I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As a huge fan of this author, when I read the blurb I knew I had to read this. It sounded...different. And I was in the mood for different. But. It isn’t what it seems. I wasn’t supposed to like this story. At first, I wondered if I did. But then? But then, the story gripped be. So, no. I didn’t like this book. I loved it.
“Don’t wait for life.”
This summer Nick Andrews had plans to hang out with his beautiful girlfriend Anayansi Alfaro (Yansi) and surf with his best friend, Sean. But his summer didn’t go exactly as planned. His life is completely out of control. Who knew being seventeen was going to be like this? Nick learns that not everything is all it seems. Events this summer change his life. Forever.
“But I’m with you because I see your soul. You’ve got a beautiful soul, you just don’t know it.”
If you are looking for a YA romance, you may not exactly find that here. It is even better. So much more. Yes, the characters are YA aged, however the male POV of Nick shows so much strength. The raw emotion in this book unlike anything I’ve ever experienced by characters this age before. Summer Of Seventeen will resonate with everyone no matter the age. It goes somewhere deep. It goes beyond the fluff of other YA stories.
Summer Of Seventeen is not your average story. It takes you on a journey with seventeen year old Nick. An unpredictable, sometimes ugly, emotional ride. But it is one I did not want to get off. Life and love isn’t supposed to hurt. Not at seventeen. But it does. And Nick learns this all too quickly. I know I am vague regarding the plot of the story, but that is on purpose. This story is to be experienced.
“Give me a lifetime of feeling this. Give me now and then and soon and when, and give me a future, give me life, give me hope.
The writing was flawless. But, that’s no surprise because of the author. She can write anything from adult contemporary to YA. She overwhelms with you emotion, she digs deep. I wasn't supposed to feel this way about this book. But I did. This book was so much more than I could have ever imagined. I wasn’t supposed to love it like I did. The ending shattered my heart. I finished Summer of Seventeen with tears in my eyes. It was beautiful. It was real. And I felt every moment of it.
“You have a great ass,” she whispered.
“It’s all yours,” I challenged her. “You only gotta ask.”
“Maybe I won’t ask; maybe I’ll just grab a hold,” she laughed.
“Fine by me.”
As the trees thinned out, I could see people already laying out beach towels, and a couple of guys throwing a football. Some of them I knew, but there were several I didn’t. I thought maybe they went to Viera or Rockledge schools.
Yansi laid out two towels for us while Megan took charge of the food and Esther was eye-fucking one of the guys playing football.
I tugged off my t-shirt and plopped down next to Yansi. She was wearing some real short cut-off jeans that showed her butt cheeks, and a tank top that was cropped above her belly button. She looked incredible.
“How come you were allowed to leave the house like that?” I teased.
She smirked at me and pointed to her sweater.
“I tied this around my waist. Papi couldn’t tell the difference.”
“And your mom?”
Yansi laughed. “She just shook her head and said to tell you hi.”
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Lifers is a beautiful, heart wrenching story about love, forgiveness, finding and accepting peace. After spending eight years in prison, Jordan Kane returns to his hometown to finish out his parole sentence. When he returns it’s still the same small town that he left eight years ago. He is shunned and hated by everyone because of what happened years ago as a teen. Torrey Delaney is new to town and so happens to be the preacher’s daughter. She has quite the reputation. She quickly befriends Jordan and it slowly turns into more. Jordan has demons that he faces daily. Torrey isn’t sure if she can love him through that. As time passes on, their feelings are undeniable.
“I like talkin’ about it with you. It’s just a little strange for me. I feel like you’re a dream and I’ll wake up and find my life really is total shit after all.”
I have read books by this author before, but Lifers? There are no words. Lifers is captivating, beautiful, and has ALL THE FEELS! Torrey is funny, sassy, and she has to be one of my favorite female lead characters. Her past keeps her from believing in love. Her parents messy divorce didn't help in her views of marriage. Jordan is a lost and broken man. He has the most beautiful soul, but is completely consumed with guilt and grief. The minute Torrey and Jordan meet, you feel their connection. They are instantly drawn to each other. The change in Jordan's character is remarkable. At first he is quiet, shy, hesitant. His human spirit was shattered. Over time, the love he shares with Torrey allows him to develop into a someone he never thought possible-someone who wanted to live.
"I think that meeting you has been the best thing that's ever happened to me. You don't know it, but you've saved me Torrey Delaney"
"Do I love her? It's more than that, bro. She's my reason for livin'."
My heart shattered throughout this story. I felt everything. Every. Single Word. Your heart aches for all the pain that every character is subjected to. The characters in this story are real, genuine, and authentic. The emotions are raw. They are displayed for the reader to FEEL. That giddy feeling that you get as an avid reader when you read a book? Yeah. That doesn't even begin to describe how I felt about Lifers. I was completely consumed by this book. It left me breathless. It left me wanting to read it over and over.
"It's ok Jordan. You're safe with me."
“I love you.” I said. “What we have, you and me, it’s what I thought love should be, but I’d stopped believing it existed.”
Days later, I am still reeling over Jordan and Torrey's story. I didn't read this book, I lived it. I was consumed by it. The art of storytelling is not lost. This beautifully written story flowed nicely. It grabs you from the first page and does not let you go until the end. The love between Torrey and Jordan comes naturally. No insta-love here. It's fate and just meant to be.
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine"
Lifers goes where no other story has ever been. Love? What's stronger than that? Torrey and Jordan. Love knows no boundaries. Love heals. In all things, choose love. So love, deeply.
*I received an ARC in exchange for honest review*
“A lot can happen in six seconds. Your whole life can change in a heartbeat.”
Wow!! Did I love this book; I've not stopped thinking about Lifers since I finished it a few days ago. Lifers was one of those books that captivated me from the very beginning, and took me on an emotional rollercoaster. It made me feel every emotion, and I found myself having moments of when I was angry, sad, crying, anxious, and nervous, but equally I found myself laughing aloud, smiling, grinning and swooning.
Jordan Kane is a sweet, honest, funny, passionate and oh so sexy, but at the same time he’s fearful, suspicious, defensive and trusts no one. His story was not an easy read at times, and my heart was just breaking for him as he tried to move forward with his life the best he could. This was hard to do because he had to return home to the town where just about everyone hated him and treated him like an outsider because of one mistake he made as a teenager. The things he had to endure from the people around him and even his parents’ prejudice and judgment made me so angry at times.
“One mistake.That's all it took. One fuckin', stupid, childish, dumb mistake.”
I loved Torrey Delaney as much as I loved Jordan; this girl was an amazing strong character. She was confident, feisty, sassy, passionate, and so funny with a great attitude. I loved that her mouth had no filter, and she said what she thought. Torrey and her lifestyle are the talk of the town, but she doesn’t care what people think about her and is happy to give them the finger, and do and say what she feels.
“Why don’t we talk about what’s really bothering you, instead of dancing around it like a couple of queens at an Abba convention”
What I absolutely loved about this story was the level of detail, emotion, romance, sexual tension and passion that Jane Harvey-Berrick puts into these two incredible characters. The way Jordan and Torrey's friendship, and then relationship developed was faultless. It was realistic, palpable and wasn’t rushed or forced. It was lovely seeing it bloom from mutual attraction into a hot sexy romance. I loved all their encounters together and the way they opened up to each other. Their dialogue was both hilarious and heart wrenching at times. Jordan and Torrey have a deep underlying connection that binds them together.
“Just talking to her like a normal person was the best conversation I’d had in eight years”
“We… have something special. I don’t know what it is yet but I’m willing to find out”
Written from both points of view meant I was able to see what they were both thinking, including their insecurities and demons and I just adored that. It was heartbreaking but also heartwarming. Jordan was so vulnerable at times. It was just heartbreaking; the way Jordan’s guilt consumed him, and made him believe he was not worthy and deserved all the crappy things that happened to him. Also, Torrey’s issues and past relationships have made her fearful of commitments.
“He made me believe in myself… because he loves me”
“When I was with her, for the first time in a long while, I didn’t feel judged. I couldn’t figured out why, but she seemed to accept me for who I was”
I loved that Torrey was Jordan’s biggest supporter. She fights for him, gets him to fight for himself and makes him see that he deserves to be happy.
“You’re not in jail now, Jordan, and you don’t need to hide away. Live a little. Take a chance”.
“I felt it. I felt it in her words, in her voice, and in her body. I closed my eyes: I wasn’t alone anymore”
“My God! How did this man who had endured eight years of brutalizing treatment hold such love in his heart? It stunned my soul”
I loved Jordan’s passion for Torrey, and the way he was also her biggest supporter. This boy loved, and he loved hard, he knew that Torrey was it for him. I loved the way his personality went from being quiet and shy to confident and Alpha. Every time he said sweetheart in that southern accent my heart just melted and it put the biggest grin on my face.
“Sweetheart I’ve been at your feet since the first day I saw you”
Overall, Lifers is a completely beautiful, well-written and consuming read about love, forgiveness, second chances, and redemption. I loved the epilogue, but I did want more. So Maybe a novella, just so I see what the future has in store for Jordan and Torrey, please Jane pretty please! ;-)
This was the first book I have read by Jane, and I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It’s one of those stories that I’m convinced will deeply impact anyone who reads it. I loved this book! I had 18 Kindle pages of highlights so that must tell you something!
“A life without love is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead”
“It scared the shit out of me to feel so much. I’d spent eight years keeping every emotion frozen and numb, trusting no one”.
“God! This woman! She just has a way of making everything okay…bearable”
"I love you, Torrey Delaney. You don't have to say it back to me, but I love you. I didn't believe life was worth living until I met you. I'm so, so happy I was wrong.“
“She’d stripped away every layer of skin and poured her kindness and compassion into my body, healing me from the inside out.”
“Come and sit down,” Mom said, patting her hand on the cushion next to her.
I took a seat in the easy chair opposite, hanging my legs over the arm.
“Go on then. Lay it on me.”
“It’s not something to joke about, Torrey.”
“Do you see me laughing?”
“No, well … the truth is Jordan Kane is a very troubled young man. Now, I’m doing my best to help him settle back into society but…”
“But what? Get to the point, Mom.”
She looked up at me sharply.
“But it won’t help him if you start talking flirty to him.”
I burst out laughing at that. “Talking flirty? Jeez. Did we just get beamed up by a spaceship and land in the 1950s? I made the guy a cup of coffee, and I kind of get the impression that I’m the only person that’s tried to have a conversation with him in a while.” My voice sobered. “He looked lonely. I made him coffee.”
Mom shook her head.
“I heard what you said to him—you told him you thought he was cute.”
“Mom, that’s not flirting. That’s a fact. That dude is smokin’ hot.”
She gasped, and I couldn’t help riding her ass just a little more.
“Saying that he’s cute is like saying that it’s dark at night.”
“I know you’re trying to aggravate me, Torrey, so I’ll let that pass. The fact is that he would have seen it as you flirting with him, no matter what you call it.”
“Fine. You busted me eye-fucking the hot handyman. So sue me.”
“I don’t want you talking like that, Torrey!”
“Oh, jeez, Mom! I didn’t hump him on the porch!”
“There’s no need to be so crude!”
I was getting seriously pissed now. Did this woman not know how hypocritical she was being?
“Oh, is that right? So, talking to the handyman, whom you employed, and giving him a damn coffee is suddenly a cardinal sin? Why don’t we talk about what’s really bothering you, instead of dancing around it like a couple of queens at an Abba convention?”
“I can’t talk to you when you’re like this,” she said, standing up suddenly.
“Yeah, well I guess we’ll never have a real conversation then, because this is who I am. And if you’d stuck around instead of leaving us when I was 13, you’d know that.”
I lived in London for over 10 years and have a love affair with New York. It's only since I have moved to the countryside, that the words have really begun to flow.
I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.
Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.
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