by Brenda Novak

July 2011
ISBN: 978-0778329930
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Inside is the first book in Brenda Novakís newest trilogy. It has a few good romantic moments but I found much of the story weighed down by the prison inmates.

Virgil Skinner is going inside, again. This time he is going undercover in order to try to find out who put the hit on a local judge. If he can find out information and put a stop to the local gang inside the prison, his sister will be protected from his own prison gang, The Crew.

Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams wants no part in what is going down with Virgil but, unfortunately, she feels compelled to protect him. Theirs is an immediate and heartwrenching attraction. Both know it is hopeless but they cannot stop the pull anyway. But Virgil knows being with Peyton just puts her in danger also because The Crew is looking for him and will not rest until he is dead, or they hurt everyone he knows and loves.

Inside is a thorough look into the world of a maximum security prison. It is a dangerous place for anyone but Peyton wants to make a difference. She has her reasons for trying to help the inmates. She knows she is getting in too deep with Virgil, that her good judgment has flown out the window but this is the first time in a long time Peyton has truly felt connected with another man and she does not want to lose that charge. Virgil and Peyton, when together on the page, definitely light this story up. Unfortunately, much of the story is bogged down with point of views from the villains in the book and led me to lose interest in the main story. While I realize some of the details were crucial to Virgilís storyline, it almost seemed like the main couple became neglected due to all the other characters.

For me, Inside was not Brenda Novakís strongest book to date. She still skillfully develops antagonists for her characters but, it was too much in this story. The balance was not as well developed for me. However, I am going to give the next book a try because, even somewhat disappointed, there is no denying Brenda Novak is a killer storyteller.

Reviewed in June 2011 by Sarah.

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