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...
**Summary taken from Goodreads**
Disclaimer: Provided by NetGalley
The break up of any relationship is always difficult, it was especially hard on Matt. We meet him six months after the break up of the love of his life, Joe. together since they were kids Matt doesn't know how to have a life without him, he spirals into drinking, drugs and casual sex with man after man. Studying to become a doctor, he skips classes, and slowly little by little tries to destroy what life he has, not caring if he is beaten up, or raped, not caring how many pills he swallows. Until he meets Aaron.
Life after Joe by Harper Fox is told in the first person, from Matt's POV, his anguish at being left alone by his lover Joe comes through the pages clearly, not only was he dumped, he was dumped so Joe could live as he sees it a normal life, with a woman he'd secretly been having an affair with for two years. It was for that reason i felt Matt lacked a backbone. His lover cheats on him, systematically building a life with someone else while he still came home to matt's bed every night, and yet matt wasn't pissed off at him at all, wasn't angry or unforgiving. I wanted to yell at him to stop snivelling and grow a pair of balls, Joe didn't deserve him and yet he grieved badly for him.
Not much was learned about Aaron, he seems to come into Matt's life and quickly the forge a relationship, each of them holding onto baggage that eventually catches up with them both. He had a calm quiet quality about him that as a reader appealed to me, he seemed to be the ying to Matt's yang.
While this book isn't all sweetness and roses, it has a romance mixed into the raw gritty and darkness of Matt's depression and despair that i found endearing, Aaron is a sweetheart albeit two dimensional, i wished we'd gotten to know more about him.
Sidenote: i found it amusing that the book was set in a part of the UK not so far from me, i was easily able to hear the accents, it added a nice dimension for me and gave me a chuckle with the accent spellings.
For any m/m romance fans this is an intense read, I was happy to have taken the journey with Matt to find his HEA. I give Life after Joe by Harper Fox 3.5 Sparkles out of 5.
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