Title: Within These Walls
Author: J.L. Berg
Series: Walls Duet #1
Release Day: August 18, 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.
Within These Walls is definitely J.L. Berg’s best book yet. Jude and Lailah’s story blew me away. Their journey is complicated, unexpected and emotional. Jude and Lailah are both trapped by prisons of circumstance, held hostage by a fate they can’t possibly understand. Lailah’s life is documented on medical charts and constantly at risk of being cut short by her own heart. She’d give anything to live a normal, vibrant life outside of the hospital walls. Jude has done everything in his power to wipe out who he was, to disappear from life altogether. He keeps his secrets locked up in the hospital, unable to let himself live outside of his self-imposed prison.
“She knew I wasn’t sharing something, and she was right. But she didn’t know that it wasn’t just something. It was everything.”
J.L. Berg did an amazing job with these two characters. Jude is scarred, heart-breaking and overflows with sincere emotion. But he is also sweet, funny and incredibly kind. J.L. Berg has written a raw and complex character whose transformation throughout the story is stunning. Lailah is a dreamer. She is innocent, optimistic and fun. You can feel the light shining through this character and you can’t help but smile at her enthusiasm and the earnest nature with which she experiences life.
“Let me fall in love even if it means I’ll get hurt in the end. At least then, I’d know that I’m living.”
I absolutely adored the storyline and the unconventional setting for this love story. Though their story takes place in pretty much a singular location, J.L. Berg kept me on my toes with the subtle twists and turns that kept Jude and Lailah’s journey moving forward. In addition to their story together, they each had their own personal journeys that ran in parallel, creating a complete and beautiful picture of their relationship and personal transformations. J.L. filled out this wonderful world with the fantastic secondary characters that added a lot of color and a dash of intrigue to this tale.
“Today, I feel… everything – happiness, love, fear, desire, and yes, even that dangerous little emotion, hope.”
I had so much fun reading this story. I enjoyed watching these characters learn and grow while their relationship evolved. I couldn’t wait to see what Jude and Lailah would get up to next and I was on pins and needles as their time together played out. This book made me feel deeply. Within These Walls made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all, it filled me with hope. This story left my heart warm and full. Each and every step of Jude and Lailah’s journey resonated deeply within me. J.L. Berg effortlessly captured my heart with this book.
Don’t miss the conclusion:
Beyond These Walls (Walls #2)
Don’t miss the spin-off novel:
Behind Closed Doors
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.