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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hard Time by Cara McKenna

This one was quite a surprise! I mean, I"m not surprised that a book by Cara was beautifully written and brought unique characters and a different kind of story wrapped around steamy sex, no, this was NOT what I was surprised about. It was just that the MC were so great together yet you wouldn't think they would "match"? Also I wouldn't have thought the Eric would interest Annie, or that I would be interested in reading about someone who I personally don't find appealing. I mean, when we read we naturally want to somehow feel drawn to the hero, that's why they are called "book boyfriends", right? yet here, it was one of the few times I enjoyed a book without it having to do with me AT ALL. I didn't mind that there is no way I would have found myself with someone like Eric. Not in real life and not in fantasy yet I could totally see what Annie found in him and it was enough for me. When usually it's a turn off and I can't get what the heroine sees in "that guy".. Do I make any sense there? I really hope I do! :) 

Annie "ran away from home" after her abusive boyfriend did his last violent act. She decided to put men aside and focus on other things. Now, with her MA degree in hand living far away from where she grew up, she is starting a new job at Cousins - a Correctional Facility. You wouldn't think someone with her past would like to be near cons yet though she is a bit scared she is determined to give it a go. 

That's where she meets inmate number 802267. There is something about him she can't really let go of. He isn't just handsome, there is something ABOUT him that draws her in and when he asks for her help with his writing she accepts and adds another few pieces to the puzzle. His name is Collier and he is probably suffering from Dysgraphia. Another meeting adds another piece - his first name is Eric and he has a way with words. Even if he isn't educated he expresses himself sweetly when he puts his mind to it, specifically when he is writing to HER. 

About half of the book the two of them exchange heated letters. Yeah most of it is sex talk, yet there is some sort of tenderness to the whole thing. Eric is truly a sweet guy, a romantic one even if he is quite simple. Not only that, he is HONEST. He says what he means, what he feels. Though one thing he omitted from their letters - he will be releasing soon. 

Annie is shocked to realize that the sort of "safe relationship" she was having with Eric is coming to an end. Now that he will be a free man she has a decision to make. Exchanging letters with a man who can't really touch her or more exactly HURT her was convinient, but what happens when the bubble bursts and that man is in front of her wearing civilian cloths? An ex-con who hasn't shown remorse for the crime he did 5 years ago. 

I've read a few reviews saying the first half of the book was better than the second and I DON'T agree. I actually enjoyed the second part MORE because it was so realistic even if frustrating! It was so difficult for Annie to TRUST Eric. Not only because of her past experience but because of who he is, and how much being protective means to him. More than being free, it feels like it to her. I really liked how the whole thing got resolved even though I"m a bit annoyed that we NEVER get to learn what set the whole thing in motion, meaning WHY exactly Eric did what he did to be sent to jail. 

I'll try to explain my point from the first paragraph. Though Annie seems like a "simple girl" she is educated, she have a 2nd degree. She might not me rich, but she already started to build her life and future. Eric on the other hand was always dirt poor. He didn't finish school, he was raised in a small caravan with his mother and bigger sister (his father mostly absent) and he never actually HAD a future to think of or plan. After the violent act that put him in Cousins he still doesn't have anything to really look forward to. Yeah he realizes he loves plants and wants to work in landscaping but generally speaking - they don't share the same social status. It's harsh saying that, but truly in books were we are used to (near) "perfect" heroes, what does Eric has to offer? I wouldn't have thought someone like him would catch my interest even as just a MC in a book yet he does, with how honest and romantic he is. Which aren't the usual qualities that impress me i should add... He shouldn't have had a real appeal yet he DOES when it comes to Annie. From the first time they cross paths there is this "spark" that puts aside the "situation" (prison, different backgrounds) and brings forward their basic needs which are absolutely fulfilled by one another even when they are only served on paper. 

A wonderful Erotica novel. Really enjoyed it.

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 310 pages, 26-29 July 2015 / On GoodReads

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