Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: Alpha Guy, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance, Second Chances
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Eric Hernandez is the bad boy of every schoolgirl’s fantasies—and every mother’s nightmares. But after serving time for manslaughter, he’s ready to turn his life around. He just needs a chance to prove himself as a professional tattoo artist. The one thing that keeps him going is the memory of the innocent beauty he loved and left behind.
Meghan Young’s world isn’t as perfect as it looks. The preacher’s daughter is living a lie, especially now that Eric is back. Tougher, harder, and sexier than ever, he might be the only person she can trust. But there’s no telling what he’ll do to protect her if he learns the truth, and that’s a risk Meghan won’t let him take. And yet, back in the arms of the troubled boy with the artist’s soul, Meghan can’t help surrendering to the man he’s become.
I’ve read a few books of Jill Sorenson’s before, and I liked both, so I went into this book fairly certain that I was going to enjoy this book as well. Part of what appealed to me about this book is that it involved the hero in the story just getting out of prison. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to feel about him, how the author was going to handle the reintegration back into society by this young man. Plus I liked the forbidden romance aspect of it all, our hero is not suppose to be involved with our heroine, but yet they can’t seem to help it.
So first off, I want to start with Meghan. I didn’t really love her. She really is not the reason I like the book. She was remarkable self-aware, but at the same time consistently acted against her own interests. For example, when the book begins she is not a good relationship, she knows she is not in a good relationship, she is not suffering from low self-esteem, and is perfectly aware of her options, but yet stays in the bad relationship. Not for love, which I think I may have been more understanding of, but because she wants to avoid the man she does love. She’s a good friend to her best friend Kelsea, and she seems to be a rather good sister. But honestly, she drove me bananas. At the end there was more than one moment when I wanted her to just back up, and possibly bud out. She kind of sometimes dismisses our hero Eric’s feelings about his own life, and at the same time maintains a fairly naive viewpoint in how he should be handling his life situation. I don’t know, Meghan just wasn’t for me.
Eric on the other hand worked for me. Not because he was a character that I particularly loved or anything, but rather because he came off so authentic. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to grow up in the environment he did, little interaction from his parents, basically raised in a gang, and then when forced to defend himself, it results in him killing a man and going to prison. Keeping ones nose clean in prison I imagine would be difficult, trying to stay on the straight and narrow once you get out of prison, I imagine is even harder. Eric is constantly dealing with a push and pull from the people he cares about in his life as well as the old life that just wants to drag him back down. I felt for him for him every step of the way. I thought the way he was written was really great and interesting, I enjoyed book as much as I did because of him and his own personal journey.
The was some really good chemistry between Eric and Meghan and some hot scenes between them. But the emotional journeys that took place during the book is what sold me on how much I enjoyed it. This is definitely a coming of age story, and I would easily recommend it.