Jailbird by Heather Huffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the blurb:
Neena Allen's life didn't exactly follow the path she'd anticipated. She couldn't have seen the twists and turns that would lead her to wander the woods, presumed dead by the prison guards. When Neena starts a new life in a little Arkansas town, she finds a contentment she never dreamed possible. The thing about skeletons in your closet is they always come back to haunt you.
Neena aka Kali is in prison because she killed someone. That someone took her into the woods and attacked her, raped her and would have fed her to the gators if she hadn't hit him over the head with a tire iron which sent him to the fiery place he belongs. Unfortunately, he was the son of a very rich and very prominent mayor and Neena/Kali is a half-breed. Apparently, that is sufficient to send her to prison for murder. (insert heavy sarcasm here)
The book starts with Neena/Kali escaping from prison and presumed dead. She ends up in a small Arkansas town and slowly builds a new life for herself, falling in love with the town's attorney along the way and marrying him.
But the skeletons from her past and his will not be content staying in the closet. Neena has to run again and figure out how to clear her name and reclaim the life that was stolen from her. Thankfully, she has her new husband plus friends and family on her side to help her.
This is one of the most courageous, strong and tenacious line-up of main characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Ms. Huffman delivers another story of likable, believable and realistic characters in a plot that has plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader invested in this book, turning the pages with bated breath until the end.
There's romance, there's intrigue, there's family, love, adversity and overcoming it, evil - the list goes on. Strong dialogue, never sappy or contrived, but written with much emotion and gusto. The writing is so perfectly descriptive that you can almost smell the scents of the woods, the bayous, so descriptive that you feel like you're right there in the middle of things.
After I read this book, the author finally, deservedly, received a publishing contract. Before that happened, all her books were available for free, which is how I obtained my e-copy. Ms. Huffman asked in her author's note that you support her favorite charity, World Vision, which uses its funding to fight against slavery and human trafficking and provides ways to help women and girls after they have been freed from their captors. If you have downloaded this book for free, please consider donating. Heck, donate anyway!
You can find more information on Ms. Huffman's website at www.heatherhuffman.blogspot.com.
Kudos to you, ma'am.
You can currently download this book free from Amazon in the Kindle version.
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