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 excon 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?
Source: Review copy
LIFERS is a different kind of love story told from the alternating points-of-view of the two main characters, Torrey and Jordan. It's different for me in that both characters are considered to have a "bad" reputation rather than just one, and I enjoyed that about this book.
Torrey is confident and witty - two qualities that had me liking her right away. She lives the way she wants to and not the way everyone else thinks she should, and I admire that about her. It's that confidence she has to live her own way that allows her to fall in love with Jordan and find something better in life to live for.
I would like to think I wouldn't be one of the people who judge Jordan after he comes home on parole. After hearing his story, I can see both sides simultaneously - Jordan's parents have to deal with a tremendous amount of loss and grief, and Jordan has guilt on top of his grief. He's decided to punish himself for the rest of his life and hasn't given himself time to grieve, which broke my heart.
One of my favorite parts of LIFERS is when Torrey tells her mom she's chosen love over hate - a powerful statement to make since her mom as a woman of God is supposed to do the same but hasn't because of her fears her reputation will be damaged. And Jordan's parents have chosen hate - they hate their own son more than they grieve their lost son. By giving in to hatred, they've lost both of their sons, blaming Jordan though he wasn't the only one to have made a bad decision that one fateful night.
LIFERS is a powerful story of grief and love, hypocrisy and redemption, and I was absorbed from the beginning. Torrey and Jordan have an unshakable love that, while not always beautiful, is real and true.
My Rating: 4 / 5
About the author:
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 www.janeharveyberrick.com.