Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Inside (Bulletproof, #1)” as Want to Read:
Inside (Bulletproof, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Inside (Bulletproof #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,216 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Virgil Skinner served 14 years for a murder he didn’t commit. He’s finally been exonerated, but he can’t escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They’ll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can’t get to Virgil, they’ll go after his sister and her kids.

The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, one th
Paperback, 440 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Mira (first published January 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Inside, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Inside

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,828)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I wasn't sure I would be able to connect to a story involving a prison setting and was even reluctant to try. Well, I got over that after the first couple of chapters.

Quick summary
Virgil Skinner spent 14 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. He was just exonerated but it comes with strings attached. He's got to go back inside, undercover at another facility, Pelican Bay, to help the Feds dismantle a seriously dangerous gang. Peyton Adams is the prison's chief deputy warden and she's go
I loved this book, an endless of suspense events piling one after another. I was antsy and on edge through the whole book. Brenda Novak is a true master of suspense, will read more of her works.

I loved Virgil, the tortured hero who was a convict since he was 18. Fourteen years in prison made him a hard man, but his only weakness was his sister and her children. He'd do anything to keep them save, even going back to prison as a snitch.

The mollify of Virgil's hardheartedness was the part I loved
3.5 stars

As I was reading Inside by Brenda Novak, I couldn’t help feeling angry and disdainful. I really didn’t like the characters and I rolled my eyes at some of the situations the main character Peyton Adams found herself in. But something happened on the way to writing this review. The more I thought about the book, the more I liked it.

Inside is an eye-opening commentary on life in an over-crowded prison population, a place that is scarier than anything I’ve ever read before. Initially, I wa
I was apprehensive about starting this book for two reasons, one because the past Brenda Novak I had read hadn't worked for me and two I wasn't sure about a prison romance but well to my surprise I enjoyed the book. The heroine is a corrections officer and four years older than the hero, the hero has been released from prison after fourteen years. He was setup and now has been exonerated but as an angry eighteen year old he joined a gang and those actions had consequences and now to protect his ...more
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Mira
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes – Bulletproof Book 1
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

Holy wow. This book was absolutely fantabulous!

Pulse-pounding action, police corruption, a spurned lover, and deadly gangs out for revenge, all paired with a delicious romance make thi
So far I have only ever read contemporaries by Brenda Novak. Because I really enjoyed them, I was curious about her romantic-suspense books. I'm incredibly glad I had the chance to read this book because it was truly excellent.

The new Bulletproof series by Brenda Novak starts of with Inside, in which the ex-con Virgil Skinner and Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams have to work together to stop one of the most notorious prison gangs in the country. Virgil fits the job perfectly. During his time in
Mrs. Badass
This book captivated me from the very start. My first Brenda Novak novel, and if all her other books are as good as this one, I will be starting her back list right away!

I haven't read a prison novel quite like this one before. Our hero, Virgil spent 14 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. After his exoneration, he is "recruited" for an inside job as an informant on gang issues at Pelican Bay given his extensive background in prison and a member of "The Crew".

Peyton, our heroine is a C
♥ Vonda M. Reid ♥
Overall Rating: 4.95 // Action: 3 / Emotion: 5 / Romance: 4 / Sensuous: 2 / Suspense: 5 // Laughter: 0 / Teary: 1

Some books just reach deep into your heart and grab hold of your senses and will not let go. Inside, the first book in The Bulletproof Series, by Brenda Novak is one of those books. ♥ Loved ♥ this book! So many things were right about this book. The unique story line. The strong emotional pull. The insight into the psyche of the characters. The amazingly incredible build up of so much
Virgil Skinner looks every bit the ex-con. From his tall, well-built frame and his military haircut to the aura of danger around him. He's just spent 14 years in jail for a murder he didn't commit. He's been exonerated and now the Department of Corrections wants him back inside as their undercover man in Pelican Bay. The DoC needs information on Hell's Fury the dangerous top gang inside the prison. And in exchange for protection of his family, Virgil is ready to do the DoC's bidding.

Agreeing to
Just a quick review... I'm just about to review the second and third books in this series and wanted to do them justice.

I really enjoyed this one. Great characters, incredibly strong plot, connected together by a strong dose of realism. You can tell this author did her homework on the subject of gangs in prisons, but it's not an overwhelming data dump.

Quite often I find "top authors" a bit disappointing. It can feel like they're churning out their one (or two) books a year and they're just twi
I really enjoyed this romantic suspense. I have a particular fondness for ex-con books. I enjoyed how he was multifaceted. He was basically a good man who had made some bad choices but who was trying to go straight. I liked his vulnerability. The story was full of tense situations and the plot made sense. I dropped this from 5 stars because for me the ending was a bit weak. It ended while the hero and heroine were apart with someone else saving the heroine. I always feel like the two main charac ...more
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
Jun 18, 2011 Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Romantic Suspense fans
Recommended to Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) by: The Book Vixen
This is the first book of Novak’s that I have read and I was really impressed by it. Since it is Romantic Suspense, I won’t be spilling any secrets of what goes on in this book. You’ll have to see for yourself. Rich details are what makes this book stand out. There’s no doubt that a lot of research went into this book and I’m sure many readers will come to appreciate this book as I have. For me, it was the characters that stood out so I’ll talk a little about each of my favourites:

Virgil Skinner
Manda Collins
Oct 03, 2011 Manda Collins rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Mariah Stewart, Cynthia Eden, Karen Rose
4.5 stars: I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I expected it to be a book-long view of prison from the inside. Instead what I got was the story of two unlikely lovers who would never even have met if the hero hadn't been wrongfully convicted of his step-father's murder. Virgil Skinner (which, hello, is NOT a sexy hero name, but grew on me over the course of the book) has emerged from fourteen years of prison with his sense of decency intact. And he is willing to go back inside ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Narrator: Angela Dawe

I couldn't turn the audio off, which meant only one hour or so sleep but TGIF. Very suspenseful. Gripped me from start to finish. However, I am not inclined to give it 5 stars because there was something about Peyton's characterization that did not sit right with me. I was very uneasy about the way she let Wallace's overtures go without telling him straight off they weren't welcome or appropriate. Even though only the reader is to p
Leslie D. Soule
Chief Deputy warden Peyton Adams is put in charge of a sting operation, due to rising gang activity at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California. The man going "inside" is former gang member and 14-year convict Simeon Bennett, aka Virgil Skinner. The two form a, um..."relationship" if you can call it that.
Simeon Bennett/Virgil Skinner is a truly frightening character - one who reminded me all too much of my ex-boyfriend, which is a credit to the realism that Brenda Novak has invoked,
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads

Virgil’s just been released from prison after serving years for a crime he didn’t commit. Only now, he’s heading back in to help get inside information on a gang killing in return for protection for his sister and her kids. When Virgil was first in prison, he joined up with a gang for one reason, survival. Now that gang knows something’s going on since Virgil’s been exonerated and he’s worried about the gang retaliating against his family. He agrees to th
I Fell Hard for Virgil
Virgil Skinner served a fourteen year prison sentence for a murder he didn't commit. He was eighteen when he went in - little more than a child. He quickly learned to do what he needed to do to survive.

Full exoneration is all well and good, if fourteen years overdue, and walking away from the pen is all Virgil ever wanted, but he knows - knows - what will happen to him on the outside, what will happen to his sister and her two children if he doesn't do something, because h
Rachell Coe
I have never put much thought into what life is like for prisoners except to think that maybe they deserve what they get (a view I'm sure is shared by many people) and certainly didn't think this view would be changed by a romance novel -- boy was I wrong!!!

During the course of the story, Brenda Novak did a fantastic job of showing the ins & outs of prison life as seen through the eyes of our con, Virgil and the Chief Deputy Warden, Peyton. By the end of the book, we see the prisoners not a
Kelly Moran
It was a horrible experience that jump-started New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak's career-- she caught her daycare teacher drugging her children to get them to sleep. Deciding she needed to work from home, she penned her first novel, and has been a household sensation ever since. Other titles include: Trust Me, Watch Me, Stop Me, Dead Silence, Dead Giveaway, Dead Right, The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Murder, The Perfect Liar, and Mother, Please. She also heads an annu ...more
Marcela (BookaholicCat)
This review is also published at

Inside is the first book of the new trilogy The Bulletproof by Brenda Novak.

Virgil Skinner has had a very tough life. He has served fourteen years in prison for a crime he didn’t committed. During those years he did what was necessary to survive in a prison, like joining a dangerous gang called The Crew. Now that he has been acquitted of all counts he wants to live a normal and quiet life, but being a member The Crew is a lifetime comm
Review originally posted here:

Publisher: MIRA
Publish Date: June 28th
How I got this book: NetGalley

This was my first Novak read, and I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed no one demanded I read her sooner. I really loved this book!

Peyton is the second in command at Pelican Bay prison, and the gang problems are escalating to the point that a judge was murdered. An investigation is started, and a top secret operation is established, one in which an
When I begin reading this ARC from Netgalley, I was skeptical of ever coming to like the main male character, Virgil. It takes a special author to be able to create a character who has been an active member of a notorious prison gang for most of his adult life and make me come to believe he is a worthy hero of a romantic suspense novel. Novak was able to do this, much to my surprise. I liked the main female character, Peyton, from the beginning. She was a strong and caring character. I found thi ...more
DNF a little more than halfway through. The story had potential - could have been a real blockbuster for me, but Peyton I just could not stand. Her liberal views on rehabilitation for convicts were admirable, and I agreed with some of them, but let's face it that not ALL convicted criminals are able to be productive members of society again. Especially gang members. I understood where she was coming from (her father) but again - her father BROKE THE LAW, good intentions or not.

Virgil was what h
Cindy ~ SnS Reviews
I knew the moment I read Brenda's opening note in the book to the readers that she based this book on the TV show Prison Break and what she would have done differently with the romance that was in the show I knew this was going to be a great book.. There is sooo much goin on in the book you are never bored. I dont even know where to start with all the plot points in this book.. So all I will say is if your a fan then read this book.. If your not give this first book in the Bulletproof series a t ...more
Not quite three stars. There were quite a few times where I found myself wondering why I was still reading this book as I rolled my eyes at yet another unlikely event. The book has very little romance with maybe a half dozen scenes spanning 50 pages featuring the lovebirds together. Their entire relationship is cliffnoted in the way of action films that feel the need to sketch in a romance in between more compelling events. Most of the book is about Virgil's former gang attempting to track him a ...more
I'm not sure that the characters in this book were realistic since I don't have much experience in the prison environment but I LOVED this book. It made me feel. I liked both parts of our main couple.

Peyton is a hard working, professional woman with compassion and intelligence. She hasn't had the easiest or the worst life but she cares about others and tries to make a difference.

Virgil (yeah what a name) has had a tough time all along. Now he might have a chance. His past and greedy people mak
Wow, what a differnt kind of hero for a romance novel. A man who's spent 14 years in prison, and up until a week ago was a member of a deadly prison gang? And yet I still fell in love with him. His backstory was so tragic, and there were some heartbreaking moments for both he and Peyton (our heroine), but I enjoyed the tenderness they showed with each other, and a whole lot of understanding in the end. I'm looking forward to the next book, and I'm hoping Pretty Boy will get a book of his own!
Jun 24, 2011 Lacy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of steamy, intense, romantic suspense w/ dark elements
Recommended to Lacy by:
4.75 stars. Steamy, intense, deep romance, along with complex and intriguing characters make this a read that is so hard to put down it keeps you up late into the morning reading. It's angsty, dark and compelling in parts with it's focus on prison & gang life, but is balanced by a wonderful against the odds romance. I can't wait for the next book.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur magazine, July 2011 Issue.
4.5 Stars!

Loved the premise. Virgil is an exceptionally tortured hero and I was very interested to see how Novak was going to pull this story off between a prison official and an incarerated criminal. Good thing that a majority of the story took place outside the prison walls. Since I was a big fan of the TV show Prison Break I was glad to see that it kind of inspired Novak to write this book. Well done!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 94 95 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Lorelei James Rom...: * Brenda Novak - Bulletproof series 81 12 10 hours, 26 min ago  
Linda Howard Book...: Brenda Novak Giveaway 2 3 Jul 26, 2014 12:36AM  
  • Hide from Evil (Dead Wrong, #2)
  • Edge of Midnight (Chasing Evil, #3)
  • The Heart of a Killer (The Killer, #1)
  • Sweet Justice (Last Chance Rescue, #7)
  • Deadly Descent (Bagram Special Ops, #1)
  • The Edge of Night
  • Man Law (Private Protectors, #2)
  • Edge of Survival
  • Give Him the Slip (Callahan Brothers, #1)
  • Snapped (Tracers #4)
  • If You Hear Her (The Ash Trilogy, #1)
  • Hold Me
  • Cold Touch (Extrasensory Agents, #2)
  • Under Fire
  • Hot Zone (Elite Force #2)
  • You Belong to Me (Romantic Suspense, #12)
  • One Scream Away (Sheridan, #1)
  • Deadly Lies (Deadly, #3)
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a
More about Brenda Novak...
When Lightning Strikes (Whiskey Creek, #1) When We Touch (Whiskey Creek, #0.5) Trust Me (Last Stand Series, #1) When Snow Falls (Whiskey Creek, #2) Stop Me (Last Stand Series, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »