Reviewed by Amber
TITLE: The Aftermath
AUTHOR: Kay Simone
PUBLISHER: Self Pub
LENGTH: 583 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 19th, 2016
What if you had to spend one year face-to-face with the biggest mistake of your life?
Daniel Rhodes is looking for an anonymous night of fun with his fake ID in the big city, an hour away from his tiny hometown in rural Washington.
“You play pool?” Daniel asks the stranger, eyeing him.
“Uh, yeah. I do,” the man says in a clipped, cocky way. “Do you play pool?”
But when an intriguing stranger flirts with Daniel, he’s desperate not to lose the man’s attention. The man is smooth, older, and funny — dark and handsome with a physical presence that has Daniel’s blood running hot. Without thinking about it, Daniel starts hustling him.
“A little,” Daniel lies. “You up for a game?”
“You’re damned right I am.”
What starts as a simple con changes as their chemistry crackles. Daniel wants this tattooed stranger, and he’s willing to bend the rules to get him on his knees. The young hustler makes the bet of a lifetime — getting him exactly what he wants.
But the anonymous fun becomes a nightmare when Daniel meets the stranger in his hometown days later, thrown into a situation that leaves them no choice but to work together.
. . .
On the advice of his friends, perpetual loner Wilson Morrow has quit his job at a state university to accept an offer in the small town of Chewelah. The university is all he’s known since he escaped a turbulent childhood in Alabama, and Will spent his twenties forgetting the memories of what happened there.
But his fresh start in a new town is a disaster from the start… Because staring at him on the first day of his promising new job is the biggest mistake of his entire life: Daniel Rhodes. They both know that with a single word, Daniel could ruin Will’s whole career.
. . .
They want to hate each other for what they are and the dishonest way they met. But as they’re forced to work together, Daniel finds that Will is changing the way he views himself, literature, and the future before him. In the gregarious and hot-tempered Daniel, Will finds someone he cannot help but care about — but he knows that the best thing he can do for Daniel Rhodes is to leave him alone.
Try as they might, something bigger than themselves always pushes the two of them together.
Nothing stays the same for either man as they navigate the minefield of a love they must keep secret. For the first time in either man’s life, they begin to build rather than repair, to forge their own future instead of treading in a wake, and to create something more important than simple survival in the aftermath of a chance encounter.
Whoa….where has this author been hiding?? The writing in this novel was exceptional. I mean truly exquisite. Everything flowed so well and considering this story is close to 600 pages, I never lost interest. This was such an interesting story. The author weaved the romance around poetry and literature, learning and growth, hurt and comfort.
Daniel Rhodes decides to end the summer going into his senior year of High School with some excitement. Using his fake ID he goes to a local bar with the sole purpose of hustling some people at pool. Daniel isn’t expecting the highly tattooed older man to offer up a wager more personal than money.
Wilson Morrow just wants to blow off some steam before he starts teaching English at his new school. He is more than happy to find a little fun in the young pool shark that hustles him in the bar. However, he is quite unhappy to find that same pool shark in his English class the next day.
Realizing that Daniel is way younger than he initially was led to believe, Wilson is horrified. But that doesn’t extinguish the spark that has been lit between them. Both men do their best to stay away from the other, but the pull is too strong for the both of them to fight.
Daniel is young but incredibly mature and intelligent. Will realizes that very early on he’s met his match in Daniel. They fit together seamlessly and even though the nature of how they got together isn’t ideal it was hard to deny that they just worked. Their romance was beautiful I felt every emotion with these two.
There are a lot of sub plots going on in the story. It wasn’t hard to follow overall but towards the end for some reason the author decided to jump from one day then go back a day, then go forward another day and that got confusing but not horrible and it was really only like the last 5% of the story.
Like I mentioned I really did, thoroughly enjoy this story. Some of the things were a little farfetched to believe but they didn’t take me completely out of the story. For instance, I’ve never known of or heard of a teacher or teachers to cuss so freely around their students but keeping in mind sleeping with students is taboo too…so…not terribly shocking.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would definitely recommend.