Title: Life After Joe
Author: Harper Fox
Publisher: Carina Press
Other index info: m/m romance, set in the UK (Cumbria), debut (I think), ebook
It’s not the breaking up that kills you, it’s the aftermath.
Ever since his longtime lover decided he’d seen the "heterosexual light," Matt’s life has been in a nosedive. Six months of too many missed shifts at the hospital, too much booze, too many men. Matt knows he’s on the verge of losing everything, but he’s finding it hard to care.
Then Matt meets Aaron. He’s gorgeous, intelligent and apparently not interested in being picked up. Still, even after seeing Matt at his worst, he doesn’t turn away. Aaron’s kindness and respect have Matt almost believing he’s worth it—and that there could be life after Joe. But his newfound happiness is threatened when Matt begins to suspect Aaron is hiding something, or someone…
Why this book? I liked the cover art. Call me shallow.
What did I think of it? Well…it felt like a debut, a little unpolished and heavily reliant on romance genre cliches. I liked the bones of the story, the set up, and the setting. Some of the characters were a bit predictable and cartoony. The destructive behavior of the narrator made him a little unsympathetic at times (TSTL) and made me question his reliability. The conflict felt forced (Big Mis! Returning Ex!) and the epilogue felt rushed and not yet believable, given the progression of the relationship; HFN would have felt more realistic than the implied HEA.
Ultimate grade: C
Keep or pass on? It’s an ebook, so I can’t pass it on.
Would I read future books? Certainly. I liked the author’s voice and style, even if the execution was a little uneven.