Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible.
Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people. His colleagues mock his doe-eyed optimism, but Noah soon sees CJ’s bad attitude and bravado are weapons he uses to keep people at a distance.
Both men know one simple mistake can change a life forever. At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites. Yet underneath, they’re not that different at all.
Contains mature themes.
I don’t give out 5 pieces of eye candy ratings often. I think I have given 2 this year so far. It has to be a book I absolutely loved AND one I would read again. That is hard to do, because even books I absolutely LOVE, some I wouldn’t read again (I hate ugly crying…). But this one received the 5 pieces of eye candy rating for just that reason. I loved this book, and I definitely want to read it again.
I’m not sure where I even can start. This was a tough book to read, not because it wasn’t well written, or even because I didn’t like any of the book. What was tough was that I kept feeling like the other shoe was going to drop and CJ was going to have something happen, end up back in prison, or in the hospital or something equally appalling. But, of course, with any book by Walker, there is always an HEA, so why I was concerned, I don’t know. She wrote these characters so well, with just the right amount of personality for each of them, that I couldn’t help but be concerned for them. I would hurt for CJ when his father was awful to him. I would hurt for Noah who knew he could only do so much for a man as independent as CJ, but wanted to do all he could anyway. I even hurt for Pops every single time he was breathing heavy (Thanks to Joel for making sure that was the case as he narrated the book!) I felt the pain, concern and even impatience that these men felt as I listened to this book.
**side note** I can’t listen to audiobooks before bed, but I was at the very end of the book, and had to know what happened, so I pulled out my ebook and finished it up by reading. Then went and listened to the narration of the end the next day. lol
One of the things I enjoyed so much about this book was the fact that the author didn’t just make it a book about the pain of all that CJ and Noah were dealing with. It was about every day life. And even when you are in pain, and fearful for what’s coming next, there are moments in days where humor comes in, where you just have to laugh.
He took his license from his wallet and showed it to me. “This is a crap photo.”
I took it and inspected it, trying not to smile, then, trying not to laugh. “Jesus, did you pay the homeless man to stand in for ya?”
Joel Leslie is so very talented, able to create the accents needed for all the books he narrates, this one being set in Australia. He even did a great Italian accent for Noah’s boss at the mechanic shop. He laughs when it’s needed, and slows down his breathing for emphasis when the intensity of the book demands it. What he does best, though? It is obvious he is not just reading the book, he is narrating from the place of someone who is enjoying the book, and wants to ensure that others do as well.
Story: 5 pieces of eye candy
Narration: 5 pieces of eye candy