<— You just know from the cover that my eyes popped with reading glee, when I saw it. Dark looking, intriguing, and that title? “Aftermath“. Whoa. This was going to explore some depth, I just knew it. Not just “dark & psychological” (I love those!) but a potential romance of the M/M kind.
Two men that survived a kidnapping, forming an emotional bond so deep, that they continue to need each other, after the fact. We’ve heard about this kind of thing before. Maybe not Stockholm Syndrome, but certainly… right up my alley!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Who wants to read an M/M book with me? This book has been calling me so hard —> Aftermath by Cara Dee (two men survive a a five-month long kidnapping together- eeeeep!! Definitely up my alley!). I’m starting it tonight!! I can’t wait, I’ve been craving this one for days and the feedback from our fellow readers that jumped on it over the last week or so has me even more excited.
Tracie: Maryse you will love this book. It’s absolutely fantastic.
Marie: Halfway thru it now – whooaaaaa sooo good
Dawn: Read it the other night! It was very good!
Kandace: It is so good. You will love them. I loved how separate they were broken but together they were something amazing. Gun or no gun!!
LeAnn: Loved this book!!
Pam: Such a good read. It was one of my first m/m. Very well written. Worth the read!
Yvette: Ooooh I’m in!
Kathy: I’m in too! It sounds soooooooo gooood!
Rebecca: Ooooh Maryse, Dark read and m/m, you will be in heaven!!
Maura: Was a great read, not as dark as I expected. Loved Cam and his moody, brooding self but he had a very tender side when he was there for Austin and vice versa. They helped each other heal and found love.
Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m almost done! Very good (and very steamy!!!!!)
Danicka: @40% really liking this!
Danicka: It was great! Can’t wait to read your review!!
Agreed guys!!! It was so good. Little mini roller coaster rides… over and over again (in scary form, and in romance form).
How did you simply leave a five-month long kidnapping behind you?
And that is the question, right there. That is a HUGE part of this story. Coming to grips. Surviving “life” after surviving horror.
Not as dark as I expected, but only because we start the book in a way where we’re (er… I mean THEY’RE) already free, and we backtrack throughout the book, via their memories. It’s part of the healing process. Also part of their nightmares. And believe me, even though we have that *slight* comfort of re-living through memories only, what they experienced was horrific and scary.
So what’s it about?
A group of various men (all strangers) are kidnapped, and held hostage for five months. Paired up in cells, they are subjected to mental and physical torture. Our two main characters were paired in their cell together. One, a married man/business professional, and the other, of the more “bad boy” lifestyle. But in this cell, all that matters is survival, and the will to live. The hope of escape. And eventually, the need for comfort.
This is the exploration of that horror story, the discovery (why did this happen?)… and the aftermath. How these drastically changed men attempt to re-integrate themselves into their old lives. And what they still need, to cope. Each other.
Another reason Austin couldn’t sleep was his odd need to check in with Cam – the man he’d been thrown into a cage-like cell with all those months ago. After spending most of their time together, they’d formed a bond he didn’t understand, but it was there nonetheless. In fact, it felt wrong not to see him everyday now.
It had a little of everything that love to read about. That darkness that kept me on the edge of my seat, an undeniable bond (due to that horrific situation), angst (due to the nature of the situation), and that M/M highly detailed, super-steaminess that I can’t help but bite my lip over. *whoooooooo fans self* HOT!!! Yes yes… it’s true. I totally bite my lip (cliché, I know) when my stomach starts er… “butterfly-dipping” like it did in this one. *blush*
Okay skip this part if you haven’t read this book yet (and want to experience the story without anymore outside influence). It’s time for me to analyze my connection to it…
However, despite my heightened-adrenaline expectations, it wasn’t as gut-wrenching, or heart-fluttering as some of the past M/M’s that I’ve become attached to. Admittedly, I’m fairly new to the genre, so I’ve got a lot to learn. But one thing that keeps me so hooked is the “gay for you” aspect, that absolutely changes the character’s lives. That doubt, denial and the moments of heartbreak. Acceptance. Rejection. And it’s through all of that angst that I fall head-over-heels in love with them as they do with each other. It almost seems the harder they deny themselves, the more intense their feelings become. And mine always follow suit. I’m really addicted to that overwhelming desire, need, emotional want, that just can’t be denied, but with that side of hesitancy.
And this one did have that, but just not in angsty spades. These m/m books bring that exciting *oomph* factor to romance, but this one was a gentler oomph.
Perhaps, had the book been a bit longer, we could have experienced the initial bonding, hesitancy, and confusion, in more detail. The road to “them” could have been drawn out a bit more. But in this case, the bond was already there.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that while this is about the romance, it was just as much about their healing.
Okay I’m done self-analyzing!! You can come back now!
That said, I connected and swooned plenty. It had just enough of everything to have me (and mostly keep me) feeling it. Smiling at times, hurting at others.
Plus, we got answers! And with those answers, I found out that there’s another book on the way. I’m in for more.
3.75 to 4 stars