I’m a sucker for books featuring heroes who ride bikes, and when you add in a tight-knit group of former military men who run a motorcycle shop and secretly help women escape from domestic abuse, well, I can’t help but be drawn to the story, and this was exactly the case with Last Day of My Life. Although I hadn’t read any of the previous books in this series, based on the book’s description, I thought I would be fine jumping into this fourth installment, and, for the most part, I was easily able to follow the featured couple’s journey to find their way back to each other after a mysterious tragic situation tore them apart seven years ago.
The structure of the book was different from what I expected, and the narrative stretches over a lengthy period of time. The book opens with a prologue that summarizes how a young Winter and Jack meet and fall in love. Jack is a soldier heading back for his second deployment, and the couple’s tearful goodbye is only meant to be temporary, but their designated course together isn’t meant to be. The actual story really begins seven years later and is narrated by a woman who calls herself, “Jane” since a violent, horrific “accident” years ago left her with amnesia and the need for a lot of rehabilitative therapy.
Although readers are aware “Jane” is Winter, we don’t know any of the circumstances leading up to the life-threatening trauma she experienced all those years ago and why someone still wants her dead. The plot of the story centers on the unexpected reunion between Winter and Jack, the rekindling of their romance, and the search for answers about what happened to Winter while Jack was away on deployment. I liked the second chance at love aspect of the novel, but I did have trouble feeling the strong connection and bond these two have in the here and now, and I think this may be because of the plot’s structure. The prologue only summarizes the love and passion that grew between them, so I never really experienced the depth of their feelings for each other.
I found Jack’s character to have greater dimension and complexity in comparison to Winter. His range of emotions, from joy that the woman he has always loved is alive to the guilt he feels for not being there to protect her, are clearly and realistically depicted. On the other hand, there are instances where I felt Winter lacked the appropriate reactions or emotions that a scene warranted. For example, she doesn’t seem all that worried or concerned that someone wants to cause her harm, and sometimes her behavior is much too light-hearted for the gravity of the situation. The author does do a good job of narrating the story from both Winter’s and Jack’s POVs, and the shift in perspectives is always clear.
After finishing the book, I wish I had started at the beginning of the series, since the author doesn’t provide as much exposition and details about the origination of the Freebirds and the supporting cast of characters who play important roles in the story. Despite my issues with characterization, the mystery behind Winter’s amnesia and physical scars kept me motivated to read on, and when the truth is finally revealed at the end, it is even more unsavory than I imagined. The author provides a lengthy epilogue which nicely wraps up this couple’s journey and satisfied my curiosity.
Source: I received an ARC of this book from the author to provide an honest and fair review.
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