Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick
NA Contemporary Romance
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.
Wow, did this story rip my heart out and stomp all over it, I wish I hadn’t waited so long to grab it up! Jane Harvey-Berrick has a gift for writing that takes your mind and your heart to places you never expected to go, and with Lifers she once again grips her readers with a story that has no comparison. I have had many favorite book boyfriends for many reasons, but Jordan Kane is definitely the front-runner for the one I felt most deserved to walk off happily into the sunset, and it was a painful and heart-wrenching journey to get there.
There are moments in life where you realize that a small twist of fate could have led to terrifying consequences. A car narrowly misses hitting a child that runs out into the road, and for that second you think “god, what if he hadn’t been able to stop?” For Jordan, he never had the blessing of being able to thank his guardian angel for stopping a great tragedy, because his life was left in those moments after the worst was allowed to happen. He made one wrong decision, and his life and those of everyone he loved was shattered irrevocably. But after all was said and done and Jordan had paid for his choice that night, the world decided he wasn’t done paying. And this is where Torrey Delaney and her messed up family come into play.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Torrey when we first meet her; she’s crass, abrasive, and comes across as a bit of a tramp. But I liked her, with her brutal honesty and ‘who cares’ attitude when it came to everyone’s opinion of her. She was exactly the kind of woman a guy like Jordan needed to snap him out of the guilt and self-hatred that plagued him, even though she never set out to be that. Jordan was just a question mark she needed an answer to at first; the smoking hot bad boy who was alarmingly timid and bafflingly withdrawn. She was his polar opposite in many ways, outspoken and willing to break down his protective barriers and take the time to see what was underneath all of that pain. I loved her for that, loved that she didn’t back down, because Jordan absolutely broke my heart and I NEEDED her to be that one person who didn’t turn their back on him. He suffered so much for so long, only to return to his life and be hated and ridiculed by literally every person in his hometown, and it was painful to read everything he put up with. But Torrey was there through it all, and though she wasn’t always as vocal about standing up for him as I would have liked, she definitely had her moments where I wanted to give her a “Yeah, girl!”
The progression of Torrey and Jordan’s relationship was this crazy combination of sweet, funny, awkward, and sexy as hell. I couldn’t pull myself away from these two, you never knew what was going to happen next or what crazy shit Torrey was going to do or say, and it was maddening in a good way! They had crazy sparks between them, but Jordan starts out so completely unprepared for someone actually wanting HIM, despite his past as quite the ladies man. It was truly entertaining the way they got to know each other and fumbled their way through whatever was happening between them, and I couldn’t tear myself away.
Through all of the abuse Jordan suffers at the hands of those around him, the greatest was from the people who should have been there for him regardless of his actions in life. All of the hatred was gut-wrenching, but his parents absolutely infuriated me to the point I just wanted to strangle them, and it made some parts of this story hard to read for me. But between the record-setting emotional highs and lows, the hatred that makes your blood boil, and the steamy scenes that definitely leave you thirsty for more by the time things are wrapping up, this is one story that is 100% unforgettable.
I laughed, cried, got so angry I wanted to punch my kindle, and my heart raced as a man who truly deserved one hell of a second chance in life finally got what he needed…love.
“Holy fuck!” he said.
“Well, not quite, but maybe next time. Although as I am a preacher’s daughter, I guess it’s close enough.”
“You’re an angel,” he said softly. “My guardian angel.” ~Loc 2520
“No panties!” he hissed. “God, woman! I swear you’re gonna kill me stone dead.”
“Well, if that’s the case, hurry up and fuck me first!” ~Loc 2587
“Sweetheart, I’ve been at your feet since the first day I met you.” ~Loc 3573
I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.
Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.