Intermix / April 15, 2014 /$3.99 digital
Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.
Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.
When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.
Set in the same bleakly hopeless Darren, Michigan, where her spectacular After Hours unfolded, Hard Time is Cara McKenna's companion piece, a novel equally as shocking and unpredictable that, instead of a psychiatric hospital, begins on the shaky grounds of a prison, and instead of a rough orderly, goes all the way with a convicted felon hero. Annie and Eric's courtship, which can be called nothing else as the letters are so sweetly innocent and pure in nature, is so sharply contrasted with where they are, yet because the trappings of the outside world are stripped away, a very intense connection emerges very quickly. It's almost sensory overload.