We always marvel at how authors can take two people, give them so many reasons not to fall in love, and then magically resolve each obstacle to get to that all-important HEA. As of late, we’ve noticed an epic new conflict popping in contemporary and New Adult romances: heroes and heroines who have recently released from prison. Here are a few recent reads featuring this trend.
“Taken” by Charlotte Stein: If you haven’t been reading Stein’s Under the Skin series and you’re a contemporary or erotica fan, you are missing out. “Taken”‘s hero is an ex-convict, but not only was his offense minor — we won’t spoil it for you — but heroine Rosie is thoroughly charmed by the revelation. Of course, this is the crux of their conflict, Johann thinks his tendencies and manor are far too dark and damaged for Rosie, and she has to convince him otherwise. This is a charming, lovely, weird read. High praise!
This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak: Novak’s Whiskey Creek series is a revelation, filled with flawed characters you’ll really root for. In her latest, Phoenix is just out of jail after serving her sentence for vehicular manslaughter, despite protesting her innocence. She’s looking to reconnect with the son she had while she was away — and maybe her son’s father, too. This is a story of second chances, of forgiveness and reconnection. You might need tissues.
Time Served by Julianna Keyes: This is another second-chance romance, starring ex-convict Dean, who, after eight years in prison, reconnects with Rachel, who up and left him and their town in search of a better life. Rachel’s a lawyer now, not prepared for Dean, or their sexual connection. An interesting aspect of this title (spoilers ahead) is that, like Johann in Stein’s novella, Dean did indeed commit his crime, and now he’s dealing with the aftermath. Workaholic Rachel must decide — in between steamy encounters — if she’s going to be there beside him.
Take the Fall by Marquita Valentine: This upcoming New Adult romance stars ex-convict and Marine Seth, who must finally return to his hometown to attend his grandmother’s funeral. There he comes face-to-face with his lost love, Rowan. Seth, true to the title, took the fall for a crime he didn’t commit, and now that he’s back, he wants Rowan. Can she learn to trust him again? We’ll have to wait til July to find out!
Have you read any of these latest reads? Let us know below! And if you have a favorite jailbird character we haven’t mentioned, do tell. For more love stories, be sure to visit our Everything Romance page.