My Review: Behind the Wall by Jane Harvey-Berrick

My Review:  Behind the Wall by Jane Harvey-BerrickBehind the Wall by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Publication Date: May 26, 2017
Genres: Romance, Student Teacher
Amazon Nook Paperback Goodreads

Synopsis

Prison.
The place where dreams fade and hope dies.
That’s what it’s meant for the five years that Garrett has been behind bars. But now hope is on the horizon and he’s daring to dream again: small dreams, small hopes.
Getting his GED would be a start. If only his prison-appointed teacher Miss Ella Newsome wasn’t so damn sexy.
As Garrett and Ella start to play a dangerous game, the price could be higher than either of them have guessed.

This story first appeared in the anthology HOT FOR TEACHER in 2016. It has since been extended with new scenes, more heart ache and even more heat.

My Review

Behind the Wall by Author Jane Harvey-Berrick is a student-teacher romance novella.

I was falling for Prisoner 97813. It was reckless and stupid, maybe even dangerous. And I couldn’t stop myself.

Finding himself confined to a jail cell, Garrett doesn’t think there is much good he can get from being locked up. Given the opportunity to pass time and earn his GED, he enters the class of Miss Newsome, and is about to be educated in a way which no prison could.

He’d spoken just two words, three little syllables, but I felt as if it was so much more. He’d let the mask slip and shown me his real self.

I’ll begin my review by saying, although not part of the actual story, this author’s dedication in the opening pages lifted my heart.  Had I not already known she was a fantastic writer, this component itself would make me dive into her story.  However, I do have a history with her unique writing and had previously read this novella in its first form in the Hot for Teachers anthology. So, diving in was exactly what I did.

“I’d never known that the raging pain inside my heart was love tearing out all the bitterness, all the suffering, all the mistakes and bad choices.”

Outside of Behind the Wall feeding my student-teacher addiction, this story was inspirational, featured a second chance at life and an infinite chance at love. The warmth of words from our hero and heroine were matched by the heat of their infatuation with each other.  Their taboo association opened the door for a future that promised them both happiness and love. It was the perfect taste of how something so wrong can be so right.

“… I see you, Dane Garrett. I see you trying, and I love you even more for it.”

5 Stars

Excerpt

At the end of a long, exasperating day where nothing seemed to go as I wanted, I was happy to shake Nottoway dust from my shoes and head out for a drink with my best friend Becky.

“How’s it going in stir, sista?” she asked in her best Orange is the New Black impression.

“Fine,” I mumbled.

“Fine as in I-broke-both-my-legs-but-don’t-worry-about-me fine, or fine as in today-sucked-ass-and-I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself?”

“Probably the latter,” I said, unable to stop a tired smile appearing on my face.

“Come tell Aunty Becky all about it, but not before you’ve had at least one Mimosa.”

“Honestly, I don’t really feel like drinking. I’ll just get all weepy and mopey.”

She shook her head and pushed a glass toward me.

“So get weepy and mopey. How’s it going with Mr. Hottie-con?”

“He’s … doing well. He makes a great teacher’s aide—better than I could have hoped. The other prisoners go to him in between classes. They’re all making so much progress.”

“That’s good then.”

“Yes.”

“And?”

“And nothing.”

“So, you’re not fantasizing about the length of his … parole?”

“Becky!”

“I’m right, aren’t I? You’re totally crushing on your jailbird boy toy.”

“He’s 30. And he’s not my boy toy.”

“But you’d like him to be?”

I took a slug of Mimosa, tossing it back like I was doing shots. Then my head dropped to my hands and I let out a groan.

“Oh my God, Becky! He’s the hottest guy I’ve ever met. Handsome, sexy, total brooding bad boy. But sweet, too. How can an ex-thief be sweet? And I don’t even know if he’s an ex-thief—not really. And when he looks at me, all dark and intense … and I haven’t had a boyfriend since Nathan. I haven’t even had a date. And now my B.O.B. needs new batteries.”

She choked on her drink then burst out laughing.

“There’s no harm in having a little down time thinking about doing the nasty with a hot felon. As long as that’s all it is.”

I sighed. Becky knew me too well.

“I like him.”

She screwed her eyes shut.

“Oh glory, I was afraid of that. You’re so predictable, El. You see something broken and you want to fix it. It’s admirable in the right circumstances, but this isn’t one of them.”

“I know. I know you’re right, but it’s chemistry, or magnetism, or pheromones, or…”

“Lust?”

I looked down at the drink in my hands.

“Honey, the guy is hot and off-limits and the original bad boy. Of course you’re lusting after him. Just promise me that you won’t do anything stupid.”

“As if!” I huffed.

“Hmm, well, tell me this. If he was paroled tomorrow, would you date him? Introduce him to me? To the rest of your friends? Would you take him home to meet your parents? Can you honestly see a future with an ex-con?”

I shook my head.

“I’m his teacher. Nothing is going to happen.”

But the truth was, it already had. I was falling for Prisoner 97813. It was reckless and stupid, maybe even dangerous.

And I couldn’t stop myself.

About Jane Harvey-Berrick

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write. Perhaps it was growing up in a village well known for its mystery and folklore, which sparked my imagination as a child.

I enjoy writing in several different genres, and I've just published my first romcom, 'Dazzled'.

All my books have a little me in them, and I'm inspired by the personal stories of those around me. It's often from a simple discussion overheard in the train ('Exposure'), in a café, or in the street, where ideas for characters or scenes come to me.

I fell in love with both Sam ('The New Samurai') and the eponymous Sebastian in 'The Education of Sebastian' and the sequel 'The Education of Caroline', and missed them desperately once I'd finished their stories. I love writing dialogue and always try to include touches of humour in the most poignant stories.

Whether you like adult romance novels, new or young adult writing, thrillers, or fantasy, I hope you'll enjoy the journey through my stories.

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