Behind the Wall by Jane Harvey-Berrick

Title: Behind the Wall

Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick

Release Date: May 26, 2017

goodreads

 

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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 heartache and even more heat.

 

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Meagan’s Updated  5  Star Review

What an unexpected story! Student/teacher romances can quickly become boring after reading too many of them. The same old storylines being used again and again. That’s why I loved how Jane Harvey-Berrick created something I hadn’t seen before – a student/teacher romance in prison.

“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.”

Ella is working with the prison to help felons get their GED. As a woman, Ella had strict rules to obey when she was teaching. No makeup, no pens, no jewelry or perfume, nothing that would excite the prisoners or anything they could use as a weapon. But even with all the rules, Ella looks forward to making a difference. Garrett, however, knows the truth, the warden wants prisoners to get their GED so he looks good not because he cares about their rehabilitation. Yet after one class with Ella, Garrett begins to foster hope. He tries to fight it, but Ella makes him dare to dream what life could be like outside.

“Sure, I’ll just go up to her in front of Wilson, or maybe the whole class, and ask her if she’s into felons, and if she thinks I look good in orange.”

So, how do you have a relationship when one of you is in prison? Well, it’s not easy. Because this was a novella, the author didn’t have a lot of time to create a believable connection. The end left me a little sad we didn’t get to see the next step in Ella and Garrett’s lives, but that’s only because I enjoyed their story so much. I definitely wouldn’t say no if Jane Harvey-Berrick continued their story at a later date.

It’s like Jane Harvey-Berrick knew what I was thinking and gave me everything I was looking for. Now that Behind the Wall has been re-vamped (it’s the same story with a few more details and an awesome extended ending) I have unequivocally fallen in love.

MILD SPOILERS

The previous edition of Behind the Wall ends quickly after Garrett and Ella meet once he is released from Prison. Now the story continues as Garrett enters a halfway house and tries to find a job. He pushes Ella away thinking he will only bring her down, knowing he will never be enough for her. It was sad to see how little Garrett thought of himself. Ella and Garrett’s future isn’t easy but the roadblocks they face only makes their relationship stronger.

I held her tightly because this was love and this was real, and my life would never be the same again. Ahead was sunlight and hope. So much hope.

The extra pages added to this edition of Behind the Wall satisfied my craving. I love Garrett and Ella’s relationship, and their sweet ending was well deserved.

meagan

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Excerpt

An alarm blaring jerked us apart, and Garrett peered through the window in the classroom door.

When he turned to look at me again, there was a new tension in his jaw.

“They’re going to riot,” he said sharply. “We have to get out of here. Do you trust me?”

Trust. Such a small word with such a big meaning. Could I trust a convicted felon? Could I? Dare I trust a man whose simple words stole my heart from the very first moment he’d shown me his true self? Foolish, foolish heart.

“Yes, I trust you.”

A surprised smile flashed across his face, then he shook his head.

“We have to get out of here. It’s not safe for you.”

Panic shot through me, but then Garrett grabbed my hand and I felt instantly soothed.

He peered around the door, paused, then squeezed my fingers without looking at me.

“Get ready to run, Ella.”

I took a deep breath, and then we were racing along the brightly lit corridor, the alarm even louder, almost drowning out the pounding of our footsteps.

Garrett dragged me along with him, urging me to go faster. I felt his own panic as he tried door after door, but all were locked. The sound of rioting seemed to follow us, and I thought I could smell smoke.

Then we ran out of corridor, and Garrett swore loudly, his eyes darting wildly. He dropped my hand and kicked at the nearest door, smashing it repeatedly until I was sure either the door or his leg would shatter.

Finally, as sweat poured down Garrett’s face, the door’s weak lock screeched and broke, and he fell into a large storage closet.

“In here!” he hissed, his face contorting with pain as his hand reached out to mine.

I followed him without thinking, needing him near to feel safe.

As soon as I was inside, he wedged the door shut, and we sat with our backs against the wall, breathless. Only a faint illumination came through the cracks around the door frame until my eyes adjusted to the darkness.

Garrett was watching me warily.

“Are you okay?”

A small, hysterical laugh bubbled out of me.

“Am I? I don’t know! Are you okay?”

“Yeah.”

So much emotion in that one word. I felt his longing, shared it.

My hands cupped his face, using the darkness as permission to explore him slowly. His eyelids drooped and he breathed in a shaky breath.

“Ella, I don’t . . .”

“Shh,” I whispered, pressing my lips against the soft skin of his neck, breathing in the faint scent of plain soap and sweat.

His body shuddered as my fingers explored further, adrenaline and shock making me bold. We’d been gifted this one chance and I wasn’t going to waste it.

I’d imagined that hard body so many times, imagined the layer of solid muscle and silky skin that overlaid a tall, lean bone structure.

My impatient fingers pushed under his prison uniform, discovering a trail of coarse hair that led from his chest to the waistband of his pants. My impulsive fingers drifted lower, and I felt the groan in his chest as I closed my hand around his hot, heated shaft.

“Ellaaaa!” he moaned my name with reverence, a plea.

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About the Author

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Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter | Instagram

Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).

She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA)

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