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It’s not the breaking up that kills you, it’s the aftermath.
Ever since his longtime lover decided he’d seen the “heterosexual light,” Matt’s life has been in a nosedive. Six months of too many missed shifts at the hospital, too much booze, too many men. Matt knows he’s on the verge of losing everything, but he’s finding it hard to care.
Then Matt meets Aaron. He’s gorgeous, intelligent and apparently not interested in being picked up. Still, even after seeing Matt at his worst, he doesn’t turn away. Aaron’s kindness and respect have Matt almost believing he’s worth it-and that there could be life after Joe. But his newfound happiness is threatened when Matt begins to suspect Aaron is hiding something, or someone…
Gosh, I really loved this.
I read Fox’s Scrap Metal mid last year and enjoyed that quite a bit, but being new to the m/m genre, I became distracted by All The Lovelies urging me to read them, so Fox got left by the wayside. SHAME ON ME.
Life After Joe was such a treat and surprise that has firmly placed Fox’s writing style as one of my favourites to date. It’s clever, animated, poetic and engaging. It also places you firmly in the scene making you feel the despair, elation or desperation of it’s characters. At times the despair is painted with such a thick brush, you could smear a whole city with it – and like they say “feeling the depths of sorrow helps you soar the heights of joy” – the affection is written with such care.
“I glanced at his mouth. It was beautiful when he was listening, the lips slightly parted. I kissed him, lightly but with a shudder of fervour across my spine, as if I had wings that were trying to unfurl. “I’m okay, I promise. Thank you.”
Written in first person POV, Matthew gives us a first row seat to the devastation of his life following the separation of his life long love – Joe. It’s the deconstruction of a joint life and the subsequent reckless behaviour of the people who are left behind.
The writing isn’t the only noteworthy point about this book. The ARC was fantastic too. There were twists that I expected but others which I never would have thought of, and somehow, each page increases the tension and suspense a little bit more.
But with everything I loved within these pages, I was still left wanting more; what was it about Matthew that made Aaron fall in love with him? We find out towards the end why Aaron was initially attracted to him, but what happened from there? I guess that’s hard to explain from Matthew’s POV. Also, what happens after the last page? It feels like the story isn’t finished. Please don’t let this story be over. Surely there’s more to come..?
Ami: 3.5 stars