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Aftermath - Cara Dee

3.5 Stars
A "Live Your Life, Buy The Book" Review

I really wanted to love this book – for it to be powerful and all consuming – but it just wasn’t. The blurb lead to me to believe that the story was going to a tough, dark read – but in all honesty it turned out to be “just” a sweet romance.

Ten supposedly random guys are kidnapped and held hostage in the basement of some Psycho’s house, not everyone survives. The hostages are kept handcuffed in cages, two guys per cage. Their treatment is brutal, and I won’t spoiler it as to the why’s and the how’s and the WTF’s but I will say that it is all pretty much off page – so no worries for those that balk at torture details. After 5 months and 3 days of such close confinement a strong bond is bound to be forged, and this is definitely the case for Cam and Austin. Their story is told in the present day, not long after their ordeal is over, with flashbacks to their time of captivity. I have since discovered that I really do not like flashbacks. At all. Somehow the potency of a story is diminished, in my opinion.

Cam is bisexual. Austin is straight. He is married to a cow called Jade. Seriously. Jade’s lack of understanding for what Austin just endured, expecting him to just get “back to normal” was staggering – I wanted to reach in and slap her. All the survivors have fortnightly sessions with a psychotherapist, so they stay in each others lives – some more so than others. It really is beyond me, imagining how tough it must be to go through that kind of ordeal – and then to be released, and try to get on with your life. I get how you would feel that only fellow survivors could ever really understand where you are, and what you are going through. Not that I think that kind of dependency is a good footing for a healthy, long term relationship – we do however see that even while held captive Cam did already have feelings for Austin, so these just increased with time and, of course, freedom.

Even though I wasn’t blown away by the book, I did enjoy it and I know that plenty of readers will love the thought of such sweet love blossoming out of such an awful beginning. And it really was sweet, and sexy! I will, no doubt, be reading the sequel with Remy and Chase :-)