Welcome to Wednesday! I have a great tour post for you all today! Long time followers, know I have significantly cut back on my tours, but when Candace@Candace's Book Blog and Promotions asked me if I would help her out with this tour, I couldn't refuse. Today, I am pleased to present you my review of Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick. As part of the tour, I have my review for you as well as a tour wide giveaway!
Welcome to my tour stop for Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick. This is an Adult Contemporary for ages 18+. The tour runs Feb. 24th - March 5th. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Released Feb. 7th, 2014
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 sent away. 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 time or distance erase the pain of living?
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 quickly spreads. And that’s on top of her budding friendship with the hardened ex-con handyman—the good Reverend is less than thrilled with her estranged daughter’s path.
As friendship forms, can 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, they struggle to find their place in the world. Can they battle the odds, or will their world be viciously shattered?
Is love a life sentence?
Three stars: A dramatic read with plenty of emotion.
Torrey has only been in the middle of nowhere or small town Texas for a few days, but she is already hating life. After a disastrous mistake, she slept with her boss, Torrey quit her paralegal job, left Boston and headed south to stay with her estranged mother. Torrey was able to find work waitressing at the local diner, but she quickly loses her job when she shows kindness to a handsome stranger. Why are the locals so rude to him? Torrey finds out that Jordan Kane spent the last eight years in prison, and the town folk haven't forgiven him for his crime, nor has he forgiven himself. Can Torrey help this damaged young man live again?
What I Liked:
- I don't delve too often into the realistic contemporary genre as I am not the biggest fan of books that are heavy on drama. Thankfully, Lifers was a book that had some drama and angst but nothing that was over the top. The drama was enough to suck me into the story, as I so desperately wanted to know why Jordan went to jail, and then after I was eager to see if he could earn forgiveness not only from himself but from his family. So while this book takes on some tough issues, it wasn't anything that dragged me down or tore my heart out. For those of you who like dramatic contemporary a bit on the lighter side, this will be a good read for you.
- Jordan Kane was a character who quickly stole my heart. It isn't apparent at first why he went to jail, and I was itching to know. When the answer is finally revealed, it wasn't anything that was so horrific that he deserved such cruel treatment not only from the town folk but from his parents. His own parents wrote him off and considered him dead for his one mistake, and let's face it, he made a terrible mistake at sixteen that cost him everything. Life can change in an instant, and he has spent eight long years paying over and over for his stupid decision, how many teens are in his shoes, where one reckless act of stupidity wrecks their whole life? It was hard to see him struggle with his self worth, he truly didn't believe he deserved to live. Thankfully, the kindness from a stranger turns into something beautiful and he once again finds a way to live. I liked seeing Jordan change as he learned to forgive not only those who treated him badly, but most importantly himself. He travels a long way down that road to redemption, and he comes out a better person.
- It was extremely difficult to see the way the people in the town treated Jordan. You would think he was an ax murder, a child molester or a something worse, but in reality he was just a teenager who made a bad decision. Eight years later, small minded people in the town are still unwilling to forgive him, and that includes his own parents. It was especially hard to see the way his own mother treated him. I liked seeing how over time, people began to slowly change and accept him again. This is a beautiful story about healing and forgiveness.
- I appreciated that everything resolves nicely, and the book ends on a positive note. It was nice to get a firm resolution.
And The Not So Much:
- For me the biggest struggle was with Torrey. She is a fiery, straight shooting girl who speaks her mind and likes sex. Torrey has issues but she isn't broken and damaged. She ends up befriending Jordan and they fall in love. I didn't mind her at first, and in fact I enjoyed her habit of speaking her mind, but the further the book went, the less I liked her. She is supposed to be twenty four, but she comes across as a late teenager. After college, she lands a job as a paralegal, but then she sleeps with her boss who is engaged. Of course, things end badly so she runs to her mother, and begs her daddy for money. She basically mooches off people, first she moves in with her mother and then later with Jordan. That is the final straw that put me off with her was when she moved into Jordan's parents house, knowing the difficulty that Jordan was having with his parents. Who just moves in like that? At no time did she offer to help pay expenses. I lost respect for her after that. Yes, she was a good influence on Jordan, but I found her to be a bit obnoxious.
- The romance starts out slow and steady and nice. Torrey and Jordan struck up a shaky friendship. Jordan is hesitant because he fears once Torrey knows the truth she will run, and Torrey is holding back because her mother warns her to stay away. However, there is an undeniable attraction and the pair enter into a friendship. In the beginning, Torrey's kindness is like a light in the darkness to the suffering Jordan. I was fully behind the relationship until it hit the other level. Then it became all about the sex. There are numerous explicit sex scenes that go on and on, and I felt they overpowered the romance. It went from being something healing and beautiful to something that felt a bit trashy. I could have done with less sex and more healing, but for those of you who love the steamy, I am sure this will be a good read for you.
- The other let down for me was that I think this book brushed over the recovery of important relationships. For instance, when Jordan returns home to his parents after eight years of incarceration, they will hardly look at him, let alone speak to him. I was so eager to see his parent's change their hearts, and when the moment finally comes, it isn't detailed. I wanted so much more with this relationship. While it did move into something better, I wanted know more about the feelings, especially when it came to Jordan's mother. Torrey also has a difficult relationship with her mother, and I was hoping for a better resolution with that relationship, while I thought the author did a much better job conveying the feelings with Torrey and her mother, I still felt it was lacking. For me, the book in the final third lacked the emotion that was prevalent in the earlier portion.
Lifers is a book that explores the pain of a young man who made a horrible mistake at sixteen that cost him everything, even his will to live. A headstrong, beautiful, rebellious young lady shows him that life can and should go on, but will he forgive himself? This is a book packed with emotion, and I liked seeing everyone come to terms and learn to forgive. If you are a fan of realistic contemporary books, and want a read that is a bit lighter on the drama, this would be a good pick for you.
"And it didn't matter to me where I went---I still had to live inside my skin."
I received a copy of this book as part of a tour. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.
I started writing contemporary romance two years ago. Before that, I didn’t think I could write a sex scene.
Turns out I can!
My lucky number is 13 because I was born on the 13th and live near a haunted castle by the ocean. My number one past-time is watching hot surfers get changed into (and out of) their wetsuits.
My husband doesn’t read my books. My mother does.
Writing is my love, my hobby, my total addiction. All my characters are important to me and whisper their stories, even when I’ve finished writing their books. That’s why you’ll often find bonus chapters/out-takes from various books, because those voices just won’t be quiet.
Readers can find bonus chapters for several of my books on my website.
Finally, I am able to offer you a chance to win because the author is generously giving away one copy of the book on every tour stop on the tour. You can win a paperback or an ebook, open Internationally. She'll even send a signed bookplate if you choose the paperback!
Fill out the rafflecopter to enter. Please note: This contest is not hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings. I will not be responsible for distributing the prize. For any further questions or details visit the tour page.a Rafflecopter giveaway
For all of you looking for a great tour promoter, please be sure to visit Candace's Book Blog and Promotions. Candace works her tail off on her tours and she personally screens all of the books she puts on tour, so you can feel confident in being part of her tours. I highly recommend working with Candace!
Here is the complete tour schedule:
- Book-Marks the Spot - Q&A
- Candace's Book Blog - Review
- 3 Partner's in Shopping; Nana, Sissy and Mommy Too!- Promo
- Book Labyrinth - Q&A
- Biblio Belles Book Blog- Review & Excerpt
- Book Sniffers Anonymous - Q&A
- Tabby's Tantalizing Reviews - Review
- Ladybug Literature - Excerpt
- Supernatural Snark - Q&A
- Between the Pages - Review
- Inkberry Books - Review & Excerpt