Monday, October 13, 2014

After The End by Sara York: Review & Excerpt

After the End
by Sara York
Genre: Dystopian M/M Romance
With international flights crisscrossing the skies on an hourly basis, are we ever really safe?

When a strain of the Ebola virus mutates; it spreads quickly leaving the medical community shattered. People are dropping in the streets and life, as most know it, comes to an end. Two city dweller survivors, Dean and William, are forced to flee the city and live in the wilderness—where dangers lurk behind every tree and in every valley. Not everyone alive after the end is good, and William and Dean are faced with challenges that would bring many to their knees.

Growing up in the hood of Atlanta, Dean knows how to overcome trials, but he knows nothing of love. Can he sustain a relationship with William, or will his doubts end them before they even have a chance?

From birth William has had a silver spoon in his mouth and two in each hand, but the end brings him face to face with reality where he has to take responsibility for his life. After the end, money has no meaning, and life is lived on the edge.

Join William and Dean after the end and find out how close to the edge they come.
After The End Excerpt #1:
After he finished, both of them satisfied, William pulled him up and brushed his lips over Dean’s. The kiss was charged with sensuality and caring. At first Dean stilled, wondering what the hell had gotten into William. They’d kissed before, but not like this. Not with William’s hands caressing his neck and face, and certainly not with the passion he felt flowing from the guy. He was a booty call to William, nothing more. The kiss spoke of love and caring, not hooking up and getting off. 
Surprised, Dean tried to process the sensations and stop his feelings from running over his good senses. This wasn’t real. They’d changed a little since those first few times, but he wouldn’t acknowledge the difference. Speaking about the changes would mean they’d have to confront the truth, and no matter how many times they got off together, William would never really be his. 
“I’ve left you some money under my pillow,” William whispered. 
Pain lanced Dean’s heart. No matter how gentle William was with his kisses, he’d never really respect him. Dean shook his head, and tried like hell to hang onto his anger. “I can’t accept your money.” 
“Take it. It’s not for sex. Okay, I...hell, I know about your parents and your house. I can’t....” 
Heat filled Dean, his whole body burning like never before. “What the hell have you done?” 
“Get real, I’m not going to ask you to be my...mistress isn’t the right word, but I want you around, you know, living close to where I do. I can’t offer more than that right now, but dammit, we’re good together.” 
Dean stepped away from William and scowled. “I’m not some whore you can buy.” 
“I didn’t say that. I know you’re smart. Hell, everyone at Blackwell knows you’re the smartest guy in school. But I want you.” 
He shook his head violently, the food sitting in his stomach threatened to come up. “I can’t take your money.” 
“Dean, please. I want you to be able to eat this week.” 
Anger flashed. “My God, you don’t get it, do you?” 
“No, I sure as hell don’t. Just take the fucking money. My parents give me a thousand dollars a week and I don’t have to pay for anything. I have cash and it’s disgusting. I don’t want it all, but I want you in my life.” 
Dean started pulling on his pants. As he tugged them over his thighs he realized he’d forgotten his underwear. He almost left them in his haste to get away, but William was right. He was fucking poor. If he left the underwear here, he’d only have three pair that didn’t have holes in them. 
William grabbed his shoulders as he stood from retrieving his underwear. He was pressed up against the wall and held there. Dean wouldn’t meet William’s gaze. 
“Please, don’t be this way. Don’t end it like this,” William begged. 
Dean stilled, his heart thudding. “You know it’s going to end soon.” 
“We can work something out,” William pled. His brows bunched together and his eyes were full of desperation. The man looked adorable and heartbreakingly bad for him all at the same time. Dean would lose himself, his self-worth, and his future if he stayed. 

After The End Excerpt #2:
Dean searched through the cabinets, looking for gloves and a mask, but he found nothing. He’d have to go out without any real protection and take his chances. That scared him. What if someone touched him that was sick?

The windows were covered with thick curtains that were older than dirt. When he pushed them aside, dust rained down on him. He sneezed and blew bits of dust particles off his hands before rubbing a spot clean on the window, allowing him to peer out. The streets were empty. Not that many people would be out in this weather, but he was expecting to see some people out milling around.

If he raced out of his house right now, he might avoid the rush to the store.

Or had that already happened? He let the curtains close as he thought about his options. It would be better to leave now and head out. It sounded like the longer he waited the more people would be infected.

Dean went to his room and grabbed a pair of knit gloves and a scarf he’d been given last school year when the staff realized he didn’t have winter clothes. It wasn’t the same as a mask and plastic gloves, but it would have to do. He pulled on his hoodie and made his way to the front door, pausing to take a deep breath. There was no way to prepare for going out into the world when a plague was ravaging the people, but his options were limited.

He pulled open the door when a dark gray SUV pulled up in front of his house. It looked expensive. He froze, unsure if he should go back inside or stand his ground. The driver’s door popped open and William stepped out, coming around the front of the car.

“Oh God, you scared me. What are you doing here?” Dean called out.

“Have you come in contact with anyone else?” William asked.

Dean shook his head. “Just at your party, that’s it. What about you?”

“No,” William shouted.

“What if someone at your party was sick?”

William shrugged and took a step closer. “We won’t touch.”

He glanced around, staring up at the gray sky. “Why are you here?”

“You should come with me. This is going to get crazy real quick. My parents—”

William let out a sob before he straightened, his lips curved down in a frown.

“They’re gone. It’s going to be bad. Please, come with me.”

He shook his head. “I don’t know.”

“Please. We have a fence surrounding the property. It will be safer. We can protect each other.”

Dean looked around. His parents hadn’t come home and they were probably dead. If they ended up being okay, they’d do something stupid to get him sick. He didn’t want to die.

He nodded quickly. “I need to grab some stuff. Stay with the car and keep the doors locked. I’m just going ro get a few clothes and some money.”

“I have lots of clothes,” William said, his voice higher than normal.

“You’re a little shorter than I am and you weigh more.”

“Fine, but move quickly, we don’t have much time.”

“Got it.”

Dean raced back inside his house and grabbed his school backpack, emptying the contents on this bed. If they survived and life returned to normal, he’d come back and get his books. He shoved the money William had given him to the bottom of the bag then grabbed some shirts out of his closet, shoving them in, not worrying about wrinkles. Next, he took a few pants off the hangers and pitched them in the bag. After grabbing his clothes, he went to the bathroom and packed his toothbrush, deodorant, and comb into the bag, looking around for anything else he needed.

There were so many things he could take, but he didn’t need any of them.

The horn honked outside and he heard William yelling. There wasn’t anything here for him. He ran to the front door and pulled it open, seeing two guys banging on the driver’s side window. Dean ran back into the house to his mom’s room and opened the nightstand beside her bed, searching for the handgun he knew she kept there. The horn honked more and he heard tires squeal. He hoped he wasn’t too late.

Dean grabbed the gun and ran out the door to watch William race down the street before swinging a wide U turn, running over the weed packed lawns in the process. The car faced him and slowed to a stop. The two guys who’d tried to break into the car were running toward William. Dean lifted the pistol and fired. The guys froze and looked over their shoulder. He’d never aimed a gun at anyone, and he wasn’t a good shot at a target. He didn’t think he could actually shoot at these people if they rushed him, but they didn’t know that. William revved the engine on his car and the guys turned back to him.

“Leave us alone,” Dean called out just before William stepped on the accelerator, the tires squealing. The two guys dove out of the way as William swerved close, barely missing them before driving up onto the grass in front of Dean’s house.

Dean raced around the front of the car, dropping the gun on the ground as he ran. He almost went back for it but the guys were running at them. Dean heard the locks click just before he reached the door to open it. Dean slammed the car door and hit the lock button. William took off, the SUV bouncing as they dropped off the curb.

“Fuck, that was scary,” William said.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Suspenseful, fast paced, dramatic and emotionally charged, AFTER THE END is a Young Adult romance set in the future. As a suspected mutation of the Ebola virus wipes out most of the world's population, Dean and Will, two high-school students from opposite sides of the social spectrum, team up in an attempt to survive the global disaster.

As a long time fan of Sara York I must admit that AFTER THE END didn't quite live up to my expectations, based on previous reading experiences. While the dystopian elements of this story are unveiled in intricate detail, I found the romance between Dean and Will to be less realistic. Their characters are well developed and the sexual chemistry is undeniable, but the emotional transition from hidden hookup to out and proud lovers just didn't seem to fit the rest of the story.

Despite that small bump in the story line, I found AFTER THE END to be an entertaining page turner that contrasted both the best and worst of human nature and begs readers to ask them selves the question "What if?" I would recommend this to fans of both Young Adult and Adult novels who enjoy Dystopian/Apocalyptic fiction with a touch of young love.
View all my reviews
Author Bio Writing is Sara York's life. The stories fight to get out, often leaving her working on four or five books at once. She can't help but write. Along with her writing addiction she has a coffee addiction. Some nights, the only reason she stops writing and goes to sleep is for the fresh brewed coffee in the morning.

Sara enjoys writing twisted tales of passion, anger, and love with a good healthy dose of lust thrown in for fun.


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  1. Thank you for hosting me on the tour.

  2. This is one of the best stories I've read. It is definitely a one click buy.