WITHIN THESE WALLS
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
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
My name is Lailah Buchanan, and this is our story of hope, redemption and
sacrificing it all for the one you love.
I have to say that each J.L.Berg book I have read is so very good. She has a way of taking me on a journey with the characters so completely that I want to be around them. I want to be a part of their lives. Ms. Berg is so good at getting me so invested in the story that there is no way I will not feel their emotions. Within These Walls is no different.
This is the story of Lailah and Jude, two broken souls who find each other in a hospital of all places. Lailah has lived her life in the hospital. Tests, doctors, she has no friends her age or who have lived like she has, and in many ways like she hasn’t lived. She is not the normal young lady who thinks all about the parties and such, or at least it seems. She has dealt with so much that she is mature beyond her years. Jude has given up everything and now haunts the halls of the hospital, taking the pain from his broken life and keeping it alive every day, even if his reason for doing so is no longer with him. Lailah, however, causes his heart to crack open and feel again. He is not altogether sure that is something he wants.
I loved that even stuck within the hospital walls their journey to love was not perfect. My heart melted with each and every item that was checked off Lailah’s list.
I suppose that it could be considered a bit unrealistic, how they meet, and fall in love, but honestly isn’t that what we are looking for? Isn’t that why you picked up a book in the first place, to live in someone else’s reality?
I do not like to give spoilers but I will say this, have a box of tissue nearby when you read of Jude and Lailah’s love story, you will need them. I highly recommend this book.
She looked around, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath of fresh air as it breezed
“I’m free!” she squealed.
“Well then, why are we standing around and wasting time? Let’s get the hell out of
here!” I laughed, grabbing her hand and tugging her in the direction of my car.
“I’m sorry it’s not that great-looking, but it runs,” I said, regarding the less than
stellar state of my car, which had probably seen more birthdays than she had.
“It’s green!” she exclaimed.
I threw her bags into the trunk. “Yep, split-pea, baby-shit green.”
“Eww…gross. Why did you have to ruin split-pea soup for me?” She laughed as we
“Well, that is a color!”
“I think we should name it,” she declared.
I turned the key. “The color? I thought I just did.” I pulled out of the parking spot and
drove the short distance out of the hospital.
We were officially free.
“No.” She laughed. “The car. Cars that are baby-shit green need to have a name.”
I turned my head with a look of mock surprise and shock. “Did I just hear you curse?
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad word leave those pretty little lips of yours before
in my life. Two seconds out of the hospital, and you’re already swearing like a sailor!
I think I’m having a bad effect on you.”
She stuck out her tongue and laughed. “I’ve cursed before—in my head and maybe
once or twice out loud,” she said, grinning. “You’re changing the subject. From this
day forward, I hereby do so-eth—”
“Do so-eth?” I couldn’t help but ask.
She was literally vibrating with excitement. Being out of the hospital had awoken
her spirit and had breathed fresh new life into her lungs.
“Shut up! It’s my fancy car dubbing speech. I’m supposed to sound like
“Oh, sorry,” I faked a cough as we turned west. “Go on. You do so-eth?”
“I hereby name this car, um…” She looked around, searching, and finally her eyes
grew wide. “Yertle the Turtle!”
She was so proud of herself that she didn’t even notice where we were when I pulled
the car to a stop.
“Very clever, Sam I Am.” I laughed. “But Yertle the Turtle was blue.”
“He was not!”
“He was,” I urged. “In the book illustrations, he’s blue.”
She looked over at me with her arms folded over her chest. “How the heck do you
even know that?”
“My mom used to read to us a lot when I was little.” I shrugged. “And I’m smart,” I
added with a grin, tapping on my temple.
“Well, whatever. We’re calling it Yertle, even if it isn’t blue. Now, where are we? And
what are we doing?” she asked, looking up. She gasped when her eyes took in the
panoramic view of the ocean.
“We’re going to put your toes in the ocean.”
Barnes and Noble (to come) | iBooks |
A portion of the sales during the first week of release will go to a children’s heart charity.
About J.L. Berg
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.