna before? Do you have a favorite book of hers? 

Have you read anything like Hard Time?


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

1 comment :

Anna@herding cats&burning soup said...

Oh Pat I am so glad you gave her a read! She's one of my favorites. I wish I had time to read this one right this second!