On Davis Row

Author

N.R. Walker

Publisher

Self-Published

Release Date

February 25th, 2018

ISBN/ASIN

9781370219902

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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.

4

Great

Book Cover

  • Meh

Engagement

  • Memorable after I put it down for a few hours

Likes

  • The story is from both characters' point of view
  • That Noah is an optimistic parole officer who really does his best to help those under his supervision not only reacclimate to society, but thrive…of course, it's only his first week but it's great to see*
  • It was hilarious when Noah got drunk and CJ found him
  • That CJ has coped very well with being mostly illiterate**
  • I'm glad Mr. Barese(sp?) and his Pops have been in CJ's life so long; it's good he has people he can count on, and that alone may have kept him from being like the rest of his family
  • The minor misunderstanding between Noah and CJ
  • I'm glad CJ told the drugs and alcohol meeting lady about herself; it ties into people working with the supposed 'undesirables' of society always wanting to believe the worst of them***
  • I enjoyed the 'forced slow burn' since they couldn't really be together until CJ's parole was officially over
  • The ending was cute, albeit 4 years later

Character Depth

  • Chest deep

Mood Upon Completion

  • Happy

Grammar

  • Very few typos

Sex Scenes

  • Not enough scenes^

Dislikes

  • Ugh, smoking, ugh
  • I wish CJ had left sooner, but it seemed like his Pops may not have been welcome - they didn't talk about that, though, so I don't know if it's true
  • Poor Noah has practically no family, and almost all of CJ's family are reprobates; I'm equal parts pissed off and sad for his dad, because it's clear there's something very wrong with him****
  • Noah and CJ had sex directly after CJ had been beaten up by his dad; I personally don't think seeing my partner with a black eye would be hot in any way, but to each their own

Emotional Depth

  • Moderately emotional

Content Warnings

  • Character death (minor, three, past)
  • Abuse (physical/emotional, major, one, present)
  • Character death (supporting, one, present)

^and the one scene I remember was awkward and unimpressive
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*I sighed again. “They’ve all got potential, ya know? I hate that they feel forgotten or cast aside. They’re still people.”

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**I absolutely cannot imagine going through life not knowing how to read; there is so much that requires it!

How did he tell the difference between a can of refried beans and a can of whole beans? Sure, most labels had pictures on them, but not all. What happened if they didn’t have the kind of toothpaste he was used to buying? Would he know which other one to get? He only grabbed some sausages, bread, milk, and two packs of cigarettes, so it was hardly a challenge. But it got me thinking…what challenges did he have? What else did I take for granted that he struggled with? Like the carton of milk in my fridge: it wasn’t a bottle, it didn’t look like milk, and the writing on the carton was swirly and there was no picture of a cow. And for personal products, how did he know which condoms or lube to buy? How did he know if he was buying lube or massage oil that affected the latex in condoms? I mean, the list was endless. For household stuff, Pops would soon tell him if he bought the wrong kind of detergent, but he couldn’t very well ask his Pops if the lube he bought was self-warming or if that slight burning sensation was something he should go to the clinic for. I remember hearing a story when I was a kid of a dad who couldn’t read, confused the small tube of superglue with his kid’s conjunctivitis ointment and didn’t realise until he’d glued the poor kid’s eyes shut. Jesus. Getting cow’s milk confused with almond milk would be a bit of a shock to the taste buds but it wasn’t a serious medical emergency. Just what kind of shit did he have to deal with?

CJ explains some of these things later on, by the way.
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***I want to note that I generally do believe the worst of people, but it’s certainly not because of stereotypes – it’s because most people are full of shit and my marketing background allows me to see right through it.
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****Elsewhere in the book, CJ says that his dad looks at him with hate and self-loathing, and I think he’s right on the money that he hates himself and is taking it out on anyone he can.

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