Monday Book Review: A Life Worth Living

Monday Book Review: A Life Worth Living

A Life Worth Living by Lorrie Kruse



Matt Huntz is a construction worker in a family business and engaged to a beautiful young woman when he has a car accident and wakes up in the hospital with damage to his spinal cord. The book follows as he works on getting function back, goes to rehab, tries to go home and deal with family and a crumbling romantic relationship. The whole time there is a question of exactly what happened the night of the accident, because Matt cannot remember.

The Good:

I really enjoyed this book.

The first thing that really impressed me was how accurate all the details were. This is an author who definitely knows a lot about SCI (and when I interview her, I’m going to ask her about that!) From how the insurance works to ordering a wheelchair to the physical changes in how a paralyzed person knows when he needs to use the bathroom, it is all accurate. I really appreciate that real life issues of paraplegia were not glossed over.

I love the message that sometimes the best thing in your life comes from your plan for your life getting completely screwed up. Good is born from bad. I think that’s so true.

Ordinarily I don’t read new injury stories, as they tend to bore me. I’ve read so, so many books with disabled characters and that right-after-the-accident time tends to be all the same. I prefer a hero who has adjusted to his disability and has moved on with his life. Here, however, the little bit of a mystery about what really happened that night was enough to keep me engaged and moving forward.

His family and all those characters were lovable and witty and fun.

The Bad:

I feel like the time Matt spent with the girl who was CLEARLY all wrong for him what too long. I was getting frustrated and fed up that he couldn’t see that she wasn’t the right person for him until page 300. Now, at page 300 the book became great, in my opinion. That’s when it really became romantic and sexy and completely enjoyable. Basically it’s when he begins the process of courting the girl that we all know is perfect for him.

My only real criticism is a tiny one. There’s talk about how he needs to order his own chair and he resists that for a long time. When he finally agrees to do it, we never see him actually get a new chair. So it didn’t become clear to me that he was no longer using the hospital chair until there’s a mention of him taking the wheels off when he gets in a car. It pulled me from the story a little to be wondering about that and I would have liked to see a scene with him getting the new chair, seeing how different it was from the hospital chair and how much easier it was to maneuver.

I would cry foul on how easy it was for Matt to get and maintain an erection, but because all the details of his injury were so very accurate it was easy for me to buy that he was lucky in his particular injury.

Yummy Hero Factor:

Matt was very sexy. The cover picture doesn’t do him justice! (Although I really am glad that the publisher commissioned artwork to depict a paralyzed hero and the pose on the cover is too sweet for words). There were many great moments showing off how sexy Matt was. He was witty with a good sense of humor, but deeply loving and close to family. He felt very believable and real to me the entire time.

Great Line:

She put her hand on his heart. “You’re not paralyzed here.” She moved her hand to his forehead. “Or here.” She concentrated on the feel of his body next to hers, so strong, safe, and secure. “So what if your legs don’t work. You’re perfect, just the way you are.”


Definitely buy this book. It’s rare for me to enjoy a romance and I enjoyed this one. It gave me exactly the feeling a romance should: it flooded me with affection for my beloved boyfriend and made me want to cuddle up next to him.

Buy It Now…

If you’ve written a book or know of a book that features a character with a physical disability, send me an email with “review” in the subject line:

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review after I contacted the author to ask for an interview. But ya’ll know that it’s an honest one and I don’t hesitate to leave negative reviews on books I think deserve it!

The author is a real sweetheart, she even sent me a signed copy!


  1. Lorrie Kruse
    Sep 20, 2012

    Ruth, thank you so much for the wonderful review. You know, I also was thinking the fact Matt actually got his own chair should be clarified, but I just couldn’t figure out how to work it into the story, so I skipped it. Shame on me. :0(

    As for Matt being too stubborn to notice Crystal was all wrong for him, my only excuse is…he’s a man. (Sorry any men out there who I might have offended just now.) Actually, I really, really wanted a specific scene to happen, which required Matt and Crystal still be together, but the scene could only happen once Matt left the hospital and there were so many other things I needed to have happen before I could let Matt out of the hospital that I just had to make Matt’s awakening come later rather than sooner.

    The Matt on the cover wasn’t the Matt I’d envisioned. I pictured Joe Manganiello for Matt. However, just like I couldn’t make up fake spinal cord injury facts, I also couldn’t just use Joe’s image without Joe’s permission, so I ended up with David as my cover model. After living with the picture for a while, I did come to think of that as being Matt.

    Thanks again, Ruth.

    • RuthMadison
      Sep 20, 2012

      Please don’t be discouraged by any of my negatives! I think you did a great job. And I know that Matt had to go through a long period of trying before he was ready to let Crystal go. I just wanted to enjoy watching him and Abbey together. Me being selfish 🙂

  2. Goldie Browning
    Oct 3, 2012

    Thank you for your wonderful review of A LIFE WORTH LIVING, Ruth. Storyteller Publishing is a new company. We’ve been in business for less than a year and Lorrie’s book was our second “child.” I remember when we were reading the manuscript we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to receive such a great submission. It’s one of those books that ANYBODY with a heart will enjoy. It is definitely a book worth reading.

    Goldie Browning
    Editor, Storyteller Publishing

    • RuthMadison
      Oct 4, 2012

      I’m happy to help you get off the ground! I should do an interview with you to talk about what it’s like to start a publishing company!


  1. Interview: Lorrie Kruse - Ruth Madison - [...] to have author Lorrie Kruse with me today to talk about her book A Life Worth Living, which I…

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