18 August 2014

Within These Walls by J.L. Berg

Within These Walls
by J.L. Berg.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: August 18th 2014.
Within these walls, he became my solace, my sanctuary and my strength.

I am not strong. I am just a survivor of circumstance.
Isn’t that what we all do? Survive?

Each of us has our own set of circumstances to muddle through. Mine are just more…complicated.

Born with a severe heart defect, I’ve seen the inside of a hospital room more than my own bedroom.

I was drowning, a prisoner to the illness that owned me, until he appeared. He thinks he’s blocked out the world with his tattoos and hard exterior, but I see the real Jude, the one he so desperately wants to forget.

But is he the answer to my prayers or will he break my already damaged heart forever?

My name is Lailah Buchanan, and this is our story of hope, redemption and sacrificing it all for the one you love.

Reviewed by Kelly.

Shut the Front Door; Jude is one Passionate man!! He is broken and stopped living and then when he starts living again; he knows how to love a woman. All your wishes come true!

I can’t say how much I loved this book and thanks to Tara from Inkslinger getting me a review copy! This is one of the best books this year that I have read.

Lailah is a twenty two year old who has lived most of her life in a hospital with a heart defect and now is hitting the end of her life if she doesn’t get a transplant soon. She isn’t afraid. She lives life as best she can. She started a Someday List of things she wanted to do that had 143 items in it. I will get to that later. She has been sheltered all her life. Her best friend seems to be Grace, her nurse, at the hospital. She has her mother and her Doctor, whom she calls Dr Marcus that take care of her. Dr Marcus seems to be very invested in her.

Jude, Jude, Jude, I don’t even know where to start with him. I want me some Jude! Jude is a whiz with numbers and was expected to take over his famous father’s business. He didn’t want to. He didn’t like the way his father ran it. He had a fiancĂ© and one night there in California (he’s from New York) Jude didn’t want to drive and pushed her into driving. She was tired too and fell asleep at the wheel. They were both taken to the hospital. There he watched her die and talked her parents out of donating her organs. He was so distraught and stayed at her side and for three years has lived outside that door that she died in. He is so tortured and sad, he isn’t really living. He got his CNA so he could work there for mere pennies trying to say goodbye or something. Then one day, he was transferred to Cardiology. He worked the night shift and any extra shift her could so he could stay in the hospital. Doing his rounds one night, he stumbles on Lailah and just watches her from outside the door as she eats her pudding with her fingers since she didn’t have a spoon. After that, Lailah would wake up to pudding and a spoon a mystery courtesy of Jude.

Eventually, Lailah figures out who was giving her pudding and struck up a friendship with Jude. Little by little Jude learns to live again and Lailah also discovers love. Lailah shares some of her Someday List with him and this is where I really fell in love with Jude- Jude starts making her list come true. Ugh, I cried a lot every time he had her check off an item. Oh my gosh, he is utterly amazing!

But, everything isn’t perfect with a failing heart and when she gets denied by her insurance for a new heart everything changes. Will Jude be able to handle losing the love of his life again?

There are a lot of little surprises too along the way in this book. It is endearing. I wasn’t sure if this would end up like a Nicholas Sparks’ book or not. At the end all I could do was sigh!

So, if you like, sacrifices,second chances, eating pudding with your fingers, fulfilling your bucket list (in Lailah’s story it is a Someday List), loving someone with all your heart (no pun intended), family and saying goodbye than this is a story for you!

I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for ten years, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows.

I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We were married young, barely out of high school. Everyone told us we were crazy and stupid. We’ll be celebrating 12 years of marriage this year, and I love him more every single day. We’re living proof that true love knows no age limit.

We’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters who continue to amaze and inspire me, and are probably making me go a bit insane. I’m obsessed with yoga and pilates and am a complete chocoholic. I apologize in advance for the amount of sweets in my book.

I’m absolutely obsessed with romance novels (duh) and probably could have built a vacation home with the amount of money I’ve invested in them over the years. Romance novels take you to another place, making your heart race, emotions swell, passion run free. After so many years of meeting hundreds of fictional characters and discovering their worlds, I found myself creating my own.

I am represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

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