Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: Cold by Brandon Shire

Title: Cold
Author: Brandon Shire
Rating: 4/5 hearts 

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.


I don't like prison books. Partly because I was a criminal justice major for a long time. Partly because my dad was a prison guard for awhile. One of my best friends is also a prison guard. I have a hard time feeling sympathy for prisoners. My mind likes to dehumanize them. I have a very strict inner moral code, so I just have a hard time getting into stories centered in the prison system.  My review is a little colored by those things, so I figured I'd be upfront going in. 

Right from the beginning I really felt for Lem. He is obviously devastated by the crime that landed him in prison. He relives his crime constantly (even while there is no reason given for the crime). He obviously feels an incredible amount of guilt despite never having outwardly shown remorse. He truly believes that he SHOULD be in prison, partly because there is nothing left for him on the outside. He can't have what he really wants so there is no hope in his mind. 

Anderson, I felt less sympathy for. Maybe because it was a drug crime, and even if he was an accessory after the fact it still irked me. I felt like he still, even at the end of his sentence, believed himself to be better than the men he was serving time with. That somewhat annoyed me, although I realize that he was mostly just scared. 

I love what the two men found in each other despite all their differences... size, background, crimes. I really don't feel like I can delve too deep into the plot of this story because I don't want to give anything away. You really must read it in order to let the layers and the story be built for you. 

This was another book that definitely needed the tissues at the end. I really would love to see a continuation of this book, because quite certainly all the questions were not answered.

Even if you don't like prison setting stories.. TRY this book. It is sooo worth it. ;) 

Also join us here TOMORROW on the blog as I'll be putting up the interview with Mr. Shire as part of his COLD Blog Tour, and Mr. Shire will GENEROUSLY be giving away an ebook copy of COLD.

You can learn more about Brandon's books by visiting his website 

You can follow him on Twitter: @TheBrandonShire 

You can purchase Cold from the following retailers:





As always 10% of profits from his books go to LGBT charities. 

**I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review**


  1. Interesting, I did not know this about you. Thanks for sharing, and the excellent review.

  2. Hey EQ, great review. I like your perspective, not only about prison in general, but also about Anderson. I was crazy for Lem (like everyone, it seems), but I also fully enjoyed Anderson. I never saw him as you described above; "believed himself to be better than the men he was serving time with." Now that I read that though, I can see that.

    Possibly we'll be dealing with some of that in book 2.

    Looking forward to your post tomorrow :)



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