Type: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
Eric Hernandez is the bad boy of every schoolgirl’s fantasies—and every mother’s nightmares. But after serving time for manslaughter, he’s ready to turn his life around. He just needs a chance to prove himself as a professional tattoo artist. The one thing that keeps him going is the memory of the innocent beauty he loved and left behind.
Meghan Young’s world isn’t as perfect as it looks. The preacher’s daughter is living a lie, especially now that Eric is back. Tougher, harder, and sexier than ever, he might be the only person she can trust. But there’s no telling what he’ll do to protect her if he learns the truth, and that’s a risk Meghan won’t let him take. And yet, back in the arms of the troubled boy with the artist’s soul, Meghan can’t help surrendering to the man he’s become.
When choosing what books to read, most of the time I stick with authors I know and love. I’m a creature of habit I guess. Sometimes, though, the description of a book will intrigue me enough to try someone new. That’s what happened with Against the Wall. I’m not a fan of the new adult genre, but something about Eric – a tattoo artist and ex-con – drew me and I wanted to find out his story. Apparently the characters in this book appeared in a previous book, but I was fine reading this as a stand-alone.
Meghan Young moved away to college to get away from her oppressive religious upbringing. Not exactly rebellious, she wanted to find her own way and not be pushed into the life her parents wanted for her. She first met Eric when her brother got together with his sister-in-law. Fascinated by the troubled young man with a brooding nature, she falls hard for him. She sees past the gang member to the loyal, caring person inside.
Eric Hernandez knows Meghan is too good for him. He lives a rough life of selling drugs, fighting and hanging out with the wrong people. She’s a preacher’s daughter and a cop’s sister. None of that is enough to deter him. He can’t resist her. When he ends up in prison for manslaughter, he pushes her away for her own good, thinking he can’t ask her to wait for him.
Meghan and Eric are reunited soon after he is let out on parole. Even though she has a boyfriend and he needs to stay out of trouble, the fire between them still burns as hot as ever and it doesn’t take long for them to be drawn together again. Eric is determined to stay clean, avoid violence and not violate any part of his parole. He will not go back to prison again. Unfortunately trouble seems to find him no matter his intentions and soon his life is spiraling out of control again. It takes some tough decisions and a lot of hard work to stay on the right path.
I really liked Eric. I think the author did a good job of portraying somewhat of a dark hero – a guy with a rough past who holds out hope for making something of his future. He was older than his years and made his share of mistakes, but I loved that his protective instincts with Meghan never wavered. Even when he was trying to ignore their attraction and keep her at arm’s length, he knew he would do whatever he could to keep her safe. For her part, Meghan was drawn to Eric just like she was three years ago. He’s older, harder and she finds him sexier than ever and she can’t resist him. She’s always seen the thoughtful, creative guy inside the tough exterior, and she’s the one person who has always believed in him.
I’m still not thrilled with new adult – I much prefer reading about more mature characters who have had more life experiences. But I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Meghan and her friend Kelsea were more than a little annoying sometimes, but the supporting cast of characters and Eric as an unwilling (and unlikely) hero made it worth the read.
I give Against the Wall bu Jill Sorenson 3.75 stars