Hard Time by Cara McKenna

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Hard Time 

★★★★ 4 Stars!

"The most honest man I've ever known, and I met him in prison." - Annie

"The nicest woman I ever knew, and she took up with a convict." - Eric

Barnes & Noble

Hard Time by Cara McKenna was a sweet, memorable, standalone read with one of the most romantic heroes I've ever come across...and he turns out to be a convict, imagine that! As surreal as it may seem, Eric really was one of the sweetest male leads ever, and the main reason for that were the letters he wrote weekly.


I missed you since our last visit. A few minutes a week with you is almost more cruel than it's worth. I miss you every minute we're apart, and watch the clock every morning when I think I might be seeing you again. I wish I could see you, away from here. (...) I watch your hands and imagine them on me.


Seriously, the letters alone are reason enough to make you want to read this book! They were possibly my favorite part of the story, exactly because it's so unique for the MC's to write each other letters in this day and age. The last thing 27 year old librarian Anne Goodhouse wants, is to fall for one of the convicts in her new place of work, Cousins Correctional Facility. But when she meets tall, dark an handsome convict Eric Collier those resolutions suddenly seem much harder to live up to...

Eric and Annie's story is one with a few bumps along the round. As strong as their connection is, it's still incredibly difficult for the two of them, with such different backgrounds, to establish an actual relationship. Still, they're both willing to do whatever it takes to make it work and throughout the story I kept rooting for them. (view spoiler) To be honest, the first 30% of the story would have deserved 5+ stars for me, but from there on out the story became more slow-paced and the ending was a bit abrupt since there was no epilogue. But overall, the romance and the fantastic main characters turned this into a solid 4 star read for me!

"Kiss me." I murmured, the words with desperation.
"I only get to do it once, for the first time."
"I'm going to die if you don't."
His lips twitched and his eyes narrowed, crinkling. "Remind me which of us has been locked up for five years."

This is only my second book by Cara McKenna, but twice now she's created a story with very unusual main characters. A librarian and a convict seem like an unlikely combination, to say the least, but the way the author wrote it, they turned out to be a perfect match for each other. Dealing with the prejudices that come with being a convict isn't a topic that we often read about and the author handled that aspect and the consequences of Eric's conviction in a very realistic way. Mostly though, this is still a story about the power of love and about how the love of the right woman can make a seemingly hopeless man hope for and dream of a bright future again.

A unique, feel-good, emotional read with a sweet, tortured hero and a strong, open-minded heroine that I would highly recommend giving a try.

"I want to be somebody who deserves to be with somebody like you."

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