Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story
Months after the trauma brought on by Chip McNair, Charlie has made sure to get Damon in therapy. And after Chip returned and the memories brought back to life almost forced Charlie to run from his family and from Amos, Charlie quickly scheduled himself for therapy sessions as well. Their therapy includes individual time as well as a combination of family time—Charlie and Damon; Charlie and his mom; Charlie and Amos; Charlie, Damon, their mom, and Amos.
This story opens up with a family session including all four members, and despite Charlie’s hopes, the session does not go as planned. Forever blaming himself for allowing Chip into his family’s lives, Charlie takes another verbal bashing from Damon, but this time Amos won’t stand for it, and Charlie realizes he is not alone in his journey to rebuild the relationship and trust he once shared with his younger brother.
Growth and healing comes bit by bit for Charlie, Damon, and even Amos, but with growth also comes hurt. In the coming sessions, facts and secrets are revealed that threaten to shatter everything Charlie and Amos have worked so hard to hold on to.
If you’ve been following along you know Chip is in jail—the asshole—and in the last Earthquake book it seemed like Charlie was about to make a break for it and leave Flagstaff. My heart stopped at the end of that book and I huffed like a stubborn teenager. But then in Frankie’s Knight, we see Charlie, safe and at home, so we know he didn’t take off. You have no idea the rush of relief I felt. It was big. So here we are. Time to get the heads fixed. And fixed they get. Geez. I never saw this coming. Yes, the whole thing with Damon was a given because his defense mechanism from book one was to dump on Charlie for being gay. It hurt my heart to read it again probably as much as it hurt Charlie, but it wasn’t that big of a leap. The shocker in this story comes from left field. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you, and I’m not gonna tell you much more except that it is crushing and earthshattering for Charlie and Damon. It’s life altering. I’d say I was left speechless, but I’m rather outspoken so had I been there I would have given a piece of my mind. I’m still thinking it.
This series has been quite the journey for Charlie and Amos and I’ve seriously loved every moment of it. I think one of the things I like the most is that, besides their struggle in the first book to really connect as a couple, the struggle they’ve faced thus far have been more external in relation to them as a unit. So this story shows the showcases the growth and unity they’ve achieved thus far. This story is more about Charlie’s individual growth and a little about Amos’ and it’s definitely about Damon’s.
Sweet Damon is struggling to find which way is up right now. Nothing in his world is quite right and the easiest way to deal with it is to point the finger. You know how I said earlier that I wasn’t surprised by what came out of Damon’s mouth? Well, it stands true. I almost expected in part because of his strong reaction to Charlie and then Amos when he was around. (I know, I’m being super evasive. Sorry, not sorry. You’re just going to have to read it to get what I’m saying.) But my heart seriously bleeds for the kid in so many ways. There is a turning point in the book where the kid turns into a man. It’s written so well, it’s almost indiscernible, but by the end of the story you’ll realize that the kid has grown up. I fully expect him to remain a smart mouth punk, but there’s a beautiful maturity to him now as well.
As with every single installment in this series, I’m awe. Webb has once again take me on an emotional journey that left me loving these men more than I thought was possible. And with that ending… I am dying to know what happens next. If you haven’t picked up Pulp Friction 2014, now is the time. I highly recommend Aftershocks by T.A. Webb.
Note: Aftershocks is the fourth book in the Earthquake series by T.A. Webb and must be read in order.