Victim of Circumstance (Cell Block C) by Freya Barker
ABOUT THE BOOK
They didn’t know each other, but the events of one single day heralded a pivotal change that would alter their lives forever.
Almost two decades spent locked away in a dark, dank cell, Gray Bennet isn’t used to the sun, the sounds, the scents.
Each year Robin Bishop returns, and while everyone around her is solemn, she lifts her face to the sun and celebrates her freedom.
He sees her.
She stands out in the grieving crowd—her head thrown back, her face bright with contentment—like a beacon offering to guide him into the light.
I’m a big fan of Freya Barker because she writes about real people and real-life issues. In this case, about returning to life after being incarcerated for 18 years, about spousal abuse, and about having faith in people. A must-read for those who love to read mature romances.
It was Gray’s first day as a free man and he wanted to go back home to Beaverton, Michigan, where his life changed forever. In addition, he has to pay tribute to his little sister in New York, and on that fateful day, he sees an unforgettable woman raising her face to the sun and smiling while surrounded by mourners. What are the odds that the woman actually lives in his hometown of Beaverton? As first impressions go, he’s hot and cold leaving her with a bad first impression. But how can he bear to see her face when he finally explains his past? No need. The small-town gossip mill has already done that for him. And she didn’t run away…yet.
Robin has lived in Beaverton for several years now, happily raising her now-college-aged daughter alone, living a short distance from her widowed mother, and working at the local diner. Every year Robin visits New York where her husband died, but she’s not there to mourn him, she is there “to remind herself she is still here, still breathing, still very much alive.” When she sees the handsome man with the light blue eyes again in her hometown, she is shocked and bewildered by his rudeness one day and his kindness the next. And then the gossip begins and bits and pieces of Gray’s past are revealed. Does it surprise her? A little. Is she still interested in him? A lot.
As always, Freya Barker’s characters are diverse with so many layers of which she peels back little by little revealing, secrets, true vulnerabilities, struggles, and extraordinary qualities. Gray is so introverted and reticent when he comes back home. He’s understandably afraid at first to show his face around town, but the people of Beaverton surprise him and treat him with kindness. Many feeling they let him down 18 years ago when they didn’t help him. However, it is Robin’s kindness and trust in him that gives him hope to start over. Her moxie and no-nonsense way of telling it like it is is just what he needs to let go of the past and move on with his life. Of course, the supporting characters of Robin’s mother and daughter, the diner regulars, and more give the story depth and a feeling of home. But my favorite character is Gray’s friend Jimmy who has stood by Gray for all of those years. Giving him a job and a place to stay, as well as an ear to listen to and a kick in the rear when he needs it most.
I love reading about more seasoned characters in romances especially since I’m well-seasoned myself. 🙂 This book explores some serious subject matter, but it also includes several laughable and hot, hot moments as well. A truly memorable story with remarkable characters. Recommend highly!
Thank you to Ms. Barker for giving me yet another opportunity to read another one of her books with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA Today bestselling author Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Driven to make her books about ‘real’ people; she creates characters who are perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills in their lives.
Recipient of the ReadFREE.ly 2019 Best Book We’ve Read All Year Award for “Covering Ollie”, the 2015 RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for Best First Book, “Slim To None”, and Finalist for the 2017 Kindle Book Award with “From Dust”, Freya continues to add to her rapidly growing collection of published novels as she spins story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!