Aftershock & Afterburn
by Sylvia Day
This book was odd, because I sort of liked it and hated it simultaneously. And there may be some mild spoilers in my review because it's easier to explain my issues with the book if I include examples.Summary: Never mix business with pleasure. Never bring politics into the bedroom. In a way I did both when I took Jackson Rutledge as a lover. I can't say I wasn't warned.
Two years later, he was back. Walking into a deal I'd worked hard to close. Under the tutelage of Lei Yeung, one of the sharpest businesswomen in New York, I had picked up a thing or two since Jax walked away. I wasn't the girl he once knew, but he hadn't changed. Unlike the last time we'd drifted into each other's lives, I knew exactly what I was dealing with... and how addictive his touch could be.
The inner circle of glamour, sex, and privilege was Jax's playground--but this time, I knew the rules of the game. In the cutthroat business world, one adage rules all: keep your enemies close and your ex-lovers closer...
I once wrote a blog post about what the worst thing that a book can be and for me, the answer is boring. I can't stand boring books, and I can forgive a lot in a book so long as it doesn't bore me. So, when I say I liked this one, that is why -- it didn't bore me. It hooked me. It kept me entertained for a couple of hours.
I liked it for that reason...but, it also frustrated me in so many ways that I hated it for.
It was everything from little irritations (like her repeatedly calling her phone her "smartphone" -- got on my nerves so much and dated the book in an annoying way) to bigger things, like the fact I could not stand Jax and Gia as a couple.
The writing wasn't bad (although the sex scenes did have me rolling my eyes and snorting in derision multiple times -- not sure if that was down to the writing or just my dislike of the couple, probably the latter) but as this was a romance book, the fact that I hated the couple was...well, not good.
I did not believe they loved each other at all -- they barely knew each other and it seemed like the only thing they had in common was physical attraction and sexual chemistry, but love is about more than that. Jax... he was awful 99% of the time, he treated her like crap and he pulls quite a few infuriating moves that would make Christian Gray proud (stalking is not something to swoon over, stalking is something that should have you heading straight to file a restraining order, it is not cute, it is creepy).
The worst part was that, on her own, I liked Gia. I liked the way she was with her family, I liked the relationship she had with her boss and that she was strong and independent...but that just made it all the more disappointing when those good things about her character go right out the window when Jax is on the scene. He treats her like crap and she'll think that it's not okay or even say directly to him that it's not okay...but then sex happens and she allows him to keep treating her that way.
It's like, you know when you have a friend who is dating someone that treats them like terribly and they deserve so much better and you just want to scream at them to be a lioness instead of being his doormat? That feeling. This book gave me a lot of that feeling.
Even things that were probably supposed to be romantic were just ruined by his character.
Moving in together? A big step in a relationship, a good thing, right? Not when the dude just decides she is moving in with him. He doesn't ask, he doesn't even wait for her to give any sort of opinion or response, he just says that she is moving in with him. When she needs space, he doesn't give it to her -- whether that's by stalking her to another state, or showing up at her hotel room and threatening his way into her room so she'll talk to him, or climbing into bed with her when she's made it clear she didn't want to sleep in the same room as him that night, or ordering her about like a child when she says she wants to stay with her family for one night...eughfvlsfdvb - I'm getting angry just thinking about it.
Relationships based on sex and attraction are fair enough, but don't try to call that love. It's lust. This book was a whole lot of tell and barely any show when it came to the love part. I can't think of one conversation they had that wasn't small talk or them talking about sex or arguing about the problems with their relationship (i.e. that he treats her like crap, but in the end it's always okay because sex)...if they had any scenes together that showed love instead of lust then I'm drawing a blank trying to remember them (the ending doesn't even count, but my explanation of why would get a bit too spoilery).
Basically...the romance sucked and considering this is a romance book that meant the book kind of sucked. But it also kind of didn't because it was entertaining? Confusing. Yes.
I'd rate this book 2 stars out of 5, but in spite of that, I do look forward to reading another Sylvia Day book because it takes talent for an author to keep me reading a book that I hate.