Read Hard Time by Cara McKenna Online


My pounding heart went still, eerie as birds fallen silent in the wake of a gunshot.He was big. Tall frame, wide shoulders-but not burly. His near-black hair was due for a cut, curling under his ears. Dark brows, dark stubble, dark lashes and eyes.And he was handsome. So handsome it broke your heart.A deck of cards was split between his hands, paused midshuffle. Some of thMy pounding heart went still, eerie as birds fallen silent in the wake of a gunshot.He was big. Tall frame, wide shoulders-but not burly. His near-black hair was due for a cut, curling under his ears. Dark brows, dark stubble, dark lashes and eyes.And he was handsome. So handsome it broke your heart.A deck of cards was split between his hands, paused midshuffle. Some of the men wore navy scrub tops and bottoms, some navy tee shirts, a few white undershirts. This man wore a tee, with COUSINS stenciled on the front, above the number 802267. Those digits imprinted on my brain, burned black as a brand.He watched me. But not the way the others did. If he was trying to picture me naked, his poker face was strong, though his attention anything but subtle. His entire head moved as I passed through his domain, but his eyes were languorous. Lazy and half-lidded, yet intense. A hundred looks in one. I didn't like it. Couldn't read it. At least with the horny jerk-offs, I knew where I stood.I wondered what the worst thing you could do and still only get sent to a medium-security prison was. I hoped not to ever learn the answer. And I hoped to heaven inmate 802267 hadn't signed up for any of the day's programs....

Title : Hard Time
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781101622018
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 310 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hard Time Reviews

  • Lisa
    2019-05-18 02:25

    You can find my full review at Sinfully Sexy.5+ Stars!“Stone walls do not a prison make,Nor iron bars a cage;Minds innocent and quiet takeThat for an hermitage;If I have freedom in my loveAnd in my soul am free,Angels alone that soar above,Enjoy such liberty.” ~Richard Lovelace, To Althea, from PrisonHard Time is yet another wonderfully written romance by Cara McKenna. This is not my first book by this author. I have come to expect very real, edgy and raw books from her. Ms. McKenna has this innate ability to provide her readers with very relatable characters that simply seem so “normal”. I love the fact that her stories are brilliant depictions of ordinary characters making a real and honest connection. Nothing is over-the-top angsty bullshit. Yet, with these somewhat unassuming characters, this author is able to draw me in and I become completely engrossed with the romantic tales she weaves. Seriously....I love that!&Anne (or Annie) Goodhouse is a sweet, polite and somewhat reserved woman who is living far away from her southern roots. Her rocky past with an abusive ex led her to take a job in a small northern town as a librarian – a job that takes her to schools, has her working with seniors and young children and also has her going to Cousins Correctional Facility as their outreach librarian working with the inmates who earn the privilege. Given Annie’s past with the opposite sex, she is quite nervous and intimidated when she commences her new role at the prison. Little does she expect to find someone there who awakens the part of her that has long been dead, someone who draws her in with his intense and commanding presence and has her girly parts standing at attention. “I’d never felt this. Never had a man felt so right, my need for him so urgent. Animalistic and instinctual.”Eric Collier has spent the last five years in prison paying for a crime he committed and that he feels no remorse over. In fact, he would do it again if it meant protecting his loved ones. Born and raised in a trailer park and dingy town, Eric is loyal to a fault and would do anything for his family including the use of brute force. When Eric spots the new librarian on her first day, he can’t help but feel this inexplicable pull towards her. She is vastly different from the women he associated with prior to his prison term. Eric soon realizes that Annie is not unaffected by him and so he takes a chance, going against all the rules, and writes her a letter."802267. Those digits imprinted on my brain, burned black as a brand. He watched me. But not the way the others did."****“His attention had become some strange, dark, private treat to brighten the toughest day of my week, and I'd come to crave it.”****“Like you said, we don’t know each other. Only how we seem to make each other feel. But sometimes that feels like enough. So simple and right, when real life can feel far too messy.”So ensues the beginnings of a forbidden romance between a prison inmate and the shy and timid librarian – neither one of them unable to resist the sizzling connection they seem to share. A secret romance expressed in the weekly exchange of letters. Lusty fantasies are conveyed by both around the safety net of the unlikelihood that their fantasies will ever become reality and come to fruition. The bubble bursts when Eric is released on early parole. Can Eric and Annie translate all they have shared on paper to a relationship outside of the prison walls? Or, is the illusion they created while Eric was incarcerated all they will ever amount to? "I want to make you feel a hundred things at once - powerless and aggressive, needy and pushy, grateful and greedy..."****"I probably don't make love. I probably fuck. I'd try for you if you asked me to, though. You'd have to tell me how it's different. It just seems like something a different kind of man would do."****“I want to be someone who deserves to be with somebody like you.” Going into this book I expected it to have a harder, grittier, feel to the storyline given the fact that our hero is a convict. I was so pleasantly surprised to be given a sweet and romantic tale that was quite endearing. Here you have this felon who has to deal with the harsh realities of prison life on a day to day basis, and yet, this same man is capable of relaying his vulnerabilities and deepest desires in his letters to a woman he feels a connection to. He awkwardly expresses himself in writing winning over the sweet librarian with his words. I loved how honest both Eric and Annie were with each other about their feelings, specifically after Eric was released and out on parole. Obviously Annie was hesitant to pursue things with Eric outside of the prison walls at first but she soon comes to understand that the man who wrote the beautiful and sexy letters to her was still the same man openly declaring his feelings to her face to face. Eric and Annie brought out the best in one another. Annie was someone who called to Eric’s protective and passionate nature and he found himself being tender and treating Annie with a gentle hand – something he had never really done before with a woman. Annie blossomed as her relationship with Eric grew deeper and more profound. The shy and reserved girl she started out as became this woman who was willing to stand up for the man she was in love with.It is worth mentioning how hot and sensual this book is. Cara McKenna surely excels in her ability to provide her readers with some sizzling scenes that will leave you all hot and bothered. The pair starts out on a slow simmer only being able to exchange their fantasies on paper and it all eventually bubbles over when Eric is released and they can experience first-hand the many experiences they articulated on paper. Damn! Just...damn! Sizzling hotness at its absolute best. All in all, Hard Time is yet another reason that Cara McKenna is a must read author for me. Her books have this human element and realness often lacking in so many other books. This book was wonderfully romantic and it is a story that left me happily sighing. It is also one that I will re-read when I need a dose of sweet and sexy. ***An advanced reading copy of Hard Time by Cara McKenna was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

  • Baba
    2019-05-06 00:16

    3.75 stars. Full review posted April 21, 2014What I love about McKenna's writing...fingers scraping each other's scalpshands tangling in haireager yet shaking fingers undressing each otherlips feathering tender kisses all over each other's bodiesa touch, a caress over heated skindeep, wet and demanding kissesthe smell of an aroused bodythe thrill and anticipation of hot, sweaty sexlabored breathinglicking, biting, clawing, moaning…faster, deeper…slowerAll that and then some until both reach a mind-blowing climax. Delicious.She does the sensual part of her stories so incredibly well. In fact, she seduces and captures her readers through her alluring writing and it leaves me in a state of heightened anticipation until I can get my hands on her next book. The very best aspects of Hard Time are definitely the absolutely scrumptious smexy times as well as the wonderfully romantic letters that complemented the story nicely. Also, it didn't hurt at all to set my eyes on the gorgeous hero.Meet Eric Collier...The con is surprisingly tender and romantic...I did appreciate the slow build-up very much and the whole prison part with all those letters oozed sensuality to the nth. I'm aware it might not have been authentic but still. Plus, I was very pleased that Annie didn't want to start dating Eric right after he'd been released from prison. She did scrutinize both Eric and herself as well as her options numerous times. I think that was well done and felt realistic. What I must do, however, is challenging the credibility of an inmate being so incredibly romantic and sweet in relation to his criminal offense. Eric can be shockingly violent, that's as safe as the Amen in the church. However, for once my doubts have been overruled by my overall enjoyment of the story. Also, in light of both Eric and Annie's backgrounds, I must question the ILYs that came way, way too fast for my liking and left me somewhat dumbfounded.Due to the very disappointing ending, I can't give Hard Time a straight four-star rating. Frankly, I don't require (view spoiler)[a HEA but I just needed a little bit more here. I mean the whole family thing was quite irritating already (yes, there's no love lost between Kristina and Baba) and then bam!…The End. (hide spoiler)] I just hoped that we would see more of Eric and Annie evolving as a couple. I also missed a much anticipated meet and greet between Annie's parents and Eric. Considering Annie's father being a state trooper who didn't have a high opinion of incarcerated cons, it would have been interesting to see her parents dealing with a former prisoner. Exploring that side of the plot could have given Hard Time an extra layer of depth. It annoyed me that Eric didn't want to come clean why (view spoiler)[he assaulted that guy who attacked his sister. While I wanted to know what really happened, the author placed a couple of vague hints but she did not reveal if he raped her. I got to know that he broke her arm but otherwise I was left with a blank space. (hide spoiler)] Plus, it really angered me very much that Eric would (view spoiler)[jeopardize his freedom for the sake of Kristina's "security" without mulling over his situation. What she wanted and needed felt like a commandment. However, sibling love is also about give and take, about being supportive and I felt that Kristina was always quick to take over and over again. (hide spoiler)]The first time I heard Kristina over the phone I felt an instant animosity toward her. Statements like this one did not warm her to me either:(view spoiler)["I'm hard on everybody. And I know I hold on too tight to him, I do. It's hard not to, when he's the one reliable handhold I got, you know? Or maybe you don't know."I shook my head. "I don't know. But I can hear what you're saying.""I'm glad you don't know," she said, meeting my eyes for just a second. "I want my brother to be with someone who wants him, but doesn't need him. You know? Listen to me, sounding like a goddamn feminist. But yeah…someone who's not so dependent on him that they can't step back and see all the good in him, I guess.(…)" (hide spoiler)]Kristina manifested too many egoistic trains of thoughts but on the other hand, it really fit her personality. After all, she (view spoiler)[NEEDS her brother. There's no room for a girlfriend who might depend on him as well.(hide spoiler)]I agree with Annie. She said:(view spoiler)["I think it's selfish that you ask him to put his life and his future in harm's way, for your own sense of security. If something did go down, he could get sent back to prison for ten years, all because you were too selfish or cowardly to testify or get yourself a restraining order." (hide spoiler)]Damn straight! That's the part of the plot that angered me the most. They (view spoiler)[put the bad guy away for some drug offense or some such. He didn't even go to prison for assault because Kristina did not report him to the police. Ugh. It's so much easier to rely on other people to take care of our shit, isn't it? Kristina had been capitalizing on her brother's willingness to sacrifice himself and his freedom for a long time already. It's time for her to show some backbone. (hide spoiler)]And then Annie told Kristina:(view spoiler)["And I'm selfish, too. I want him in my life. I want him safe and free and not just for his own good. For mine. I'm just as selfish as you, maybe." (hide spoiler)]I'd say what enables this kind of (view spoiler)[selfishness is healthy, though. She has good intentions and she doesn't want him to do stupid things that would put him back into prison. (hide spoiler)]All in all a solid and enjoyable read but it could have been better, considering too many questions remained unanswered. Recommended to all fans of Cara McKenna and to those readers who enjoy a steamy, romantic and sensual read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Lana ❇✾Dirty Girl Romance❇✾
    2019-04-28 18:35

    6+ Are not enough to describe how much I loved this book StarsAnd he told me about the things he wanted to do to me, the places he wanted to take me, if he could. The things about me that took his mind off his daily life, and roused his body in idle moments. And I wondered if he wasn't a bank robber after all, the way he kept making off with my heart.I fell in love with this book. I fell in love with the writing. I fell completely, head over heels in love with the hero. This book; no review I can write will ever do it justice. Cara McKenna is a genius, her stories will grab you by the heart and never let go. She doesn't blow sunshine and rainbows up your ass. She gives you real characters, real emotion that is so well written, it's almost palpable. Did I like this book? No. I fucking LOVED this book. I wish I could give it 6 stars. This is a story that will stay with me for a while with characters that I will never forget.Annie Goodhouse is a good southern girl that hasn't had the best of luck with men. She doesn't have to be warned away from the bad boys, she experienced first hand what the feel of abuse at the hands of a man feels like, and she's shut herself off. Annie is a librarian, and her new role takes her to work as an outreach librarian in the town's medium security prison. And then everything changes when she meets him in a place where the worst of the bad boys are...Eric, or inmate number 802267 as she first knows him, catches her eye right way. But it's not his attitude, leering, or catcalling that snags her, because he doesn't do any of those things.That stare. That unreadable expression, an impossible mix of apathy and fascination, coldness and seduction.Eric was not at all what I expected from reading the book's blurb. He's not some ultimate bad boy, an asshole, or a hard-ass. He's simply a man that committed a crime, a crime that he would commit all over again if given the chance. But beneath that tough and muscled exterior there exists a soul of a gentle and romantic man. What first begins as a simple lesson in literacy begins to turn into something much deeper when he gives Annie the first letter.His attention had become some strange, dark, private treat to brighten the toughest day of my week, and I'd come to crave it.This book has some of the most amazingly written sexual tension I have ever read. The way that Miss McKenna portrays the angst, lust, and emotion that these 2 people share through simple letters was incredible. It almost felt like Eric was talking directly to me. His letters to Annie made me swoon at the same time it made me lust after him uncontrollably.Annie was such an amazing heroine. She was strong, yet a little bit broken at the same time. She wasn't mousy, or shy, or some wallflower. I think that's what ultimately made this book so good for me, the fact that both characters had such an amazing balance of realness to them. You can feel how much Annie struggles with her feelings for Eric. She doesn't know the full story of why he was put away and that scares her, but at the same time she finds herself falling for him more and more with each letter.Were bad, violent crimes only done by bad, violent men? Could a man who was fundamentally bad make a woman feel the way Eric Collier had made me feel, all these weeks?Eric stole my heart. He was so vulnerable and sweet, but without coming off as weak.I want to be someone who deserves to be with somebody like you.Cara McKenna give you two incredibly real characters that each struggle with their own incarceration. While Eric has been shut away in a prison cell for 5 years, Annie has shut herself off from feeling anything sexual after the abuse she suffered at the hands of her own ex. As the book progresses, you see them slowly grow closer together and their bond fully form. They're both scared, they both have their weaknesses, but the connection between them is simply undeniable.This book gives you everything; incredible characters, erotic love scenes, and an emotional gripping love story between 2 people who couldn't be more different but yet fit together more.The author doesn't give you an ending that's wrapped up in a perfect little bow, and I think I really loved that in this story. It was fitting. Anything else wouldn't have been true to the characters or the plot. Is there a HEA? (view spoiler)[Yes, though it's more of a HFN. It was extremely satisfying, and I have 0 complaints (hide spoiler)]If you're looking for an beautiful and erotic love story, that's gorgeously written with characters that will stay in your heart for a long time to come, this book is simply a must read. Do not judge it by the cover or the blurb, it doesn't do it nearly enough justice. I simply couldn't recommend this book enough. Read it for yourself and see what all my gushing is about.**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**For more reviews visit["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Christy
    2019-04-26 18:22

    5 Love Letter stars!Hard Time was a sweet and romantic, original and erotic, fantastically well written story. Once I started reading, I was hooked. Usually a book is very romantic, but lacks the heat I desire. Or it’s hot hot hot, but you don’t get that sweetness. This was the perfect combination of BOTH! Annie Goodhouse is a sweet southern girl who has given up on men and love. After a bad experience with an ex took her from her home town in South Carolina to Darren Michigan, she wants to use her life to help others. She does this many different ways as a librarian. She’s getting ready to start something new and a little scary... a job at Cousin’s Correctional Facility. There she will help the inmates with new skills, read to them etc. Annie is a little nervous, who wouldn’t be? What she never expects it to see someone that first day that turns her head. Who makes her feels something again. Inmate 802267.A tall figure came through the door. I knew who it was without even raising my eyes. Broad shoulders and slim hips, long legs. Overgrown dark hair. Eyes hot enough to singe. Fuck.Annie is confused by her feelings for this man. She is insanely attracted to him. Soon, she finds out his name and meets him. He appears to be feeling that same ‘thing’ as Annie. Eric, inmate 80226 is not a bad man. He just made a poor choice. A choice to protect someone he loved. A choice he would make again if need be. He’s doing his time, and looking forward to a life outside of Cousins. Annie is the first good thing about this place. From the first moment he sees her, he has to know her. He needs some help with his writing, and he decides that his first time getting help will be a letter... to her. Darling,I missed you since your 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 I watch the clock every morning when I think I might be seeing you again.Eric and Annie start a relationship through letters. Each week he writes her. If she wants to hear more, she wears the color he chooses for her. Some of these parts had me laughing out loud.It’s not all red. I’m not a total whore. Just a partial one. Just a splash of whore. 
All Eric wants to be is the type of man that Annie deserves. It’s hard with him being in prison, but he tries. Annie starts to feel more than she’s ever felt for any man before. How is that possible? This is a convict she’s never even touched for goodness sake! He’s a criminal. Not knowing exactly what Eric did and why is putting a damper on Annie’s feelings. Things aren’t black and white. It’s hard for her to decide how much to trust him.Were bad, violent crimes only done by bad, violent men? Could a man who was fundamentally bad make a woman feel the way Eric Collier had made me feel all these weeks?I think my favorite part of the entire book were the numerous letters written by Eric and Annie while he was locked up. They were so sexy, but also very sweet and romantic. Here are just some of my favorite parts of some of the letters... ‘I don’t think you’ve got any clue what it means that you let me write these letters. It gets me so riled up it hurts. But I like it. I imagine it’s some spell you’ve got me under. Makes me want to be all kinds of ways with you.’‘I think about kissing you like I said. Real deep and slow with our eyes closed. Maybe feel your hands on my chest or my back. As I hold your face or hair. As I got to see if you taste like sugar to match how you sound.’‘Sometimes my favorite thing to imagine is just us on a big soft couch. Me on the end and you between my legs, on my lap kind of. I could feel your hair on my cheek while we watched a movie maybe, and I could smell your skin. It would drive me crazy.’Carrying on this forbidden romance through letters lasts for a while... but what happens when reality sets in? If Eric and Annie can be together, in real life? Release is looking probable for Eric and it’s scary for Annie. Being with him thorough his letters, feeling for him that way is totally different than being with him in real life. Will Annie follow her head or her heart when faced with such a decision? Annie and Eric... they were both such incredible characters.Eric. Oh Eric. Who’d have thought Ms. McKenna would have us all falling for a felon? Just like Annie, I found myself falling hard for Eric through his letters. Eric was honest, kind, loyal and loving. And so so romantic! I loved how sweet he was to Annie, how he tried to protect her at all costs. Show her that she could trust him. He knew the situation, and he tried to make sure she stayed safe and happy.Annie was a character I really liked as well. She wasn’t incarcerated, but she felt locked up the last five years, just like Eric. I love how she found a way to finally let someone else back in. To trust, even in such a different situation. This book was close to perfect for me- there was only one thing I would change and thats the ending. Did I like the ending? Sure. But I wanted more! An epilogue would have been fantastic. That being said, it wasn’t enough to take away from my 5 star rating.I enjoyed the originality. I can’t say I’ve ever read a book about a convict and librarian. It was unique and refreshing. I know I’ve said it before, but those letters. Oh those letters really got to me in the best way! I loved the sexual tension too. The romance. The emotions. The forbidden love aspect. It was a great story for me, and one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for something different, sweet and super sexy. Oh- and it’s a standalone so that was a big plus as well!

  • Brandi
    2019-05-02 18:11

    3.5 StarsAnother book a desperately wanted to love. Lots of great reviews, an interesting synopsis. A romance that starts within prison walls - sign me up. I loved the forbiddenness of their relationship and naughty love letters were a nice bonus. But this heroine. I just could not warm up too. Annie just didn't nothing for me, other than annoy the shit out of me.That said, I liked the hero, Eric. I thought his characterization was well done, his education level was realistically portrayed through his letters/speech. I did start to find myself frustrated with him, I felt like he shouldn't have let Annie give him such a hard time about his 'criminal' past. I say that because, seriously, he had a good fucking reason. Overall, I'm starting to think I'm in a book funk, because nothing is really doing it for my grumpy ass.

  • Mo
    2019-05-07 19:18

    4.5 STARSHis near black hair was due for a cut in fact, curling under his ears. Dark brows, dark stubble, dark lashes and eyes. And he was handsome. So handsome he broke your heartAnnie 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. 802267"FORGET THAT BIRACIAL BUDDIES SHAWSHANK SHIT. CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA DON’T MIX IN HERE""Whores wear red," my grandma had told me once – she’d walked in while I was watching Pretty Woman. I must have been fifteen. I’d told her, "She is a whore, Gram." And she’d nodded sagely and said, "Stands to reason."I won’t say too much but this book was HOT, Hot, with a capital H!!! Talk about sexual tension.My arousal went from mouse to cat. Feral to wickedHis body shocked the very breath out of me. Tan and strong and fucking cut.ARC received from NetGalley.

  • Blacky *Romance Addict*
    2019-05-01 23:14

    This is the sweetest, most romantic erotica I've ever read <3He is one of the sweetest, most romantic male characters ever!! <3He is also yummy hot in a convict kind of way XDOverall, just amazing <3 The letters were fantastic, the first one especially, I kinda wish the prison part was longer, and the second half of the book not that slow, but it was still awesome and I enjoyed every bit of it :DDDAnyhow, a HUGE rec from me <3

  • Jennifer Kyle
    2019-04-26 21:33

    4.5 STARS”We’re whatever you decide we are.”What’s not to like about the new librarian, Anne Goodhouse, at Cousins Correctional Facility fall through letters and limited contact for inmate #802267? The first portion of the story really brings the anticipation, excitement and allure of Eric Collier. His letters were simply wonderful and opened up Annie to her sexuality that has been locked down ever since she broke things off with her abusive ex. Asking if Anne want’s more letters by wearing certain colors was the sweetest thing. What woman wouldn’t love a letter from Eric Collier.”I’ve got stuff to say. To you.” He tapped the paper, his voice barely a whisper. “If you want to hear more, next week, you wear red.”Overtime both seems to have developed real feelings and those letters get pretty steamy! Anne feels blindsided when she finds out that Eric is being released and panics at the idea of a relationship in the real world. She also must buck up and ask what he was incarcerated for that had him serving a five year sentence. ”Were we lovers? Without ever having touched one another?”Anne and Eric are pretty awkward outside of their letters but Eric makes it clear that he has strong feelings for her and slowly over time they get to know one another. “I want to be someone who deserves to be with somebody like you.” Eric is a wonderful hero. I found him to be crazy loyal to his family, and one hell of an attentive lover. ”This what you need tonight?” he asked, words stilted by the impact. “Why’s it always about what I need?”“Because that’s what gets me off, Annie. Being what you need.”I truly enjoyed how his family and his life before prison and the man he was becoming blended. I would have liked to see what her family’s reactions and so on went. Overall the story is sexy but has a ton of meat on its bones and well worth the read!

  • Duchess Nicole
    2019-04-29 00:33

    "I want to make you feel a hundred things at once - powerless and aggressive, needy and pushy, grateful and greedy..."Cara McKenna seems to be throwing out winners left and right. Everything I read by her is golden, and Hard Time was no exception.Annie Goodhouse is a good ole southern girl...polite and ladylike, sweet and tenderhearted. But her life hasn't always been wonderful. The reason she moved to this run down, podunk northern town was to escape an abusive boyfriend. Understandably, she's a bit shy when it comes to men. So it's a bit of a surprise...even to herself, I think...that she agrees to do a prison outreach program one day a week. On her first day on the job, during the first few moments of panic while walking through the groupings of prisoners that she is now expected to tutor, she spots a drawn to him in a way that she hasn't been in forever. "802267. Those digits imprinted on my brain, burned black as a brand. he watched me. But not the way the others did." Eric Collier feels the pull toward Annie. He knows their situation isn't ideal, but in the five years he's been inside Cousin's Correctional Facility, and even in his lifetime before his incarceration, he's never felt this way toward a woman. His trailer park life in a trashy town didn't really give him much opportunity to meet classy women. He notices the way Annie reacts to his presence. One day, the small flirtation between them turns a bit heated. And so against all rules, Eric writes Annie a letter. An innocent letter. And he gives her an out, telling her if she wants another letter, wear red the next time."I drummed my fingertips on the hanger and bit my lip. I could throw a cardigan over it. Just let a little of the red peak through. A little wink of whorefulness." Good girl Annie can't resist the pull, and one letter turns into weekly letters until she starts writing him back. And then one day, Eric is paroled.MY THOUGHTS:What I loved so much about this book is how Eric is portrayed. He's a badass, that's for sure. He's an alpha, he's got a rocking body and is tough as hell. But he also has some major vulnerabilities and is quite unsure of himself at times. He has a learning disability that makes it hard for him to write, so his initial letters to Annie are a bit awkward at first. It's endearing how these two open up to each other through their letters, saying things that they never would in real life. The letters enable them to be honest with each other in a way they couldn't face to face. In this regard, Eric gets to be tender and so gentlemanly, leaving his badass self at the door. "I don't think you've got any clue what it means that you let me write these letters. It gets me so riled up it hurts. But I like it. I imagine it's some spell you've got me under. Makes me want to be all kinds of ways with you. Helpless sometimes. But darker stuff too. Like I want to punish you for making me this crazy. But nothing bad I promise. Nothing you wouldn't be okay with. The kind of stuff lovers get up to."There's no need for him to put up a tough front, and so his real self comes through. He's a good person, in jail for doing something that I could hardly blame him for. It's NOT any kind of sexual crime or murder...just to make that clear. He did commit a crime, and he's serving his sentence but I feel confident that most people would understand his situation.Annie, on the other hand, gets to open up to Eric both emotionally and sexually. Since leaving her ex, she's not been with a man. Her five year dry spell coupled with the fact that she had very little experience before leaving him means that she's quite repressed in that respect. But Eric's honesty and their Friday meetings under the watchful eyes of the guards keep their relationship very low key.What kept me from giving this five stars was a couple of things. We never find out exactly what prodded Eric into committing his crime. It is alluded to, and a couple of details are given, but the situation is largely left unsaid. Also, the fact that Eric is a convict and Annie's father is a highway patrolman is brought up, but this is a situation that is never resolved. She never tells her parents, which I'm sure she'll have to do eventually, but that is a hurdle that I wish had been addressed more. I felt like there was a lot left up to the reader's imagination with regards to these issues."I probably don't make love. I probably fuck. I'd try for you if you asked me to, though. You'd have to tell me how it's different. It just seems like something a different kind of man would do."However, the sexual aspect of this story was amazing. Eric and Annie don't even touch for a very long's the sensuality that smolders between them at first, and then in their letters, that was so hot. Then there's what their relationship turns into that really makes this story stick for me. This is a couple that I not only root for, but I see them working with very little effort. They just fit. There are moments of humor...namely when Annie is fighting with herself about her good southern girl upbringing clashing with her wants and needs of today. And there's just them, these two good people in bad situations, both completely unsure of themselves. It's as if they learn who they are by reaching out for someone else. It's quite beautiful, actually. A timid heroine and a wonderful, romantic, totally different kind of hero...definitely a recommended read. Copy provided by the publisher via Net Galley.

  • ♥ Jx PinkLady Reviews ♥
    2019-04-23 18:33

    4.25 Love Letter StarsHard Time is a lovely, HOT romantic read, packed to the rafters with sexual tension and romance, all mixed up in a melting pot where I felt the anticipation of what may come.... Annie Goodhouse knows all about bad boys, so she just wants to play it safe in her new role as an outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility. She wants to play strictly by the rules. But inmate Eric sends her rule-book out the window. Eric Collier prisoner 802267 "So handsome it broke your heart."Good guy or bad guy??? He's guilty of his crime but has strong reasons for protecting his family, rightly or wrongly, he's a loyal ALPHA male. Yum! 5 years since they’d tasted another person…. The anticipation, the emotion.... The SEXUAL TENSION!WOW!A secret, forbidden romance involving love letters that light up the page with lust and romance, it's all fantasy, HOT FANTASY Something that could never be real. It's safe. Then early parole comes and they're faced with the possibility that their fantasies can become reality? Their desires can be played out for real? Will they make that transition? Do either of them want to? I felt their deep connection, the way they're in tune with each other; their lust and longing... I felt it all. The writing is extremely atmospheric; the sexual intensity made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.There were moments when the emotion of it touched me deeply; the story gave me a feel of sinking dread that they may miss the opportunity of each other. Intense emotions, feelings and words.Their dialogue to each other is passionate and hot. I felt like something catastrophic may happen at any time. And to be completely honest, I would have liked more drama, to have felt more angst, I craved it and that’s what would have delivered my amazing star.I love the refreshing originality of the story and the sentiment it explores... Vengeance verses healing. To conclude..Hard Time is a stand alone story about forbidden love and taking risks; it's sensual, romantic, HOT and incredibly intense. The sexual tension is off the scale... Scorching. It doesn’t end in the traditional book tingle, all wrapped-up-in-a-bow kind of way, but it left me with feelings of satisfaction and contentment and thoughts of what may happen to them in their future. If like me you’re intrigued by the story and characters and adore a romance with hot lust and passion, then go read and enjoy. I had the most lovely time with Eric ♥Just beautifulArc provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, for an honest review.

  • Crystal~BIG book addict~
    2019-05-22 02:19

    There are no words to describe all of my feelers I have for this book. A convict and a librarian, what's not to love?!Anne Goodhouse is the new outreach librarian for the local prison. She is there to help teach some of the inmates to read and help with their resumes for when they are released. It has been five years since she left her home and an abusive ex-boyfriend. She has been numb this whole time until she sees prisoner number 802267.Unlike many of the inmates, his head wasn't shaved. His near-black hair was due for a cut in fact, curing under his ears. Dark, brow, dark stubble, dark lashes and eyes. And he was handsome. So handsome it broke your heart.Eric has trouble writing and so with the help of the very sexy librarian, he asks her to help him write a letter. This turns out to be a love letter. Anne is confused as to why she is feeling jealousy for the woman who will be on the receiving end of this letter.Darling, I missed you since your 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 I watch the clock every morning when I think I might be seeing you again.....Well come to find out, he is writing to her. She gets him a older word processer to help him write things on his own. And this is the start of the love letters. Things are going smoothly between Eric and Anne. They know they have to be careful so they don't get caught exchanging letters but she can't seem to stop. It isn't until one of the letters says he is getting out on probation that Anne starts to panic. Will he expect to date her? Should he avoid him? What will she do? How will they handle actually being together in the "real world"?This was such a great love story about beating the odds against you. I have re-read Eric's letters at least twice so far. They make me all melty and hot at the same time. How can a convict be so alpha and yet sweet and innocent at the same time? I can guarantee that even if you don't like the book as a hole, you will absolutely love the letters that were written and the sexual tension and build up.Go forth and read my friends! This book is definitely worth your time!This book has definitely received my stamp of approval.ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Claire Robinson
    2019-04-22 23:16

    5 - "Here I Come" Stars.Hard Time is the first book that I have had the pleasure of reading by Cara McKenna, to say I went straight to Amazon and 1-Clicked everything else she has ever written once I had finished it would be totally true... It is one of those books that you read and ask yourself why you have never read a book by the author before.Although there are a couple of warnings I would give you before you start it yourself, so you don't make the same mistakes I did. 1 - Do NOT start this book at 11pm on a Sunday night if you have to get up for work Monday morning. 2 - Do NOT take your Kindle to bed with you On said Sunday night with the mantra "just one more chapter" running through your head...Ignore the above at your peril, because I was up until gone 3am reading, and looked like Zombie shite for the whole of Monday!! That-said I didn't really care as I LOVED this book hard, and I couldn't wait to get home to finish it.The first 50% of this book just kept me on the edge of my seat, biting my lip, praying that the author would give Annie and Eric a break, the letters *sigh*, their date-nights *fluttery tummy*, and their finally coming together *holy shit I need a shower*. His stuck to me. Clung to me like the heat left by a lovers palm. I felt him step through the door, a heatwave and a cold front all wrapped inside one man. This book is unusual, unique and not your normal boy-meets-girl type of romance, and I suppose that is why I loved it so much, I didn't at any point think Hard Time reminded me of anything else I have ever read. Reading of a man who is so hard on the outside, but is willing to sit back and let a woman take charge is a refreshing change as well. The letter writing, put you in Eric's head perfectly, and gave you his POV without actually putting you in his head. "You're the first good thing I've felt in so long. The only colourful thing in this shitty grey world I've come back to. The spring seems a long ways off. Maybe seeing you will get me through the winter. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, for me to rate a book 5 stars nowadays is becoming quite infrequent, but to have the urge to immediately read it again straight after I have finished it. I can hand on heart say that Hard Time is only the second book I have felt that way about this year. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was an absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.

  • Debra
    2019-04-26 18:23

    ★★★★ 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." - EricHard 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."Darling,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.Yours,Eric"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)[I wish Annie wouldn't have made it so hard on him regarding his reasons for the committing the crime he did, and stopped judging him for his actions, but based on her history with violence, I did understand where she was coming from... (hide 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."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • J *deep in the heart of Texas*
    2019-04-30 20:25

    4.5--Eric Was Perfection--Stars!!Another winner from Cara McKenna! A librarian + a convictAnd it was, but it was so much more. Two people meeting under unlikely circumstances. Both looking for a second chance and hoping for a new beginning. "The most honest man I bet I've ever known, and I met him in prison.""The nicest woman I ever knew, and she took up with a convict."Annie is the new outreach librarian at Cousins Correctional Facility. Once a week she's visits the prison teaching and helping the inmates. Annie hasn't had good luck with men, having been physically abused by her last boyfriend. So imagine her surprise, when she finds herself attracted to inmate 802267, Eric Collier.Eric Collier is in prison for committing a crime that he has no remorse for. If given the chance to go back, he wouldn't change anything. A crime committed out of a need to protect his family. So imagine his surprise, when he finds himself attracted to the new librarian, Annie Goodhouse. "Five years since I'd wanted to feel sexual, and invite that attention. Five years since Eric Collier had been with a woman. A long time since a woman had felt like a woman, and a man like a man. A long time for two people to shut their needs in the dark..."Annie and Eric embark on a forbidden romance....filled with covert glances, lingering touches and some of the most romantic love letters ever written. Holy hell....hello sexual tension.Through their words, Annie and Eric are able to explore their feelings for each other. Tell each other all of the things they long for. Experience an almost make-believe love. And then Eric gets early parole and a second chance. His new beginning. But will it include Annie? Can Annie get past the crime Eric committed and see the person behind the act? The honest, romantic, kind, caring man that wrote Annie the letters? I fell in love with Eric and Annie's story. I thought both MCs were great. Annie didn't make it easy for Eric. She struggled with the crime Eric committed and his lack of remorse. But in the end, Annie was able to look past that and see Eric for the man he was, the man he is and the man he will be. "His hand closed around mine, strong and possessive. The hand that'd done unspeakable things in the name of brotherly love. A hand capable of the tenderest acts of intimacy and affection. The hand that had penned the most breathtaking letters, for my eyes alone. I'd hold it tight as we went forward together, sure as I clung to it now. Tight as I'd ached to hold it, back when such a thing had been forbidden. I'd never let it go again, no matter where we ended up....somewhere warm, someday. Somewhere that belonged to the both of us, far away from the hard cinderblock of Cousins. Out of the cruel cold. Into the light and hope and excitement of our future, whatever it might look like. Into the bright promises of spring, when the entire world wore green."

  • Wendy'sThoughts
    2019-04-28 02:16

    5 Prisons... ALL of Them Stars * * * * *In order to accept some stories we must suspend our analytical minds so that we can truly experience the read. I am doing this disclaimer because if I had not done that for this book, I would have been skeptical about the ins and outs of how communication, letters,etc. were able to not have consequences. That aside... I decided to go with the journey Cara McKenna gave me and this is my experience.There are things in my life which have given me feelings which I will never forget. I am not talking about the beauty of motherhood or the other expected life events. I am talking about experiences which are minute; but because of the way they make you feel.... become mammoth... overwhelming and life changing. I have had those experiences... and many have been through the written word... letters and emails... words on pages and screens ... reaching out and touching me deeply with just the words printed or flashing... causing feelings so intense... as I type this... I feel them now.This book uses just those tools to evoke those same feelings in their characters. Both are locked up. Both are careful to make sure they adhere to the rules and regulations set forth in their prisons....He, with real bars and guards watching 24/7....She, with her heart and mind closed up tight from learning to protect and hide.... He, understanding what he did was what needed to be done and willing to pay the price....She, not knowing the sentence for escaping her assault would be a lock down of her senses and heart....What happens when these two characters meet in the Correctional Facility starts with a minute occurrence... it is look... a gaze... a sense of something there... He gives it and she feels it....As the new traveling Librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, Anne Goodhouse is awakened by this ....her body and mind has been imprisoned, shutdown for the last 5 years. She was the classical victim of domestic abuse and only after a hard, eyeopening hit to her ear and jaw did she flee her boyfriend. She left her home, South Carolina and came to Michigan where she took this first job in her chosen field. The area is depressed, as it is no longer the the flourishing automakers paradise... it is seedy and tired...holding on as best it can. Part of her position is to go to the facility and teach, assist and help the inmates who have earned the privileged of these workshops and classes. It is a daunting task as this is not some country club, white collar crime camp. This is a location for drug and assault offenders who are not rapists or killers. A medium level prison. The real deal.As Annie goes through her first day, she has signed off on all of the regulations; no suggestive communications... no touching... no taking anything from the inmates... hell if she is able to just do the classes without any complications, it will be an achievement. She also has a huge understanding of rules... she comes from a family of them. Her father is a state trooper... mother old school Southern...and Gram even instilled the most basic rules of womanhood down to the colors of clothing which were unacceptable... red is for whores....So, Annie knew all about regulations...she had her own body using them against her during the last 5 feelings or hint of desire to tap into alive and womanly...all of those feelings in a holding cell somewhere in her mind... until she saw him.... 802267....he rattled her mind's cage... the dark hair, dark eyes, broad body like an inverted triangle and a sense of ease... owning his space around him... she saw him on her walk to the classroom... inadvertently looked for him during the sessions and with the last one of the day, he came to her.... and another push against her cell's bars...happens...He needs her to help him with writing... he has a real condition of the mind which causes him to be perfectly able to read, study and comprehend... but to write the letters...there is a disconnect. Somewhere during his schooling, no one caught it... so he has had trouble not understanding why... Annie explains what it is and offers to help him. She get's him a processor as he can type easily and they will work together with his writing by hand.At the next meeting he asks if today she would write a letter for him to someone... it is legal in her she starts as he dictates....She hears the words..."Darling.... I missed you since last visit" ... she feels a stirring...." A few minutes a week with you is almost more cruel than it is worth"....Now her temperature and senses are awakened and she is reeling....what is this he is writing... who is he writing this to...and over the course of the dictated letter it becomes very clear...he is writing to her.... her alone... and in that recognition... the cell to Annie's mind and body is flung open... she is not totally released yet... but the door has sprung open.... the rush of feelings, lust and desire have made their appearance beckoning her to step out of that place she has locked herself in....They call to her.... come out Annie... He has already made the leap... he knows there is risk... he also understands and is willing to obey his own moral code and regulations... he offers her a way to to say "yes, I want to continue this exchange between us... yes, I feel it too..." or to let him know, "no... please... no, I do not wish for this." Because Eric... has lived and landed here in this facility due to his moral code and this is who he is.Both of these characters took me on a ride deep and true.... just the essence of them writing these letters to each other... was so intoxicating, I was drunk on their passion and frankness. It was not the illicitness which made the letters powerful; no.... it was the raw wanting... the taste of desire so strong, they reeked of it...This was done in such a way... if in the readers' personal life, they ever had something remotely close to letters from a lover.... than all of those experiences would come flooding back.... That is how good these communications were written.There is much more to this story than what I have shared; it asks questions about behavior; loyalty; willingness to accept; and much more. All of them are presented how real people in today's world handle them. Nothing is sugarcoated.... there are ugly moments.... But if you want to allow yourself to have a moment... to feel the romance of two people drunk on each other... two people connecting on levels few do... then please, take this opportunity and read Hard Times. I am very glad I did. For more reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  • SamJ ★Needs a HEA★
    2019-04-23 19:14

    Check out this and my other reviews at My Blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest★Book Basics★ Genre: - Contemporary Romance Series: - Stand AloneLove triangle? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]Cheating? - (view spoiler)[No (hide spoiler)]HEA? - (view spoiler)[Yes (hide spoiler)]Would I read more by this author/or in this series? - YesRating - 5 ++++ stars★Review★Having read this author in the past, I have felt with previous books she has left the ending a touch open, sometimes more of a HFN, but with a strong hint of promise that the characters would get their HEA with each other, but I liked how she did it, it allowed for me as the reader to carry on and imagine the HEA in my head that suited me.In this book, it had less of that HFN and more of a settled heading toward a HEA, but still done in that skilful way the author has, of letting us as the reader, build the HEA in our head to suit ourselves.I wanted to read this book ages ago, when it first released, but did not get it on release, then it became unavailable in the UK for a timeBut I really wish I had read it ages ago, as I loved it, and could have probably had a good couple of re reads in by now.It is not full of over the top drama to try and keep the readers attention, or stalkers, kidnappers etc (not that I do not enjoy books with these in them) but instead characters that are very REAL. The way their relationship started meant it built a very real emotional connection between the characters and between the reader and the story.And it was a sweetly romantic read, but not to say that the hero and heroine did not have struggles to overcome. But again, dealt with in a very real and very relateable way. And it was hot! Due to the connection the characters had, and how you were really rooting for them. This is a definite re read for me and I will not soon forget Eric and Annie, they are one of my favourite couples, and Eric is very much so one of my favourite heroes ever.An emotional, romantic sexy better than 5 stars book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Patrycja
    2019-04-29 23:24

    Title: Hard TimeSeries: NoAuthor: Cara McKennaRelease Date:April, 2014Rating: 3. 5 starsCliffhanger:. No HEA:(view spoiler)[ Yes(hide spoiler)]Hard Time is definitely interesting, entertaining smokin’ hot read. Unique concept, complex characters and very well written love letters, that made me tingle more than few times, were superb!From the first page I liked the main heroine - Annie and found her adorable young woman, that I could relate too. I also instantly felt drawn like a moth to the flame toward Eric, the sexy convict. He made my pulse race and my ovaries crazy. Who would have thought a prisoner can move a woman like that? Hard Time completely bewitched me with its love letters. I did find them more sensual and definitely more arousing than the real intimate moments between Eric and Annie. What they’ve both written on the paper was so sexy I needed a cold shower or few after reading. The letters were so beautiful! They were intense, sensual and so, so romantic. My inner cheesy hopeless romantic self was like aww…. All the time. I swooned and swooned and swooned. Darling,I missed you since your 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 I watch the clock every morning when I think I might be seeing you again.What I would give away to get at least one letter like this in my life! Maybe not from a man that is actually in prison, but still, the idea of someone pouring himself into a piece of paper just for me, made my heart beat faster. ‘I think about kissing you like I said. Real deep and slow with our eyes closed. Maybe feel your hands on my chest or my back. As I hold your face or hair. As I got to see if you taste like sugar to match how you sound.’I preferred first part of the book a lot of more than the second, when the letters have ended. As I have had a real problem with actual sex. The constant talking they did while making love like ‘I want what you want’ was not very sexy for me but confusing. Eric and Annie brought dirty talk on completely another level. I had a feeling they could talk the orgasm out. It was very distracting for me, because I wanted more physical description. I was also pretty disappointed with the ending, it was abrupt and not very realistic end for Annie and Eric's story. I definitely needed more drama and angst. I felt like the book lacked a chapter or two and my first reaction was that someone messed with my copy. Yes, I was that angry!Overall, Cara Mckenna’s done absolutely enthralling job, her story was just hot, hot, hot and very original. I will definitely read more by this author :)FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON: ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Sammy Loves Books
    2019-05-05 01:08

    3.4 Rock Hard StarsAhhhh…Horny Prisoners that haven't seen or touched a woman in yearsSo just how FINE would a prisoner have to be for ME to risk it all? My job, My Sanity, My peace of mind? At first I hated Annie and couldn't relate to her horniness. But then I realized, there are a few men that make me lose All rational thought. I would like to take a different approach on this review and dedicate it to celebrating a few Hot men that would have me acting as Cray Cray as Annie did in this book. And by Crazy…I mean, Developing a secret love affair with a prisoner after only having met him once. This would make a great slide show!Eric casting callEach woman has her own temptation and apparently Eric was it for Annie. I liked Eric but had to wonder if five years was enough time to learn the error of his ways. Especially if he was willing to put himself right back in that Exact same situation again. His sister was a stupid selfish bitch that never gained my sympathy just because she had a rough life. So you'd think losing a son would make you more protective of the brother you helped raise. Not make you more willing to put his life or freedom at risk.Overall this was a 3.4 read. I was afraid it was gonna be a DNF during the first 20%, But it continued to improve as the story evolved. There was no epilogue which is classic for Cara McKenna books. I've yet to read one where the couple marries or has children. Her books always seam to end with the couple agreeing to date. Which is Exactly what she did with Hard Times.Buddy Read Shout Out to Laci & Sarah

  • Allison ❤️Will Never Conquer Her TBR❤️
    2019-05-01 01:31

    4.5 Sizzling Stars!Wow. I really liked this one. Mainly for the original plot. So many romance books seem to follow the same plotline these days, but this one hooked me in and didn't let go! Convict meets librarian. Eric Collier hasn't gone by his given name for five years. He's known as inmate number 802267 at Cousins Correctional Facility, a moderate security prison in rural Michigan. When he sets eyes on the newest prison librarian, hears her sweet southern twang, it stirs feelings within him that have been dormant for five long years. Anne, a recent college graduate, dapples in several outreach programs within her local library. She's asked to replace the prison librarian once a week, teaching literacy and writing skills. She's a bit intimidated but embraces the opportunity. What she didn't bank on is setting eyes on inmate 802267...He was big. Tall frame, wide shoulders- but not burly. Unlike many of the inmates, his head wasn't shaved. His near-black hair was due for a cut in fact, curling under his ears. Dark brows, dark stubble, dark lashes and eyes. And he was handsome. So handsome it broke your heart. Anne is drawn to this guy, his gaze mesmerizing her. But she's quick to raise the walls of protection. She has no clue what he's incarcerated for...something horrible for all she knows. She wants to know but doesn't. Eric suffers from dysgraphia, making it confusing for him to write. So he asks Anne to help him write letters. Beautiful love letters any woman would melt to receive. As I said, I love the premise of the book. Taking two totally opposite people, one free and one caged, and bring them together through words. The letters Eric writes will make you swoon. He's an endearingly sweet character that doesn't fit the crime he's convicted for. Quickly Anne starts to gain interest in this inmate...communicating weekly through letters. Anne knows this is a huge mistake. She could lose her job. What if he gets released? No way could this possibly amount to anything outside prison walls. She knows she should fight her feelings for Eric but he has awakened something in her that's been dormant since her ugly breakup 5 years ago. Holy mother of sexual tension. The author quickly heats up the pages, first through the letters written by Eric and progressing from there. The author has an unusual ability to describe a scene, painting the picture in vivid color. Holy mother of blow job and hand job scenes in this book! That's a common scene in books but the way she writes, the dialogue shared between these two, made me devour the book in hours. Panty melting hot. Another thing I loved about the book was the heroine. She was not weak. If anything, she was the aggressor and when she would be frank with Eric in what she was thinking...what she wanted from him....she wasn't shy. No games. It was refreshing. So, the reason for the deduction of a half star is the last 25% deflated for me. It wasn't bad but the first 75% was such perfection, I felt a little let down. For those of you who look to a book like this and wonder if they can ever truly get together, have their realistic HEA?(view spoiler)[ Yes, the author provides a very nice ending. Not all wrapped up with a big bow on top but a very realistic happy for now. I left the book having a strong assurance they'll make it through. One day at a time.(hide spoiler)]I look forward to reading more from this author. I won't hold it against her that she called my home state a "godforsaken mitten" and kind of made it out to be Hicksville USA, the people not near as friendly as the south. Michigan is a beautiful state! Come visit!And I thank you, Complimentary advanced copy received by Penguin Group via NetGalley in exchange of my honest review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Sarah
    2019-05-18 02:22

    (Source: I received a finished paperback of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Clara Diaaz and Little, Brown Book Group)“What did you do to forfeit your freedom? To deserve this life?What would you do to me, if it were just the two of us in here?”This was an interesting adult contemporary romance, but there was a lot of dirty talk!Does anyone remember that episode of sex and the city where Miranda wasn’t happy because the man she was dating liked to talk dirty? Well this book was like being stuck in that episode! We got dirty letters, and then phone sex, and dirty talk during sex, and I don’t know, it was all just a little bit too much for me. I think I’d rather have a man saying nice things to me rather than dirty things.“I wondered how you looked,” I muttered, head fuzzy. “When you touched yourself. Thinking about me…”The storyline in this was focused on the romance, and I did wonder what Annie was getting herself into; flirting with this man who was in prison. She didn’t know who he was or what he had done, and she could have ended up in real trouble!“I wondered what the worst thing you could do and still only get sent to a medium-security prison was.”Eric came across as a little desperate to me, which I suppose was understandable having been in prison for 5 years, but he also seemed to lack confidence, which I wasn’t expecting. The number of times he seemed to be worried that he wasn’t big enough or good enough for Annie got a bit old. I mean did he really need to ask her if he was big enough? It’s not like there’s a lot he can do if she says no!“Am I big enough for you?”So maybe people who like a bit of dirty talk would like this book?6 out of 10

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    2019-05-14 22:11

    The number of times that a M/F contemporary works for me are few and far between. I often get cheese-ball alerts, tropey-tropey nonsense, ridiculous female MCs, and boring or over-the-top stories. With the number of mixed reviews on this one, I was certainly prepared for the worst. However, this story shocked the hell out of me. I very nearly loved it.The first part of the book was fan-freaking-tastic. Though the attraction between Annie and Eric bordered on insta-love, the slow seduction of the love letters back and forth between them were literary gold. It was very hot and very romantic, and I adored them (glares at husband and forces him to write me love letters). There is a TON of build-up, tons of sexual tension, and I loved the easy sensuality of it. For a lot of readers, the story went downhill at around 50%, which is when everything gets more "real" so to speak. I however, loved the story even after that point, even after things veer away from this hot "forbidden love" type of relationship to something more mundane. Though I found parts to be overlong, I liked the progression of the story even if I found Annie to be a bit naggy at times. My favorite character, by far, was Eric. Eric is no alpha male. He is a beta hero, through and through: Insecure enough to be vulnerable without being desperate, romantic enough to be endearing without being too mushy, and manly enough to be sexy without being grunty-neanderthalish. I loved his willingness to please and his quiet nature. I almost could have seen this morphing into a Domme kind of book if the author had been so inclined, but I like the direction that Cara McKenna took with it. I think this stands out among the M/F contemporaries that are out there. It was a pleasantly surprising, sexy-as-hell story. **Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

  • Karla
    2019-05-13 19:20

    Read 4/14-16 2014Re read 10/18-20 2015Re read 9/17-19 2017

  • Ash Wednesday
    2019-05-04 23:30

    4 STARSI’m not afraid of you, I wanted to tell him.I’m afraid of me. What I’m capable of.I started writing a review for Hard Time right around the 35% mark. In that review I added this to my favourites shelf. I kinda still want to, especially with the first half of this book. Now, I haven’t been reading much erotica nowadays so my spidey sense for these things can very well be rusty but I don’t think I’ve ever started writing a review midway through a book because of the feels that I can’t handle anymore. That was definitely a first. I just wanted to shove this down everybody’s throats as fast as I can. I still want to by the way. But unfortunately, this was 310 pages long instead of 155 and somewhere beyond the halfway mark, right when the tension of Cousins Correctional Facility was removed from the equation, it lost a bit of its claws for me. Only to gain back its footing towards the end thanks to Kristina.Librarian Annie Goodhouse meets convict Eric Collier through Cousins Correctional Facility’s outreach program. They begin to have an erotic, epistolary affair knowing the barest minimum about each other: Eric doesn’t know that she was physically abused five years ago by her last boyfriend and Annie doesn’t know that he’s in prison for assault with intent to maim. The walls and bars of prison seemed to be a sufficiently safe buffer for Annie to rediscover her femininity through this man who’s all sorts of wrong for her, yet every time he asks her to wear a certain colour for the day, she just can’t say no. That was until he went up for parole. Maybe I was a bit caught unaware, I liked Willing Victim but that catered a little more to the BDSM crowd. And let’s be honest, it IS entitled Hard Time after all and there’s a washboard torso in its cover, an impressive storyline is probably the second to the last box in my checklist when it comes to erotica. But this just pulled so many unexpected but welcome surprises one too many times, I can’t believe it’s (not) butter! Sure there was insta-lust and it still suffers from unbelievably cheesy dialogue when the sexy times come rolling in but that wasn’t even my biggest issue with the book.”Take me. Take me like this is your birthday - like you can have anything you want.”I mean, it’s understandably par for the course in erotica, but I can only take so much. But cheese aside, this is one of the better steamy contemporary romance books I’ve read in a while. One that pits two of the most ill-paired protagonists I can think of. And yet, this made that work. It didn’t skirt the issue and instead tackled that very conflict head on while being completely sensitive to the plight of both characters in equal measures. The wariness, the plausible concerns, the push and pull between Eric and Annie were all done very well with careful consideration that lent their story the credence I wasn’t expecting. I was even so pleasantly surprised how very empowering this book was for women without the cloying feel of feminazi soapboxing. I appreciated how this portrayed women learning how to want a man instead of needing them to define or protect her. Imagine that.I liked both characters and how each’s issues were explored when they embarked on a relationship together. I did like the tension better when Eric and Annie were corresponding by letters (Eric’s first letter to Annie was swoon… and I don’t swoon easily) than when they got around to making good in their promises (which they did A LOT). There were no hokey plot twists, no out of nowhere love triangles and no secret babies thrown in the mix just to force grand gestures of love and passion. Their issues and motivations were believable relative to their backgrounds and it was nice to see a couple work out the kinks in their… er, kinky relationship in a manner that shows both their good and bad sides to the reader.Well maybe just some of Annie’s bad side because Eric just came across a little too perfect for this story, so much he’s bordering in Urban Fantasy territory. I mean, a convict who went way for assault just happens to write great, almost polite erotica whose nice enough to do shirtless push-ups and pull-ups in the prison yard as you watch on during lunch break? Where is this Cousins Correctional Facility and why am I not a librarian, gaddameeeettttt????Everything’s so hard in here. And mean and ugly and loud. I know you want to hear dark things, but what I say about the romantic stuff I want to do with you, I want that so bad I can’t tell you. I want to be in a room with you, so quiet I can hear your breathing and your heart. A place so clean I could smell your skin.I mean he fantasizes about candles and soft sheets (view spoiler)[and believe me, he made good on that promise. With classical music and back rubs to boot! (hide spoiler)] which is very interesting considering the context of his character. He grew up in a loving but harsh environment, from a place where “American dreams went to die” and I was really curious how someone like him comes out of prison after 5 years all fluffy, huggable and Olaf-y.How do people like him happen? But this, instead, dumps that package of perfection on your lap without much explanation. So while I love how unexpected Eric’s character turned out to be, he felt a little hollow for me to appreciate completely. Unless the take-away message of this book is that the only way an abuse victim and a man convicted of assault can make it as a couple is within the realm of fantasy... In which case, game, set, match to McKenna.The humor was resonant, particularly with Annie. She had a sardonic way of looking at certain situations and her thoughts had a certain dark wit that sadly didn’t translate as often as I’d liked in her conversations with Eric. And as a if that’s not enough to draw you in, McKenna’s prose was evocative in their simplicity. There were certain turns of phrases that were simple at first glance but had some elegant imagery weaved between them. My coat, then his draped on top.Gloves, his hoodie and hat, my scarf - a big rumpled heap of the two of us.Two pairs of boots leaning into one another like weary travellers.Annnnnd with that I’ve reached my quote quota.I’m usually wary of contemporary romance, warier with erotica and just outright spring hives when it’s a contemporary romance erotica with nothing but 4 and 5 stars in the book’s goodreads book page. Yet this book hasn’t stopped surprising me from page one.ARC provided by Penguin InterMix thru Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Also on BookLikes.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
    2019-05-19 01:12

    Annie is the new librarian in town and one of her projects is being the outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility. That's where she meets Eric, one of the convicts. They have an instant attraction for each other but since he's not getting out for a long time, Annie feels safe in indulging in this fantasy they build together through letters. Annie hasn't had the greatest experiences with men and it's caused her to become closed off. She's basically just trying to get on with her life and take care of herself. Eric is yummy there's no doubt. You fall for him through his letters to Annie because that's really the only way they can "speak" to each other. He is very romantic and yes, very sexual. Heck, he's been in jail for five years already. But he's changed in that time and he wants more than just sex from Annie. Things get really steamy. They start off in the letters and then progress. I just loved how the colors played a big part in the story and how they "set" the mood. The story was very captivating and I read it in one day. I just didn't want to put it down. There is some drama and it fluctuates up and down. However, I felt the big scene was anticlimactic. I was expecting so much more even though I'm thankful things worked out the way they did. I would have loved Eric's POV and definitely an epilogue or just sort of ends. It does end well but it just left me wanting more. Another problem I had was all the just seemed excessive.Overall, I enjoyed the book and while this was the first book I've read from Cara McKenna, it certainly won't be the last! Favorite quotes♥ "I’ve never been with a southern girl but it’s like every word you say comes out rolled in sugar."♥ "Your darling. In whatever color you please."♥ "I only get to do it once, for the first time."♥ "The most honest man I bet I've ever known, and I met him in prison.""The nicest woman I ever knew, and she took up with a convict. What on earth would our mother say?"*BR w/Melissa*

  • Catarina
    2019-05-07 18:30

    4 Love Letters Stars!He is a convicted that is jail paying a crime. She is a librarian running from a bad past. They met in prison when she starts working there as the facility librarian and he starts sending her letters. But this old-fashioned romance soon stars to be something more.She is innocent, he is not. They are both living something they believe has no future, because well, he is a criminal. But that means that all criminals are bad? Until Eric is released and what should be a platonic thing suddenly becomes very real. And when her past and his world collide, how much time their old-fashioned romance can survive in the real world? Rating:4 Stars. Storyline:It was a refreshing romance. I would never thought of a romance between a convicted and a librarian, and yet, it was a beautiful story. Writing Style:First person. Pretty well written, addictive and sexy. Character Development: I really liked them both. Annie was a likeable heroine, even with some annoyances and Eric was great. I loved how loyal he was. Steam:Hot. HEA: (view spoiler)[Yes. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**
    2019-05-11 20:29

    ***3.5 Stars***Here I go again...being in the minority about the love of a book. Unfortunately, I didn't love this one as much as everyone else. Since there are tons of reviews already out there, I'll just make a list of my likes and dislikes.What I liked:- The Love Letters - makes a girl wanna get a pen pal. No one writes anymore. Everything is quick texts. There's something extra romantic about seeing someone's words written down in their own handwriting. - The forbidden undercurrent in the first half of the book. The sexual tension was jumping off my kindle and I had giant butterflies fluttering in my stomach while reading. All the stolen glances, a brush of fingertips, bumping knees under the table....all those little things were as gratifying as a sensual kiss. - Cara McKenna's writing. This is my first book of hers and it certainly won't be my last. She sets everything up perfectly and keeps you in the moment the entire time. - Eric and Annie's first time together. HOLY CRAP the chapter where they finally get "together" *eyebrows wagging* That was page after page of finally relieved sexual tension. My fear of spontaneous combustion was near red alert levels!! Cara McKenna deliciously dragged out that scene.What I didn't liked:- Annie. Wow...someone really needs to bring this girl down a notch. I get that certain sides of her were re-awakening but man, with each passing chapter this chick was getting more and more self-righteous. Her interactions with Eric were filling her head and libido to staggering proportions. I, unlike Eric and herself, did not find her to be all that. And (view spoiler)[the way she looked down on Eric's family when she met them. OMG! Seriously?!?! I get that they were poor and well below her middle-upper class upbringing...but she just grated on my nerves. "Dinner was served shortly. On paper it was nearly exactly what my own mom had made on Christmas. Roasted and stuffed chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans. The potatoes were from a box, the gravy from a can, the beans from a freezer bag; all of which might've scandalized my mother, but it tasted fine, just a little different. Frankly, I preferred their gravy."Well I'm glad you think it tasted "fine" since it was made with sub-par ingredients. And I think you should definitely shout it from the rooftops that someone with such a fine palate as your own actually enjoyed canned gravy!! This must go in the town newsletter under BREAKING NEWS! There were other times where I felt she acted high and mighty and suffered a great deal from close-mindedness, but I don't want to get ranty LOL And don't even get my started on her hypocrisy of Eric defending his sister and then her throwing his name out to threaten her ex-boyfriend. (hide spoiler)]- It makes me sad to say this, but Eric and his lack of manhood in the second half of the book. Seriously dude....where are your balls???? I honestly thought after a while he'd man up, but it was too much: "How do you want it?" "Is it good for you?" "Do you want me to speed up?" "Do you want me to slow down?" "Do you want me to fuck harder?" "Do you think I'm big?" "Do you like my dick?" "Do you mean it? You really like my dick?" "Can I do anything to make this more pleasurable for you?"Come on man, get your balls out of your purse. Who's running the show here? Why do you need to ask about things every 30 seconds? How about feel Annie out for a few nights and then pound her into the mattress?? Hmmmm, how's that for an idea? And ALL THE TALKING DURING SEX.....sheesh. I wanted to yell, just shut the fuck up and fuck! Every movement discussed, every emotion shared...blah blah blah. While I get why many have fallen in love with Eric, I guess I just need a little bit more of a balance between the romantic and sensitive side and aggressive Alpha. - The direction the second half of the book went. I wish it was more about the building and solidifying of their relationship rather than the drama surrounding his sister. And there you have it. I'm definitely in the minority with my feelings on this book, so this one appears to be a case of "it's just me." I'm ok with that. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Vishous
    2019-05-06 02:27

    I was so excited about this book, and obviously had completely different expectations, so I ended up disappointed...It's not the book, it's simply me....This was too sweet for me, I loved the idea and all but it just hurt to read all that sweetness...I could get past poetic dialogues/letters/thoughts, I just couldn't get past poetic declarations during sex.... I even thought one sex scene near the end will bump it one more star, because it finally felt normal, because they finally didn't go all "jane austen" on each other anymore...But it all started the same again after that...It just felt too flat for me, I couldn't feel that passion between them, that longing... she was so meh, so flat, that I even had a feeling, when there was sex, like all she does is lays and thinks about him in poetic way...*sigh*

  • Katy Loves Romance ❤️
    2019-05-09 21:19

    I'm rounding this off to 3.75 love letter's starsAnnie Goodhouse has come from a well polished background, with structure, meaning and love.Eric Collier has come from a more rougher background with a father that is non existant in his and his sister and mothers life. Annie has come from the kind of home where her gran thinks red means Whore and nothing else, not vibrant and looking out the box but just that.... and I suppose due to that she was a tad vunrable and therefore her well to do college boyfriend got drunk and hit her resulting in a upset breakup and Annie not wanted to let anyone else in, closing off and working hard as a librarian..... five years later she moves away from her family and works as an outreach librarian at Cousins Prison facility where she meets Eric Collier and where Fridays at Cousins quickly become her favourite day rather than her scariest. Eric Collier has spent the last 5 years behind bars to a crime he says he's innocent to but in the ways of the reasons behind the crime, he's not apologising or remorseful of the crime but for the reasons behind it in the first place.So here we have two people from very different lifestyles, backgrounds and such and five years of NO SEX, no relationships and no intimacy therefore where sparks fly and they embark on a relationship as such that is taboo and where they shouldn't really be doing what they're doing.And he's a prisoner- that' the other reason. That was why I wanted him. Because he was untouchable, the very urge impossible. Because he's dangerous, but this crush-if that's what it was- is safe.To each other they are untouchable Annie is an employee and Eric is an inmate they shouldn't be embarking in each other, Annie's scared of what this is, and Eric just wants to feel so they start to write letters to each other and this where their fling begins...The sexual tension at this part in the game was off the charts and I could feel how both of them really wanted each other, the letters were beautiful and if you take nothing else from this book it's those that pulled at my heart and made me want to keep reading those words all day. They were sensual, endearing, yearning, from the heart and all they wanted to do was feel and touch... Eric holds a secret back though to begin with, and that is that he's getting out this is where everything gets a little bit more complicated, and to be honest with you I would of enjoyed more of the forbidden love going on behind bars, Annie being his teacher, teaching him to write, to communicate and to open up in those romantic letters as to me that was where the romance lay. Annie isn't sure where this leaves them if they'll see each other again, what will become of Eric, will he try find her he's a criminal after all.This is where there relationship begins, life, courtship, intimacy, feeling, loving, falling in love and lastly family. My thoughtsEric is a strong man giving the circumstances of how he got to where he is, saying that he is HANDS DOWN the most gentlest, caring, loving and most sensual man I have ever read to date. Annie is also strong and willing to try out what they have and to see where it takes them. I will say at the beginning I enjoyed it immensely during the middle though I found myself being able to put this down and it became a much slower read if somewhat sensual and erotic but it wasn't dominating in the least. Erics sisterWhere do I start, Selfish to sum her up she is only thinking of herself I think Annie summed her up perfectly:" Jesus." I sat up straight, anger and words tumbling free like a landslide. "Are you blaming your brother for your assault? How the fuck is that his fault?""He gave up five years of his life for your honour," I told her. I sounded shrill and petulant, but fuck it. "That not compensation enough for how-ever it is you feel like he disappointed you?"And Eric's feelings?I do get her reasons behind her madness but still I'm pretty darn vexed and annoyed with her behaviour!! Enough saidThe EndingI wouldn't class this book as an HEA per-se but more about what kind of path they're heading towards, I hope and wish they move forward together with a future full of happiness and promise, It kind of ends abruptly but I think this is the kind of book it is. The writing is exquisite if your wanting an erotic sensual read go with this you won't be disappointed....

  • * Meli Mel *
    2019-05-23 02:12

    ♥♥♥ 3.5 "HOT" Stars ♥♥♥So, right off the bat, as soon as I read the blurb, I knew I had to read it because of how unique it was. This was about a woman named Annie who is newly hired as an outreach librarian at Cousins Correctional Facility. She doesn't really date, especially after she left her abusive boyfriend. But once she starts this scary job, things start to change for her. ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●"Remind me which of us has been locked up for five years.""Both of us."●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●She notices one inmate in particular, number 802267, a.k.a. Eric Collier. He's handsome and mysterious and makes her feel things she hasn't felt in five years. No matter how hard she tries to not look, his presence is like a magnet she can't help but feel attracted to. Their whole relationship starts when Eric gives her a letter of how she makes him feel. With the guise of Annie giving Eric worksheets for his dysgraphia, they exchange letters that are super steamy and could also get her fired.●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●“I’d never felt this. Never had a man felt so right, my need for him so urgent. Animalistic and instinctual.”●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●I really got into this story the moment the letters began. I couldn't help it, they were SO hot and it just kept getting steamier with each one. I quickly became enthralled with the chemistry between Annie and Eric. I desperately wanted to know more about Eric and who was before he went to prison. ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●'And he told me about the things he wanted to do to me, the places he wanted to take me, if he could. The things about me that took his mind off his daily life, and roused his body in idle moments. And I wondered if he wasn't a bank robber after all, the way he kept making off with my heart.' ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●I really liked Annie at first. She did seem a little skittish but it was understandable with where she was working and all. I just really loved the back and forth messages. It was very sexual, yes, but it soon, became a bit more. Annie lost her appeal for me when she got the news that Eric getting out of prison on parole. I don't really like how she reacted about it all. She was messaging the guy, sure that was okay, but when he was getting out she started getting scared of him. I didn't really get it. If she didn't want to mislead him or see him, she should have told him at the start. But I was super happy when they finally tried to make a relationship work.●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●“I want to be someone who deserves to be with somebody like you.”●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●I on the other hand really loved Eric. He was super sweet, romantic, and sexy. Sure he had his moments that I didn't really care for, but overall he was still hot. I loved the things he would say and how attentive he was towards, Annie. I loved how much he cared for her, respected her, and protected her. He was also really loyal to those that are important to him. Which I loved. But it also became really frustrating to me. He couldn't tell things to Annie out of loyalty which kind of pissed me off. I felt like there were moments that I REALLY wanted him to man up and do something in certain situations. Especially when it came to his sister Kristina, who I thought was über selfish.●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●"I want to make you feel a hundred things at once - powerless and aggressive, needy and pushy, grateful and greedy..." ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●The second half of the book, unfortunately is when I started not liking the book as much. All that build up in the first half and suddenly the last half kind of fell flat for me. Annie started getting on my nerves, and Eric was annoying me, and his sister was pissing me off. Eric and Annie were not seeing eye to eye and it just became blah after awhile. I wanted the story to focus on how they would grow as a couple while learning more about each other. I feel like the book ended with me still not knowing them completely, which was sad. Instead, the story became about the drama of Kristina's life that could possibly end things for them. I also felt like their connection dulled a bit too, in comparison to how it began.●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●"You're the first good thing I've felt in so long. The only colorful thing in this shitty grey world I've come back to. The spring seems a long ways off. Maybe seeing you will get me though the winter." ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●The first half of the story was scorching hot in the panty--bra and any other article of clothing I had on--melting way. LOVED it! Cara McKenna can sure write some awesome steam. That part didn't disappoint at all. But the actual ending needed something to me. It ended quite abrupt and I needed a whole lot more. I mean, more time needed to pass to see their relationship blossom. I wanted see Eric meet Annie's parents because that for sure would have been interesting. I did like it, I just didn't like how Kristina kind of took over the plot a little. Still, it was worth reading all that steam and sexiness. Overall, a good read.

  • Geri Reads
    2019-04-29 20:31

    4.5 stars!!I wanted to rate this higher because Eric and Annie's love story was just wonderfully well done but the climax was anti-climactic, at least for me, and there was no epilogue. :((Nevertheless, Hard Time was a fantastic book and Cara McKenna is a fantastic author. The set up for this book could have gone very wrong quite easily but the author managed to tell Eric and Annie's story with sensitivity and great emotional depth. Eric was an unexpected character. I'm a little biased here because my husband's name is Eric, but I loved his character! I was expecting a jerkish alpha hero with a chip on his shoulder but what I got instead was a sensitive and caring man who made a wrong decision in life which cost him his freedom. Don't get me wrong, Eric is alpha too but he was also sensitive and honest. His letters to Annie were the highlight of the book for me. Oh my gosh, I felt like a voyeur reading those soul-baring letters. It was so good and so heartbreakingly sweet but scary at the same time. I totally, totally felt for Annie. Her apprehension, her doubts whether or not Eric's intentions were true were realistic and well-founded. Just fantastically written. I wish there was more though. Like 20 pages more perhaps? ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.