Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible.
Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people. His colleagues mock his doe-eyed optimism, but Noah soon sees CJ’s bad attitude and bravado are weapons he uses to keep people at a distance.
Both men know one simple mistake can change a life forever. At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites. Yet underneath, they’re not that different at all.
On Davis Row is another heartwarming, excellently written novel by N.R. Walker. CJ Davis is born carrying a name that marks him as a criminal for the community that he lives in. It doesn’t matter that he’s trying to escape all that name means or the people he comes from, Just the name itself brands him and beats him down. He’s a Davis. And one small mistake costs him dearly and sends him off to prison where another would have gotten off.
Walker lets us into the heart and mind of CJ the man who wanted hope and a future and found hell and a prison instead. Now out he’s back working for the only man, outside of his Pops to offer him help and friendship, the man who runs the carshop where he worked growing up. CJ is out but his situation is much the same. Until Noah Huxley comes into his life.
NR Walker’s stories are realistic and gritty as they can be hopeful and loving. That’s a careful balance to maintain, especially with dealing with the subject matters here. The author can’t gloss over the familial abuse, criminal family history, and prison past of CJ. It haunts his every step. Plus Noah’s work as a parole officer throws him up against the very prison system CJ just came out of and the man who sent him there. You need to believe in the system and CJ’s family for CJ’s foundation to be real. And it does.
But you also need the hope, the ability for a second chance for CJ to feel just as believable and NR Walker gives us that as well in the relationship that slowly builds up between Noah and CJ, despite all of CJ’s best defensive best efforts.
This is a marvelous story, just the type of NR Walker tale I love. I just get so emotionally invested in these men and their HEA that when the end finally swoops in, it still manages to take me by surprise. I’m overjoyed, sad to see another NR Walker story end, and start looking forward to another.
And yes, I highly recommend this one.
Sales Links: Amazon
Published November 27th 2017