Thursday, 6 November 2014

Blog Tour: Hard Time by Cara McKenna + Review

Hard Time
Author: Cara McKenna
Publisher: Piatkus
Release Date: 6 November 2014

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.

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Anne Goodhouse starts a new job as a librarian and part of that involves working one day a week at Cousins Correctional Facility. Anne has a good reason to be wary of men, especially ones who are locked up for potentially violent crimes. But she puts on a brave face and soon her kindness and compassionate nature shines through as she helps her new 'students'. I really did like Anne, she's brave and has a reserve of strength that surprised even herself. She's also just really likable, she's sensible and wants what is best for the people she loves.

Eric is an inmate at Cousins Correctional Facility when Anne starts working there. Instantly he is attracted to her, and not just because of the limited contact he has with women. What I loved about Eric was his absolute honesty, it didn't matter if it meant revealing facts about his past that made Anne unsure about him. He was also incredibly sweet and considerate, I was actually surprised by how sweet he was. Whilst he's more of a diamond in the rough, he was so gentle and sensitive. Although he was stubbornly blind to his own worth as a person.

Eric and Anne are pretty much perfect together. They have a searing connection and both bring out the best in each other. Eric helps to build Anne's trust for others, and to reconnect with the sexuality that she buried in her past. Anne tries to make Eric see that despite his mistakes he's such a good person and worth so much more than he thinks.

I also really enjoyed how the author built their relationship. It felt realistic, which I thought was an important aspect considering Eric is a prisoner when Anne meets him. Their relationship begins through a series of steamy love letters to each other, but when Eric gets early parole it certainly changes things. They had limited contact in Cousins, so it's time for them to actually get to know each other and explore their connection further,  After his release, it did take rather a slower turn whilst the characters connected properly, but it was a bit of an odd change of pace after the build up of the letters.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story, and I loved the idea of a librarian and prisoner being the romantic hero/heroine. The hero was very sweet and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop. I'll definitely be reading more from Cara McKenna!

*I received a review copy for my honest opinion. Thank you!

Be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour!

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