Book Review: Hard Time (Hard as Nails) by Hope Conrad

Hard Time is the first book in the Hard as Nails contemporary romance series by Hope Conrad. Thomas Street is an ex-con, but before he got out of prison, he locked eyes with her.  The moment Street sees Katie serving food in a hellhole of a prison, he wants her.  Now he’s found her again, working in a bookstore of all places, and she’s just as gorgeous as he remembers. Only Katie thinks he can be redeemed. That there’s a good man underneath his darkness. But then Katie becomes his, Katie and her daughter. And he’ll risk everything, including fighting the devil himself, to protect them.
Hard Time is a contemporary love story and a good start to a series. I liked that Street and Katie face huge, real life problems. While their issues were those that are not part of my reality, I am very aware that some of them are very really to many people. I liked the fact that Katie's daughter did not just become a non issue, but that where she was and how to keep her safe and happier were very much a part of the story. Too often a child in a romance with a single parent just kind of disappears and plays too little of a role. The danger and drama of Katie and Street's romance was real, and I like that it come from both sides of the story- they each had problems that needed to be overcome rather than one being the perfect partner and one in need of redemption. They have both made mistakes and talk out their issues for the most part. The guilt and pain they each feel, and the internal issues they need to overcome are just as important to the story as their attraction and sex that they share. I really liked that emotion and consequences were so important and prevalent in the story. I wonder where the series will go next, and look forward to seeing the friends from Street's past find their way to happiness. 

Hard Time is a great redemption and love story. It is heartening to see people overcoming huge but real problems and work towards happiness. 
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