Last Day of My Life (Freebirds # 4) by Lani Lynn Vale
Publication Date: June 30, 2014
Genre: Contemporary MC Romance / Military Romance/ Adult Fiction
She’s been known as Jane for the last seven years. Have you ever felt lost? Well she knows lost. She’s the definition of lost. Cruelly beaten within an inch of her life? Check. No memory of anything that’s happened since she woke up from that beating? Check. Losing a child, especially one she didn’t remember conceiving? Check. Jane has been sent away from her home of the past seven years by a hot older biker that tells her that her life’s in danger. His solution is to send her to a place that’s the home of a man that she feels a connection with instantly. A bone deep connection.
Jacks spent the last seven years in a depression. After the death of his young wife while on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, he hasn’t seen the appeal of participating in the world around him. He’s lost everyone that’s ever meant anything to him. His mom. His dad. His sister. His wife. Why make any more connections? They’re just going to die. The only things keeping him on this earth with boots firmly planted are his brothers who fought with him during hell on earth, and his best friend, the man that was there for his wife when he couldn’t be. The one who promised to keep her safe, and didn’t. Then he loses one of those things, and Jack really has nothing left. He comes home to an empty bed, and dreams of what used to be, caught up in a never ending nightmare that never ends. Until she screams his name, that is.
A name is the first memory that has surfaced in her brain in the last seven years. That name is Jackopa. Her husband.
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.
If you want to know more about the book’s hero, Ms. Vale has provided a more detailed profile of Jackopa Stoker:
“A Character Profile of Jackopa ‘Jack’ Kennedy Stoker”
Name: Jackopa ‘Jack’ Kennedy Stoker
Nationality: ½ White, ½ Native American
Current Residence: Kilgore, TX
Occupation: car/motorcycle mechanic
Birth order: middle child
Siblings: Catori-Older sister (Died while Jack was in the army.) Taima-baby brother.
Spouse: Winter Stoker- They married young. He’s loved her since the moment he saw her licking queso off her fingers at his father’s bar. They married after knowing each other for only three months. Of course, something happens while he’s deployed, and he doesn’t see her again for seven long years, but he never forgets her and loves her just as much as the last time he saw her.
Children: Catori (named after big sister) and Adam (Named after best friend who died)
Weight: 223 pounds
Race: Native American
Eye Color: green
Hair Color: black
Skin color: light brown
Lani Lynn Vale is a married mother of three living in the greatest state in the world, Texas. She is currently a student pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing. When she’s not cooking, cleaning, wiping dirty faces free of permanent marker stains, going to school, or running errands, you can find her at her computer lost in her fictional character’s world.
Last Day of My Life is available from the following retailers:
Check out the other books in the Freebirds series
BOOMTOWN, Book #1 –Boomtown (Freebirds)
HIGHWAY DON’T CARE, Book #2 – Highway Don’t Care (Freebirds)
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST, Book #3 –Another One Bites the Dust (Freebirds)
One winner will receive a signed copy of the first two books in the Freebirds series (U.S. only)
One winner will receive the first 4 books in the Freebirds series (International)
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