aftermathRating: 4.25 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

A group of ten unrelated men are kidnapped and help prisoner for five months. As they are paired in cells, they endure mental, emotional, and physical torture. Austin and Cam are held captive in a cell together, and all that they have to rely on is their will to live and each other.

Austin has been married to a woman for 15 years, has a daughter, a nice car, and a professional job. Cam is a heavily tattooed, bisexual mechanic, who is a bit of a loner.

Told in flashbacks, we slowly learn what happened to Austin and Cam and the unbreakable bond they formed while held captive that grabs hold of them as they try to integrate back into their lives.

I was looking for something different and this book was good different. We first meet Austin and Cam one month after they escape their kidnapping and we are plunged into the aftermath. Austin is trying to regain the control he once lived his life by and Cam struggles as he sleeps in the living room with all the lights on and the windows open. They both want — they both need — to constantly check in with each other.

This story is not as dark as I expected it to be, mainly because I knew the characters had escaped and were free. It is also not a romance story. It is a love story and a story about healing. Austin and Cam have developed such a close bond, there is a short build up, and then they are just together.

The scenes with Austin and Cam alone, either flashing back, or in the present, are the heart of the story. They need to be together as that is the only thing that makes sense to both of them.

We meet Austin’s wife, Jade, who is not supposed to be a likable character, and well, she isn’t. She has no empathy for Austin at all, tells him it is time to get over the kidnapping, and that she wants her life back. This further pushes Austin to seek comfort with Cam.

Cam has several personality traits that made it difficult for me to become attached to him. Yet, it is some of those same traits that pull Austin toward him.

I would have liked more flashback scenes to the kidnapping or to have stayed there longer. They are gripping and descriptive and put me right there with the hostages. But several times, just as I was really into that storyline, I was pulled back to the present. A little more time spent with Austin and Cam held captive would have deepened the understanding of the bond overall.

You have to experience the story for yourself as any detail given away is too much. There is a complete ending, with an epilogue (yay!), that offers closure to the story. There is also a second book in the works about two other characters and their connection certainly has my interest piqued.

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