Afterburn & Aftershock by Sylvia Day

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I can’t believe that this is the very first review that I write about a Sylvia Day’s book. Not because I haven’t read her before, but because her books were mainly the ones that revived my passion for reading. Her writing skills are amazing, and with this book, she kills it again. Effortlessly.

The story for me was perfect, I loved and enjoyed every word and second of it. It was an effortless read. I have to admit though, that there are a lot of similarities with the Crossfire saga, and maybe that’s why I liked it so much. However, it also has numerous of differentiating elements that made it addictively unique.

The protagonists are amazing. First you have Gianna Rossi, a gorgeous and charismatic Italian girl with a dream of success, with the perfect family supporting her. I really liked her. She is humble but she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to fight for it. She had to work hard for the career she obtained, not only studying but also having three extra jobs to pay for it. That’s the reason why she wouldn’t take no for an answer when going to job the interview. I wish I had her determination. Not to mention their brothers: Vicent, Nico and Angelo that were totally a dream. They’re all part of the Rossi’s family business, an Italian restaurant of great quality, and the best Italian food ever, according to her. I adored how they all supported her and took care of her, each one with an amazing characteristic personality. The book also mentions her loving parents, but I think the brother’s part was more special and the bond deeper.

At the beginning, you didn’t know a lot about this past lover that broke her heart, aside from being one of the reasons of feeling related to her boss Lei Yeung, and the passionate five weeks that they spent together in Vegas before he stopped calling two years ago. So, when he appeared out of nowhere, accompanying Ian, Yeung’s rival and former lover, it was kind of a surprise. I expected for her to be affected by his presence, but I didn’t saw coming all the real deep feelings that were inside of her. The more I knew about the story and how he disappeared from her life, the more I backed her up when she didn’t want to be him again and jeopardize all her work efforts. So, you could imagine how I felt when she accepted Jackson back into her life again. However, I didn’t know anything at all about Jackson Rutledge.

Men glanced his way and altered course some, instinctively recognizing and alpha male at rest.

Jackson is a hot sexy god. He’s smart and connected through his family to the world of politics. He’s the “fixer” of the family’s problems despite he doesn’t enjoy it. He has this sweet and tender side that makes him the perfect gentleman, opposed to the mystery one, with secrets that remain that way until the very end. Jax wants and craves to be with Gia, but from his words, he can’t stay long in her life. She knew that would be a problem for her, but chooses to ignore all the warning signs and be with him, now that she knows the condition of their “agreement”. And what happens when you mix business and pleasure? Pure sex. Hot steaming perfect sex.

His sinner’s mouth was wet from me and red from our kisses.

At first I didn’t understand Jax and all his complications of being with her, despite of saying and acting like he cared. I really thought that she was the one in love, and he only needed to satisfy his cravings. However, we come to realize that he also was in love with Gia, more than we imagine. Things between them happened fast. Very fast. But for me, they were meant to be together. They fitted in every way. He was so sweet and caring with her, and wild non-stoppable in bed. Jax was so easy going that everybody in her family loved him, even if they didn’t want to. However, they also fought a lot over non-sense stuff, mainly because she still had apprehensions of being with him. She couldn’t forget what he’d done to her, and truly you couldn’t blame her for that.

I’m an asshole to everyone else in my life. You are the one thing I cherished. Don’t make me stop.

I have to say that I really adored the moment when he finally admits that he is in love with her, and that all the concerns that he had relied on not wanting to expose her to his life. I don’t know if I would accept all the conditions that he imposed her when trying to scare her, but if you’re in love with someone, you have to give up things, and that applies for both sides. Gia gave everything to be with him and being part of his world, the world you could tell he didn’t wanted to be part of. However, despite you could say that it was something related to his mother, you couldn’t decipher what was the actual reason for it.

“Gia.” Jax caught my upper arm as I moved to pass him. “I’ve got this. Don’t stress.” “Easy for you to say.” I told him, my chin lifting. “You don’t have anything on the line.” His jaw tightened. “I love you. I’ve got everything on the line.”

About the problems they had to face, I think that stealing one of the new chefs that she wanted to sign contract with was an ugly move. He really put at risk everything she was working on. However, how he tried to fix it showed us that he really cared inside, despite his actions, he loved her. And I love him for that. However, Gia’s bad move was definitely worse. How couldn’t she think about the consequences of reaching a journalist to investigate him? I know he was truly an enigma, but to hire someone while you are in a relationship with the person? Not cool at all. I have to concede though, that I really like the fact of her confronting the problem right away. We are used to the discussions between couples caused by lies, so it’s refreshing to have a couple that deals with the truth. Jax took it very well, considering all that was involved. The big mystery about his mom didn’t surprise me that much; I really was expecting something way worse than that. What I didn’t understand still, was the way that Jax took that responsibility on him. He really thought he led her to death, but that didn’t explains to me why he hated his father, more than he actually deserved it.

The finale had everything I asked for. A happy ending where Gia’s brother forgives her for using his icloud account to threaten his ex, and Jax gaves up his old life so he can finally starts living the way he wants to with the person that he loves. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting that bold move, which left me delightedly swooning over him. The epilogue didn’t tells us much, except that they’re engaged, having their “happily ever after” finale. That, as you may already know, I simply adore.

I have to mention that the whole restaurant and food topic really caught my attention. It’s the kind of business we aren’t used to, so it’s nice to have a story that occurs in a different area.

I really loved this book. It’s an easy hot read. Nonetheless, I have to say that I think that the development of the story wasn’t enough as it could have been. There is plenty of material to make at least one bigger book instead of two short novellas. The final was so rush! I definitely need some more of Jax and Gia.

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