Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Steam Level: Oh yea, watch your tongue with this one!
My Thoughts: I saw a review for this book at AAR and was intrigued enough to give it a try. I have a weakness for this kind of storyline – good underneath hero having spent time in jail unjustly so I got it very soon after I read the positive review. And I can see why it got one. I really, really like this book, in fact it I would have given it 5 stars if I didn’t have a few issues with the heroine, Torrey Delaney. On the other hand, the hero, Jordan Kane was pretty much a perfect hero for me.
When he was only 16, Jordan was young and very stupid and got behind the wheel of a truck when he was wasted. Also in the truck with him was his older brother Michael and when Jordan crashed the truck, Michael was killed. As a result, Jordan was sent to juvie and then right after that to prison. He has just been released and is on probation at the start of the story. He meets Torrey when he attempts to get a coffee at the café she works at and is run out of the restaurant by the owner. Michael had been a star quarterback on the Texas high school football team and from all that I’ve heard, Texan’s take their football VERY seriously. Jordan is still hated by pretty much the entire town for ‘murdering’ his brother. Torrey is the waitress who is new to the town. Her mother is the minister there and Torrey is staying with her mother after some bad stuff went down in Boston where she was living and needing to regroup, she showed up at her rather estranged mother’s place. So of course she knew nothing about the history of Jordan and why he was hated so much. All she knows is he is a very hot guy and Jordan LOVES hot guys. Now this is where I started having issues with Torrey. Other readers may not though. To me, at the beginning of the story Torrey is quite trampish. She has no problems being just a booty call, she swears like a truck driver and she had no problem having an affair with a married guy back in Boston. I had issues for the first part for what I consider ‘lack of morals’. I may be too old fashioned but to me sex with another person shouldn’t be a recreational sport. Hook ups or one night stands just aren’t my thing. I think sex between two people should involve feelings. And, yes, it bothers me when guys do the same thing – but I don’t know – I just think guys are more bred to be dogs so it does bother me more when women are loose with their favours. I think we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than just scratching an itch and doing it with a stranger.
I also had some issues with the way the author wrote Torrey’s mother. She apparently ‘found God” but the author wrote in such a way that wasn’t consistent with that. The mother pretty much abandoned her husband and daughter and I can’t see such a thing happening. Also, the mother was pretty strongly against Torrey and Jordan having a relationship because Jordan was a “murderer”. I didn’t buy that either. I think the author was a bit lazy and took the easy way out. I don’t think a pastor in real life would be that much of a hypocrite – at least I like to think that.
But back to the review. There is instant chemistry between Jordan and Torrey, but I think Jordan is one of the most fragile heroes I’ve ever read. And I so don’t mean this as a negative. Instead it just made him more appealing. He didn’t want to do anything to risk getting his parole reversed and because of this took a lot of abuse from others – with the exception of Torrey. Once she met and began to develop real feelings for Jordan, I like her much better and she became fiercely protective of him. I loved that about her. What she realized that nobody else, including his own parents, was that Jordan was hurting even more than anyone else. He and Michael had a very close relationship and Jordan had a strong feeling that because of what happened, he didn’t have a right to be happy.
I did a lot of pondering while reading this book - a book that makes me ponder is a good thing. I couldn’t help but think that he was very unfairly punished for what he did. Yes, it resulted in someone’s death and he should do retribution for it – but I couldn’t help but thinking charging him with murder, a 16 year old, was going overboard. I think it would have been so much more effective to have him visit young people and give a first person account of the tragedies that can happen and the results of driving while wasted. What a powerful messenger he could be. Jordan would have to live with what he did for the rest of his life and his life would be forever changed. I just thought that the result of what happened to him a little too harsh. But then again, I don’t know how this kind of thing would be handled in Texas.
So in conclusion ladies and gentleman – in some ways this is a 5 – but because of heroine issues at the end it’s a 4. But I have a real good feeling that I will be rereading this one again so – thumbs up to this book.