Friday, March 20, 2015

Review: After The Fire by Felice Stevens

A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped, taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life couldn’t free him of the nightmare of his former life; it reinforced his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.

As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

4.5 star Review by Jen Skewes

After The Fire is the second installment in the Through Hell and Back Series.  I think you could technically read this one as a stand alone but I think reading the first book A Walk Through Fire would give you a better understanding of the characters and their relationships.  If you have not read A Walk Through Fire yet then please note that this review may contain spoilers. 

Dr Jordan Peterson had it all. A fantastic career, two best friends that he lovess and an amazing man by his side.  Until one day his world completely falls apart and he loses Keith,  the love of his life.  This book starts at about 8 months after losing his love.  It opens up with a very real and very touching scene.  We see the pain and the hurt that Jordan is going through.  You see how devastated he is and how losing the one person in this world that you loved can completely shatter a person.   Keith was his world and his heart and in an instant they were both completely torn apart. 

Lucas Connover is a successful financial planner who has had a horrific childhood.  While he has a great job and hook ups here and there he has never allowed himself to love someone or be loved.  When he was younger the one person he loved and looked up to left him.  Lucas has his own issues with hurt and pain.  He has tried so hard to move on from his past but it still continues to haunt him. 

When Luke and Jordan meet there is no denying the physical attraction.  But Luke sees him as a preppy, snotty rich kid.  And Jordan feels too guilty even looking at another man.  These two men are forced to work together on a project that will keep Keith’s memory alive.  As they continue to work together towards the same goal they realize the attraction and connection between the two of them continues to grow.  They are both attracted to each other and maybe Luke was wrong about who Jordan really is. 

They both have struggles that they are facing.  Jordan has managed to shut out his friends and is coping with his lover’s death the only way he knows how.  He needs help but for someone who has always been the one to help others he finds it difficult to ask anyone for the help that he needs.  Luke is still trying to move on from his past which isn’t easy when he is faced with the one person who he never wants to see again.  And given their circumstances at some point he will need to face his brother.  In order for Jordan to truly move on from the loss of Keith and be happy he needs to be honest with himself and the people around him.  Luke on he other hand needs to let people in and come to terms with what happened all those years ago and the real reason why his brother left.  Sometimes the truth will set you free.  And even if he cannot ever forgive his brother, the truth will help him find the closure he needs.

I loved Jordan and Lucas together. But what I really loved about this story is how real it was.  Jordan didn’t meet Luke and instantly fall in love and all of a sudden everything he had been through was forgotten.  He was still grieving and even when he found comfort in Luke it didn't mean that he was instantly cured.  He still struggled with the loss every day, and he still coped in his own way just without anyone knowing. 

Jordan and Luke together were sweet, and hot and sexy.  But it was also at times heart breaking.  They have both been through so much in their life and both deserved to find happiness.  I felt the emotions with this book.  I hurt for the both of them.  I wanted to see them be happy and get past the pain and the guilt.  They deserved.  I was on pins and needles waiting for that moment between Luke and his brother Asher.  There was certainly a build up to that very moment and when you finally get to it, it was just perfect.  They finally had the talk that Asher so desperately needed.  It was such an emotional scene, knowing the real reason why Luke left him all those years and being able to fell his pain as he told his side of the story.  It was both heart breaking to see what they went through but comforting at the same time to finally see these two brothers finally make some strides in their relationship.  I loved this book and all of the emotions it brought out.  It was real and true to life which is what I loved.  Another amazing job by Felice Stevens.  

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