LIFERS by JANE HARVEY-BERRICK

lifers

 

SYNOPSIS

After eight years in prison, twenty-four year old Jordan Kane is the man everyone loves to hate.

Forced to return to his hometown while on parole, Jordan soon learns that this small town hasn’t changed since he was carted off to juvie all those years ago. He is the local pariah, shunned by everyone, including his own parents. But their hatred of him doesn’t even come close to the loathing he feels every time he looks in the mirror.

Working odd jobs for the preacher lady, Jordan bides his time before he can leave this backwards town. But can distance erase the memories that haunt him? Trapped in the prison of his own mind Jordan wonders if the pain of living will ever subside?

Torrey Delaney is new in town and certainly doesn’t behave in a way the locals believe a preacher’s daughter should. Her reputation for casual hook-ups and meaningless sex is the talk of the town. Add that to her budding friendship with the hardened ex-con handyman, and the good Reverend is less than thrilled with her estranged daughter’s path.

As friendship forms, is it possible for two damaged people who are afraid to love take their relationship to the next level? Can Torrey live with Jordan’s demons, and can Jordan break through Torrey’s walls? With the disapproval of a small town weighing heavily on them, will they find their place in the world? Can they struggle against the odds, or will their world be viciously shattered?

Is love a life sentence?

Due to scenes of a sexual nature, not recommended for under 18 years.

lifers

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

J&G:  5 gut wrenching stars!

Jenny:  Reading Lifers was akin to reading with a lead weight sitting on my chest. My heart was aching from the first few pages and I don’t think it stopped hurting until the end. The desolation and despair of Jordan and Torrey’s story could be felt through the pages and when every day is a battle and every thought is consumed with guilt, it makes for a very moving read that I felt in my heart.  Jordan broke me. What he endured was beyond words.

‘I guess my punishment was to carry on living.’

Mind you, there were certainly moments of humour, passion, anger, nervous anticipation and outrage throughout Lifers as well, mostly provided by Torrey, which lightened the load.

This book consumed me. You know you’re on to a good read when you can’t even let go of your Kindle to cook the evening meal, isn’t that right G?

Jordan and Torrey’s story is one of misjudgement, misplacement, grieving, forgiveness of oneself and believing in yourself enough to move forward. Of finding that other half of your soul who makes you believe that love, happiness and a future are indeed possible when you have no hope left in your heart.

“She hates me. They both do. But no more than I hate myself.” –
“God, Jordan, I’d fix it for you if I could.” 

Jane Harvey-Berrick’s writing was flawless.  The story was sad, poignant, emotive, and tragic and held a valuable lesson we can all take with us and Jordan and Torrey completely stole my heart.

“I didn’t believe life was worth living ’til I met you. I’m so, so happy I was wrong”

We cried a few times in this one didn’t and some scenes had us sobbing didn’t they G?

Gitte: Oh wow, how much did I love Lifers, Jenny!!!!! I was hooked on this emotional, passionate and beautiful story and I fell in complete love with both Jordan and Torrey, two tormented individuals each with their own methods of coping. I couldn’t put their story down for anyone or anything, it was that powerful!

“A life without love is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”

And you’re right Jenny, my heart hurt all the way through and I was on edge fearing for Jordan and crying over him and his situation. This Author truly made me feel everything through a flawlessly written story. Seriously, such talent, to have me laughing through my tears and feel such extreme emotions from one minute to the next. The message is clear and poignant and it incorporates valuable life lessons and the different stages of survival, consequences and emotional behaviour many of which are through society’s perceptions. Rules written or unwritten.

Everything was off the charts in Lifers; including the passion. I really wish everyone would pick up this book, its one hell of a journey and one of the reasons why I love reading so much!

“Every time they knocked him down he stood right back up and faced them…every time…until he couldn’t stand up anymore….”

Jenny:  The characters were tenderly brought to life and I adored them both. Torrey, the strong willed, no nonsense preachers daughter, was a bit of a wild child, who guarded her heart with the same tenacity in which she led her life.  Torrey had constructed walls that were nigh on impossible to penetrate until the day this sad and beautiful man walked into her life.

“Don’t it bother you? Sittin’ here with…with someone like me?” – Jordan
“I’d say it bothers you more than it bothers me.” – Torrey

Both Jordan and Torrey craved and needed love. Let down by those who should have loved and protected them unconditionally, these two damaged souls found a wholeness in one another.

Torrey, brought a breath of fresh air, truth and feeling into Jordan’s sad and miserable existence. She was the light in his dark days and what an absolute joy these two were. You wondered how an outspoken woman such as Torrey could be the balm to the sensitive soul of Jordan’s but it worked and it worked beautifully.

‘What would it do to a person, living day in and day out surrounded by nothing but memories and hatred?’ – Torrey

Torrey floored me.  She was witty, perceptive and a straight shooter. The things that came out of her mouth had me in stitches and I winced a time or two over her forthrightness and she always kept me on my toes.

“You’re an angel,”…..My guardian angel.” – Jordan
“If I’m an angel, we’re in more trouble than we thought.” – Torrey

 Jordan couldn’t have found anyone better to help heal him and allow him to feel atonement for what he believed were his sins. Always accepting, always truthful, she was the perfect foil for the deeply brooding Jordan. Oh and Jordan….I could talk all day about him G, but I’ll leave that to you J

Gitte: Yeah Torrey, the outspoken, kick arse, passionate and sarcastic lovable girl was perfect for my Jordan, I bloody loved her, she brought humour, trust and understanding which balanced out the sadness.  I say my Jordan because this man took a huge piece of my heart. The lump in my throat grew to near impossible size as I read his story, he was severely punished for something tragic albeit unintentional, accidental. So scary and sad how Jordan’s one mistake as a teenager robbed him of everything and left a black mark that determined how others felt justified in treating him. The punishment continued and was so painful to read about, as it reached extremities that he just didn’t deserve. The fact that people who should’ve loved him and protected him, in fact treated him like something evil and inconsequential, well it broke me, it truly did.

‘I had no clue how to live anymore.’ – Jordan

He accepts the way he’s ill-treated and believes it’s deserved, that he should continue to pay a penance for his guilt.

His life as it plays out, once he meets Torrey is so poignant, it highlights that there’s always a possibility of love and second chances no matter how appallingly you’re treated and how you’re perceived. That redemption is truly possible and forgiveness is attainable by your own hand and by others.

‘The loneliness hit me hard….I didn’t know what the boundaries were anymore. It was a game of life where I didn’t know the rules and couldn’t work them out – and I was losing. Big time.’

Jordan‘s so broken and emotionally beaten and oh so very lonely. Until Torrey….Now, Torrey brought out the real Jordan behind the mask. The Jordan who’s funny, sexy, passionate and protective.

“You’re not alone now.”

“I really want to kiss you right now.” 

The Jordan who truly matters and who’s what he was meant to be. The Jordan who deserves to live life to its fullest potential. And wow, this man is hot, but not only that, his heart is so big and so gentle and so loving you’ll swoon in the same breath as despair at his circumstances.

This Author truly managed to find just the perfect balance of every emotion, it was extremely well written. Nothing felt forced, overdone or out of place. Nothing was superfluous or dragged out. It was perfection.

“Fast, slow, hard, soft – I want it all with you….” – Jordan

I felt like my heart had been ripped out and shredded by prejudice, violence and hate  only to be mended by love, acceptance and understanding. Truly a magnificent harrowing and inspirational story!

J&G:  Lifers really did touch our hearts, no doubt about it. This story tells how one wrong decision, one split second of misjudgement can change your life and it’s told beautifully.

‘A lot can happen in six seconds. Your whole life can change in a heartbeat.’

It’s about taking life by the throat and living every moment, about shedding guilt and not letting others preconception weigh you down.  It was powerful, emotional and had us gasping with nervous anticipation. We fell in love with two characters who certainly took a piece of our hearts with them by the end of this book. Lifers is a standalone story and one we absolutely recommend picking up.  

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

 

LIFERS by JANE HARVEY BERRICK
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lifers

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