Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Aftermath by Cara Dee

Title:  Aftermath 
Author: Cara Dee
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Aftermath #1
Release Date: August 2013
Main Characters: Tom and Darwin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Austin Huntley and Cameron Nash are like night and day. One is a family man, works in a nice office, drives an expensive car, and is content to be content. The other one is an antisocial car mechanic with a short fuse.

Some things don’t change. Others definitely do.

After surviving a five-months long kidnapping together, they struggle to return to normalcy, all while realizing that they're more drawn to each other than they ever could've imagined.

"I know I'm not normal, but I'm not fucking stupid."

"Define normal," Austin countered quietly, meeting Cam in the doorway. "And for not being normal, you're the only person in the world who makes sense right now. What does that say about me?"

Warning: This story contains violence and scenes of an explicit, erotic nature between two men and is intended for adults, 18+.

Word count: 60 000 (novel)

My Review:

Yep, this is another one of those angst-riddled stories that I get in the mood to devour from time to time. It completely and totally lived up to my expectations. This book was so good.

This book tells the tale of ten men who were taken captive and held for over five months. Cam and Austin are the main characters that you follow as they are trying to regain some semblance of a real life again after being released. Neither one are dealing with the real world well. After living together in a single cell for so long, they turn to each other for support and friendship. They know each other in and out and are the only people who can truly relate to what they went through. No one else in their lives ever truly understands. And it should be noted...throughout that five months, they were simply trying to survive. There never were romantic feelings between the two men while they were in captivity although they were extremely close...24/7 in tight quarters and extreme circumstances for over 5 months...they bonded.

When they get out, they have other issues. Cam has Asperger's syndrome and has always had panic attacks. While they were in captivity, Austin figured out how to talk him down. Now that Cam is suffering from PTSD, he continues to turn to Austin for that same support.

Austin has his own issues to deal with...mainly an unsupportive wife who doesn't understand why he isn't the same man before he was captured. This lady needs a heavy-duty course in empathy, because she doesn't have a shred of it. And because the two men continue to turn to each other, they begin to develop other feelings for each other. It's natural for them since they both tend toward being bi-sexual anyway, although Austin has never explored that inclination. (NOTE: there is truly not any cheating in this book. The two don't actually hook up until Austin's marriage is basically over.)

The book is wonderful and as emotional and angst-filled as you would expect. The events of their captivity are told in snippets of flashback throughout the story. I'm usually not a huge fan of this type of story-telling, mainly because I like to stick with the main story, but it completely and totally works in this book. With each snippet, you understand more and more why the friendship between these two men is so strong and means so incredibly much. 

The bad guy in the story is truly psychotic and completely scary in his psychosis. Not every one of the ten men survives and the details are horrifying, just because of the hopelessness of these men's situation. He fully plans to kill them all eventually, as he acts out his fantasies to kill the real people in his life. Each man has a role to play as he is forced to pretend to be someone real from the psycho's life who he hated. He would then take those men and beat and for some, kill them. This isn't the end to this series either. The next book/novella is a romance between one of the captives and the man who was the younger brother of the psycho. In fact the brother was who the captive had to pretend to be. I can't imagine how good that book is going to be...I can't wait.

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