Annie 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.
Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.
When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.
Hard Time really took me by surprise in such a great way. I didn’t know what to really expect with the story but what I got was a blazingly sexy story filled with so much emotion. I was very intrigued at how exactly it would and could work out with Eric and Annie. Things were way complicated and filled with drama from the beginning with Eric being a convicted felon serving time and Annie meeting him through her job as a librarian working with the prison inmates. It was the obvious place for Annie not to find love so it was really crazy what she found with Eric.
Since they locked eyes they had this intense, compelling connection that was completely and understandably forbidden. There was much danger with Annie dealing with dangerous men with her job and Eric who was one of them. Though the big mystery surrounding Eric was why was he convicted in the first place? That grabbed my curiosity from the start and if he was indeed a horrible bad guy that Annie needed to stay away from. Though how he was towards Annie was so soft, gentle and romantic that it captured me. They completely clicked in a big way, their chemistry was off the charts. He was patient and open with this deep protectiveness and loyalty that once the reason for why he got lock up was clear.
I liked Annie, I thought she was strong and kind and brave willing put everything on the line for love but was sensible to understand what she was doing and fight for what was best for herself and Eric. I really loved how they connected and created something so loving in such a harsh environment and circumstance as prison. There was so much excitement as they began to develop this forbidden relationship and trying not to get caught and the underlining question if at what they had was really real. The drama continually built to a higher level as things changed and tested their relationship in the real world. With all the challenges that came with Annie dealing with his past and hers and if she was willing to try and have a future with him. With all that was going on with them I was completely into their journey and how it all would turn out in the end.
Overall Hard Time by Cara McKenna was a delicious story that completely captured me. It had the crazy drama, intense blazingly sexy romance and so much suspense that really pulled me in.