Dali’s review & rating: 4 of 5 stars
A touching story about young love, heartbreak and second chances.
Eric Hernandez grew up in the rough environment of street gangs where tagging walls and selling drugs were an everyday occurrence. He knows he’s made bad choices, one in particular landed him in jail as a violent offender. But after three years in prison, he’s out and disposed to live on the straight and narrow. It’s not easy turning a new leaf, especially when your past is threatening to catch up and the only girl he’s ever loved is now a tempting and completely off-limits woman.
“This is what straight life if about. Hard work and simple pleasures.”
Meghan Young had no other choice but to move on with her life after Eric’s rejection when he was incarcerated. She continued with her college degree as a psych major, she even found a seemingly perfect athlete boyfriend. But looks can be deceiving and Eric’s return unravels Meghan’s barely there hold on her life. But even with the hardly contained attraction and emotions between her and Eric, can Meghan convince Eric to give himself and them a chance?
“She’s different. She’s still kind and caring and inquisitive, but different. More mature. The Meghan I knew back then was a small-town girl rebelling against her religious upbringing. This Meghan is not so innocent, and all the more tempting.”
I’ve mentioned before that I love reading new authors and Jill Sorenson is a refreshing surprise. She was true to the difficult, tempting and distressing situations her characters faced from start to finish, not shying away from the complications of life after prison a young, toughened man who was no stranger to crime and gangs would have to face. Nor did she make Eric and Meghan’s transition from a heartbreaking young love to an adult, mature relationship smooth or easy.
Eric is not your typical anti-hero or charming, charismatic hero, a fact I loved. Even with the sexy hard edges surrounding an artist’s soul, there was something that didn’t let me fully connect with him. I wanted him to succeed though, so very much. He accepted his errors and never hid behind a victim card. It was sad to see him struggle to find a job, difficult to try to control his emotions and actions, stressful to see him try to keep out of trouble when trouble liked to visit him on a regular basis. I truly wanted him to find himself, his place and happiness.
“Back in the day I used to make fun of guys who got hung up on their girlfriends… There’s nothing unmanly about wanting to keep your woman happy. It’s a strength, not a weakness.”
Meghan, even though having an “easier” life compared to Eric, she still has to go through what most young adults do when transitioning from student to the real world. Add to that the fact that she was in love with a criminal while dating a less than perfect jock and you can surmise that her life wasn’t that easy. I liked that she was strong enough to get out of her abusive relationship and that she saw beyond Eric’s past, saw the good person lying underneath the exterior coarseness, and fought for what she wanted.
The chemistry between Eric and Meghan is palpable, not only to them and the supporting characters. It completely leaped off the pages.
“I’ve never been like that before, so rough and aggressive. Her passionate response surprised me. Not only did she enjoy my caveman act, she followed me into the shower.”
I loved all the secondary characters who not only supported Eric and Meghan, but also enhanced this story about hope and love with the support and strength of family and friends. I did some investigating and found out that Ms. Sorenson has previously written about Eric’s sister-in-law and Meghan’s brother in a novel called The Edge of Night, which I’ve already added to my read list, and I hope we’ll soon get the story about Meghan’s best friend Kelsea.
Against the Wall is a contemporary, young adult romance by Jill Sorenson. This story is told from alternating points of view, explicit sexual content, with a happy ending.
Amazon -> http://amzn.to/1NKscfj
* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *