Title: Fallen Angel
Author: Jeff Erno
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Characters: Trey Palmer, Jeremy Banks
Their love, forbidden yet beautiful, hardly stood a chance of surviving a place like this.
Trey Palmer killed his stepfather three years ago, stabbing him repeatedly with a butcher knife, and now he’s facing life behind bars. He doesn’t deny what he did, nor does he regret it. But he’s plagued with flashbacks of a torturous childhood in which he was abused by this man he finally extinguished. In prison, Trey employs a strategy of avoidance. He becomes a loner and a workaholic, steering clear of the gangs and their drama. His life changes one day, however, when a new cellmate arrives.
Jeremy Banks, also in for murder, decries his innocence. With his long hair and angelic face, he’s too pretty for a men’s prison. Though at first annoying and mouthy, Jeremy begins to wiggle his way into Trey’s heart, and Trey starts to wonder if maybe the kid really is innocent. He truly does seem like an angel. Their feelings for each other evolve, blossoming into something forbidden yet beautiful. But how can a love like theirs last in a place like this?
Fallen Angel is the first book in the Life without Parole series by Jeff Erno. I admit, I was hesitant to request this book to review. Why? Well, in all honesty, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about reading a romance set in a prison setting. I’ve watched enough prison shows to know that life behind bars is NOT a pretty one, so I wasn’t sure if I would like this book or not. One thing I DO like is Jeff Erno’s stories. Mr. Erno writes thought-provoking romances that aren’t always wrapped up in a nice pretty bow. It’s because of my trust in this author’s work that I decided to give this book a shot.
I’m glad I did.
I’m not going to kid you…this wasn’t an easy read for me. I guess it’s the feeling of impending doom I couldn’t shake why reading this story. From the beginning, we are met with Trey who is unrepentant for killing his pedophile, abusive father. Because of his insistence to keep his sister and mother from experiencing more grief, he pleads guilty and gets life without parole. That’s right, Trey has no desire to fight for freedom and balks at his family for still working to earn him his freedom.
Trey keeps to himself. He’s been incarcerated for three years and has learned the ins and out of the prison system. He isn’t there to make friends. He just wants to do his time, be left alone and go about his day to day existence.
On the other hand, Jeremy is just arriving at prison for being committed of a crime he didn’t do. Alone and afraid, Jeremy is thrown into a world full of violence and corruption. He is quite naïve as to prison politics and who to trust. When he becomes cellmates with Trey, its Jeremy’s innocence that draws Trey to him.
There is a lot going on in this novel. Mr. Erno builds the world of prison life as well as the politics the inmates live with in a very frank and realistic fashion. Along with Jeremy, we get to meet a cast of characters who aren’t as they seem. As Jeremy learns about these men, so do we and it’s not always a pretty sight.
One of things I really liked about this book is the slow buildup between Trey and Jeremy’s relationship. I enjoyed watching them become friends and become close. It was good to see both men begin to really open up to each other and learn to rely on one another as well. Of course, just when the book was really getting interesting, it ends…so now I’m anxious to see what happens to these two characters next.
If you are looking for a happy ending, this doesn’t really have one, but it does end sweet *in a Trey and Jeremy kind of way* and I enjoyed it. I admit, I still have that doomed feeling even after finishing this book. Why? Because I have a feeling both of these men will probably have some heartache ahead of them, but I trust this author and I’m interested in seeing what is in store for us next.
Jeff Erno proves once again that he is the master at writing gripping, thought-provoking stories that will live with you long after you finish reading the book.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
Click HERE to purchase Fallen Angel by Jeff Erno