Author: Brandon Shire
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Book 1: 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.
Amazingly, Cold is my first ever Brandon Shire book. I have been avoiding it because I have to be in the right mood to read a Prison romance story. There is no way around the fact that “Prison Romance” is precisely what Cold is.
First of all, this is not a “Gay for the stay” type story. It is two gay men in prison. Lem is there for a murder he completely admits to committing. Anderson is there on some drug-related charges that he may or may not deserve. Whether these are sympathetic characters is going to be a personal decision for each reader.
Personally, I have a hard time finding Prison love stories to be believable. Unfortunately, Cold is no exception. However, once I decided to suspend my disbelief for the 200 or so pages of the story, I was able to connect with Anderson on some level, though not completely. I wanted him to make his 8 months. I wanted him to be able to walk out those doors at the end of his time. I don’t know that I felt the heartbreak he was supposed to feel at the loss of Lem, however.
Lem is a mystery. There are hints that there are extenuating circumstances with the murder of his brother, but we never really get to know much about him. He is kindof a flat character. He is the stereotypical gentle giant. Scary on the surface but with a heart of gold… of so Anderson comes to think. When Anderson walks out of the prison doors, I am not sure I know any more about Lem than at the beginning of the story. I am also not sure that their prison romance is worth being sad or heartbroken over.
All that said, there was not a single point in the story where I thought about putting the book down. It was a compelling story of two men just trying to do their time in the most inoffensive way possible. The Romance is short and is only a small portion of the story Shire tells.
If you are a fan of prison romances, Brandon Shire, or stories that don’t fit the usual romance mold, Cold would be a good choice.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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