Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
When Cody Fitzroy was assaulted, he made his way back to the land of the living on his own terms, in his own time. It has been a rough journey for both he and his partner, Vic. And just as they begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, tragedy strikes again. Out with his friends, Cody never expected a betrayal so unthinkable. One of his oldest friends selfishly uses Cody as his own bargaining tool, placing him in a situation that leads to another vicious, brutal assault. And this time Cody isn’t sure how to make it back to himself.
Victor Szoldo would do anything for the man he calls his heart. When Cody is attacked for the second time, Victor is forced to take a look at his life, his career, and his relationship. Both men are affected deeply by the attack on Cody. Forced to examine themselves and their relationship, Vic and Cody journey to see what awaits them in the aftermath.
This book. I’m not sure if I have the words to tell you just how emotionally powerful this book is. It’s a short read, but a violent rollercoaster at the same time. This story ripped my heart out and brought tears to my eyes, and I loved every second of it. Aftermath is a story of betrayal, helplessness, and the power of love and healing. It is one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read.
I love Cody and Vic. I love that Cody, the more submissive partner, is strong, hard-headed, and determined. I love that Vic, the more domineering and controlling of the pair, is accommodating, soft-hearted, and protective. They are night and day, yet they fit so perfect. Two broken heroes that suffer a tragedy only to be healed by the love of the other. They are amazing characters.
I’ve always said, I don’t mind rape within a story. It can be used to bring real emotions and powerful feelings to readers. It’s not for everyone; I get that. And whereas, this story is centered around Cody’s rape and assault, the actual rape doesn’t happen on page, but it’s felt in every other word this author brings forth. Every bit of brokenness, helplessness, and confusion that Cody and Vic felt, I felt as well. I am in awe of this story
I only have one quibble here and it’s not enough to make me dislike anything about this story. What happened to Jonathon? Why was it so easy for Cody to not really forgive him, but to look past it? I would have loved more of their background through Cody’s eyes, so I could understand his actions. But again, it’s not anything that took away from the story in my eyes.
So, as you can tell, I love this book. Everything from the writing to the characters to the story itself is perfection. Aftermath is a powerful and poignant prose of healing and growth, and I’m so glad that I had the chance to experience this beautiful story. I highly, highly recommend Aftermath by Angel Martinez.