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Victim Of Circumstance

(Cell Block C)

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  112 reviews
They didn’t know each other, but the events of one single day heralded a pivotal change that would alter their lives forever.

Almost two decades spent locked away in a dark, dank cell, Gray Bennet isn’t used to the sun, the sounds, the scents.
It’s overwhelming.

Each year Robin Bishop returns, and while everyone around her is solemn, she lifts her face to the sun and celebr
Published June 2nd 2020 by Freya Barker
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Average rating 4.62  · 
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Mindy Lou's Book Review
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I really feel like this author does such an amazing job of giving voice to victims of tragedy. Every time she has treated these moments with care and understanding. I know we can't ever truly know what it's like unless we experience it ourselves, but you can be drawn into a character and feel a fraction of what they might be feeling. That's a pretty great talent an author can give to her readers.

This did start off a bit slow and sometimes I think that needs to be the case. I appreciated that Gr
I loved Gray and Robin so much! Everything about them, about their story and about this book was fresh and original. It’s hard to find a unique “meet cute” and while this wasn’t “cute” it was unique and it captured my heart immediately.

Both Gray and Robin had pasts that had left scars. While Robin’s had healed to a great extent, Gray found himself, literally, in a whole new world where he was being forced to face the past and find a future. He was isolated and damaged and Robin was the perfect c
Island Girl Romance Reads
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Victim of Circumstance is a new standalone by Freya Barker that I think and really hope that will be a new series.
First let me say that I’ve been a fan of Freya for a long time. I’ve read all her books and this one is my very favorite. Freya has outdone herself with this book.
This is a story about redemption and second chances and loyal friends believing in you.
Grey return home after being in prison for 18 years. He has lots of issues and believes that everyone hates him. But what he finds is l
Sandy Nikolas
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This hits a lot of levels. Two people who have overcome great circumstances in their lives. I liked Gray and Robin right away. They both have an easy feeling about them, like people you want to be your friends in real life. There’s lots of heavy, emotional drama here. Not relationship based, outside forces from their pasts. A little bit of suspense/drama and lots of steam! Can’t recommend this story enough.
Karen Hrdlicka
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As with every book I've read by Freya Barker, I am in awe of the depth of her creativity. Whether she's writing her romantic suspense stories or women's fiction, Ms. Barker has her finger on the pulse of her characters and the reader's emotions. Victim of Circumstance is a prime example of this author's talent and the title is more than appropriate for both of the main characters.
After being released from prison, Gray returns to the only home he's known outside of prison. Expecting to find hatre
Sandy S
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars--VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE by Freya Barker is a contemporary, adult, erotic, story line- a part of the multi-authored CELL BLOCK C romance series. This is auto mechanic/former inmate Gray Bennet, and bookkeeper/diner waitress Robin Bishop’s story line. VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty-the stories are not connected.

NOTE: Due to the nature of the story line premise, there may be some triggers for more sensitive readers.

Told from dual first person pe
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-2020
I continue to be amazed at the depth of character writing that Ms. Barker brings to her readers. Victim of Circumstance brought forth so many emotions for me: heartbreak, anger, and most important the absolute best feeling: love. This story was such a breath of fresh air and the opening scenes were just beautiful and hopeful for both Gray and Robin.

My review will never bring justice to Ms. Barker's story, so I'm going to just share a few of my thoughts:

Gray's story was one of redemption and acce
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gray and Robin's story was so beautifully written.
Gray has just been released from prison after serving an 18 year sentence. Not knowing where to go, he heads back to his hometown in Michigan to decide what to do with his life. He lost his sister 18 years earlier in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack and decides on the anniversary to go to NY to pay his respects and put his sister's memory to rest.
Robin works at the local diner in a small town in Michigan. She lost her husband 18 years earlier a
Lynn Newman
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Victim of Circumstance landed on my kindle I had no idea of what the plot line for the book was, After the first few pages , I was hooked.
Yet again Freya Barker delivers a book that is so well written, a story where all the characters have so much to tell us & make you fall in love immediately.
The story focuses on Gray - as he begins a new phase of his life after 18yrs in Prison. He needs closure on some areas of his life and heads back to his home town , unsure of anything & prepared to sp
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a sad story for all. Gray gets out of prison after 2 decades and doesn't know what to do with himself. He ends up getting a bus ticket and going back to his hometown. He still hasn't gotten over his sisters death on 9/11. Robin lost her husband there in the twin towers but she's not feeling sad, he was an abusive husband. Gray and she meet by accident. But their paths criss cross. This story has twists and turns, sadness, whatif's and new beginnings. HEA ...more
Sheri Bishop
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever looked at an event and it sadden you? Has your friend looked at the same event and it made him/her happy? How a different perspective can affect your vision is amazing.

And that is what Freya Barker teaches us in this outstanding story. For one, an event was a tragedy and took away a loved one. For another, it was a release and a much needed breath of freedom. And who knew that would bring these two people together?!?

Freya Barker has the ability to take two ordinary characters, noth
Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)


A chance meeting at the 9/11 Memorial seals the foundation for two people there for very different reasons. Gray to finally visit the sister he lost and Robin to reflect on the shedding of an abusive husband. But it's when they each arrive back home and find they live in the same small town that their real connection starts and brings about a beautiful, healing relationship.

"You're the light at the end of the tunnel. You're sunshine and fresh air."
Cathy Geha
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Victim of Circumstance by Freya Barker
Cell Block C

Survival skills are not necessary and for each person survival may mean something else and require different skills. Putting safety, security and live first…one’s own and those of loved ones is part of that. For 18 years two people have been surviving but not thriving. One day they will serendipitously see one another and feel something. Never expecting to see one another again they take that feeling with them only to…see one another again. Do th
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once again I find myself in awe of Ms. Barker's writing. The separate journey's that they characters are traveling are difficult and trying on their own. A chance meeting that neither can forget. Could their connection over a point in time be what brings them together?

Gray is finally getting the chance to face some of his demons. Trying to make peace with the tragedies that he couldn't control. Finding his footing again after being away for so long is going to be the hardest part. Where to go, h
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one so much. Ms Barker (for ME at least) wraps her characters & plot around the reader's heart & emotions like an ultra soft & comforting favorite afghan. What in another author's hands might have been a story loaded with anger, castigation, hate, is instead an absolutely heartwarming story of love & acceptance.
Gray (H), just released from prison after 18 years finds himself back in his hometown of Beaverton which is also the scene of the crime which sent him to prison. And again, M
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via Buoni Amici Press and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

If I haven’t said it before, I will say it now, Freya Braker has this innate ability to put forward characters/protagonists whose lives are as real as they can be; and their experiences from which strength can be drawn and inspiration be found.

Victim of Circumstance,
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read one of those books that you try NOT to devour, trying to make it last a little bit longer because it's so good you don't want it to end? Victim of Circumstance is just such a book, one that makes you think about how YOU would react in certain circumstances, how far would YOU go when your back is to the wall and you're pushed beyond all limits?! It's also about forgiveness, acceptance and self-respect and love. I felt Gray and Robin's story down to my very soul....I simply coul ...more
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m a big fan of Freya Barker because she writes about real people and real-life issues. In this case, about returning to life after being incarcerated for 18 years, about spousal abuse, and about having faith in people. A must-read for those who love to read mature romances.

It was Gray’s first day as a free man and he wanted to go back home to Beaverton, Michigan, where his life changed forever. In addition, he has to pay tribute to his little sister in New York, and on that fateful day, he see
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Note: An ARC was provided by the author.

Oh, my heart. Experience has taught me that my heart was going to end up becoming invested, as has been the case in my past Freya Barker reads, but nothing could have quite prepared me for Victim of Circumstance. This is the author's contribution to the multi-authored Cell Block C series, and while this is the only book from there that I've read, I think it's safe to say that this is one that should not be missed. This also happens to be a standalone, so y
Melanie Maloney
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am finding that I am quickly becoming obsessed with Freya Barker’s writing style. Her mature characters are so real and relatable. They don’t have perfect bodies and perfect lives. They could be any one of us. They know what they want, they’ve had real things happen to them and they have the life experience to base their interactions on.

Which brings us to Gray and Robin. They have each been through a different, yet similar traumatic experience in their lives that have kept them trapped in the
Kari Hansen
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gray has paid the ultimate price for the mistakes of his past and if finally returning to his hometown two decades later however he is unsure of the welcome that he will realize. When he arrives, he is grateful to those who are willing to see the man and not his past as he tries to build a new life for himself in a world he doesn’t know.

Robin has been a single mother to her daughter since her husband passed away years earlier. Now that her daughter is grown she finds herself at a crossroads as s
Badass Lioness
4.5 stars! I loved the twist on the Sept. 11th storyline. It starts with Gray being a mystery. Ex con returns to hometown after 18 years in jail for a reason we don't find out until he throws it out there to shock Robin.

Robin is 45, turns 46 in epilogue, and lives life on her own terms. Her husband died on 9/11, but she feels freedom not grief at her loss. We gradually find out why. This twist made the story so much more interesting to me. I'm so used to 9/11 stories that are about grief strick
Renee Entress
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 star

I was pulled right into this story. The story has abuse, suspense, secrets, pain, and heartbreak.

This is Robin and Grey’s story. Grey just got released from prison and is trying to figure out his life. When he sees Robin for the first time, he is drawn to her but because of his past he does not what to be involved. He fears the anger that flows through him. Robin is drawn to Grey, but she gets frustrated when he goes hot and cold. She dealt with a lot in the past and is not looking for m
Jodi Bird (Ruby Red Romance Review)
If you know me, you know Freya is a favorite of mine. I love every single book she writes. I loved getting lost in her words and her stories. I loved every word of this book. I honestly did not want this story to end, but as with all books, it did.

I loved every minute of Gray and Robin. I felt like I was watching their story unfold, instead of reading it. Understanding everything that Gray went through took time and that's exactly how it needed to be. You needed to understand why he was the way
Brynne Hounsell
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love through the Tragedy

Gray has been In Rockwood Penitentiary for nearly 20 years but for him that wasn’t the only tragedy in his life. He lost his sister on 9/11 and shortly after that his freedom.

Robin is a single mom, a waitress and part time accountant and she lost her husband on 9/11 and that’s when her tragedy ended and her life began again.

Little did they know their circumstances would bring them together. Oh and Gray is going to fight her off and try to run because he doesn’t deserve lo
Maria Angie Mendoza
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Original, heartfelt and passionate new standalone that had me captivated in the story from beginning to end.
This author has a unique style of creating extraordinary characters out of ordinary people.
Grey and Robin’s story is another great story about 2 people who became victims of circumstances themselves. How their story evolved and developed was just a joy to read. Their instant attraction, their banter and their chemistry was heartfelt, and full of hot passion.
Theirs is an emotional journey o
Avid Reader
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story of Gray and Robin. Both characters were well written and the way their relationship developed felt real. There was so much tragedy in Gray's life and he had paid a very high price that he would have mentally kept paying but for those around him. Robin was a great character as were her mum and daughter and their family dynamics were examined well. I also loved all the supporting characters especially Tank/Jimmy and the old timers who frequent the cafe. I could easily see more sto ...more
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chapter 1, we meet Grey and he’s leaving prison. That’s our first impression of him. Hmmm... I wasn’t sure what to think of him. Why was he in prison for 2 decades??? That’s a long time!
My first impression of Robin - she’s a kickbutt single mom to a grownup daughter as well as a good daughter to her own mother. She seems to have a good life working the job she wants with the people she enjoys.
Then these two meet... a flight away from home and see each other again on the flight home. And then he’
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gray & Robin have not had it easy. One day...that’s all it took to change their lives in very different ways. One was released and the other imprisoned. Years later, their paths cross and once again their lives are about to change.

Freya has done it again! When I don’t think it’s possible for her stories to get any better, she writes another book. Another 5⭐️ read!
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Freya Barker's books stand out because her characters are flawed. Her attention to detail makes them relatable. Victim of Circumstance had the grit and substance I've come to expect from her.

Gray's time in prison made him differ from most of her H's. He had a hard time getting outside of his head and punished himself unnecessarily even though he was finally free. He was a good man at his core. Reading his progression was like watching a bird being freed from its cage. I thought about kicki
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USA Today bestselling author Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Driven to make her books about 'real' people; she creates characters who are perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills in their lives.

Recipient of the 2019 Best Book We've Read All Year Award fo

Other books in the series

Cell Block C (3 books)
  • A Thousand Cuts
  • A Painful Promise (Cell Block C)

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