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Prison is a brutal, heartless, and demeaning environment. No one knows this better than a man sentenced to life in prison for murder. Lem Porter is a high-profile prisoner who had a solid career ahead of him in a field he loved until he killed his brother. He has spent almost eighteen years behind bars and doesn’t have much hope left.
Anderson Passero had it all. He built a career, a name, and a relationship with a man he thought he loved. Only after he very publicly landed in prison did he realize how ignorant he’d been. He has eight months left on his sentence and he is eager to go home and put prison life behind him. He doesn’t know it yet, but he will always carry these eight months with him, and they may just help him to understand what love really means.
First off, I’ll admit that I’m a huge fan of Brandon Shire’s work. In fact his Listening to Dust was my favorite book of last year, so my expectations for Cold were pretty high.
I went in to this expecting to be moved and wooed by the writing and characters. What I got instead was a snippet of the existence between two men in prison. Two opposites that attract and two lives which collide and then separate within a small amount of time. Lem is a giant, brute of a man who manages to frighten every hardened criminal and prison guard that crosses his path. Anderson is a petite man who is literally frightened of everybody and everything in prison. He keeps his head down and his ass out of trouble – but he’s been ogled and hit on for the majority of his 8 year prison sentence.
“I would never hurt you,” Lem said quietly. “Never.” He stroked his hand along the side of Anderson’s cheek. A small smile lit his face.”
This was my first foray in reading about doing the “Jailhouse Rock” and it was both exhilarating and heartbreaking. Granted, I found their initial contact in the shower hard to swallow, but I set that aside and went where the story wanted to take me.
At around 200 pages this is still a slow build and I didn’t feel I knew Lem until around 50% as most of the focus was on Anderson – which is a shame ‘cause I felt like Lem had more of a story to tell.
So, Cold is very different to both Listening to Dust and The Value of Rain (which I’m sure was the author’s intention). I wasn’t wooed but I’m certainly ready to start book Heart of Timber (Cold #2) immediately.
Susan: 4 Stars
Sheri: 5 Stars
Jenni: 4 Star
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