After the Fire
(Through Hell and Back, Book 2)
by Felice Stevens
Genres: Contemporary Adult, M/M, Romance
A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With the man he loved dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of pain that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan meets the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks Jordan back to a life he thought was lost forever.
Betrayal and abandonment by the foster brother he’d worshiped as a child taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life did little to free him of the nightmare of his past; it reinforces his belief he wasn’t meant to fall in love. Working closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson forces him to meet another person whose suffering equals his own and Lucas can’t shake the unexpected the first man to ever get under his skin.
Mutual respect and rising desire bring Jordan and Luke closer than they ever imagined, and each man must come to terms with their past as they struggle 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.
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I loved Luke's character. He has a lot of emotional damage from his past, but still finds himself falling, and staying, in love with Jordan, despite a few bumps along the way. It takes great courage to open yourself to love. I was also excited to see his interactions Ash, as book one left off on a bit of a cliff-hanger as far as the brother were concerned.
Jordan was a harder character to identify with. There was so much going on emotionally with him that it felt a little over the top. The upheaval of losing his partner, the self destructive ways he deals with that loss, and then how he switches from sad to happy-ever-after just seemed to easy. I guess I was expecting more angst on his part, especially while letting go of his past and moving on with his attraction to Luke.
Overall, I was quite happy with this story. The friendships delighted me, and I was especially thrilled to see Esther return in book two. I thought there was a lot of potential for Jordan's character to make an amazing emotional transformation that was untapped, but on the whole, another positive addition to Steven's library of work.
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.