Blog Tour including Review & Giveaway – After the Fire (Through Hell and Back #2) by Felice Stevens

Title: After the Fire
Series: Through Hell and Back #2
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: Adult, Gay Romance
Release Date: February 24, 2015

A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With the man he loved dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of pain that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan meets the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks Jordan back to a life he thought was lost forever.
Betrayal and abandonment by the foster brother he’d worshiped as a child taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life did little to free him of the nightmare of his past; it reinforces his belief he wasn’t meant to fall in love. Working closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson forces him to meet another person whose suffering equals his own and Lucas can’t shake the unexpected the first man to ever get under his skin.

Mutual respect and rising desire bring Jordan and Luke closer than they ever imagined, and each man must come to terms with their past as they struggle to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

After the Fire Excerpt © Felice Stevens 2015
“Damn, you look like shit.” Ash’s sharp gaze raked him up
and down. “Ow.” He rubbed his arm when Drew elbowed him. “Don’t get mad at me,
baby. You know he does. Look at him.”
“Can we come in, Jordy?” Drew’s kind smile strangely made him feel worse, not
better.
He said nothing and pulled the front door wider for his friends, leaving them
to trail behind him back through the house and into the spaciouskitchen. Sunlight
poured onto the terra-cotta floors and glinted off the glass-fronted maple
cabinets. The kitchen was his pride and joy, and when he and Keith bought the
brownstone, it had been the only room he cared about decorating. Jordan had
always loved staring out of the large bay window as he relaxed with his cup of
coffee in the morning.

“Did you have a party?” Drew tipped his head to the table, still cluttered with
vodka bottles.
“Party of one, more likely.”
Jordan heard Ash’s muttered remark, and despite a throbbing head and a roiling
stomach, he lashed out.
“Shut up, Davis.” He and Ash had never had the easiest of relationships, and
even though Jordan knew how happy Drew was, the man still irritated the hell
out of him.
“Why, Jordan? The truth hurts?” Ash’s voice, oddly enough, neither condemned
nor derided him. Instead, it held an overall note of sadness, mixed with
empathy that pulled Jordan up short. “You sit here, night after night, refusing
our dinner invitations, as well as any social contact with Rachel, Mike, or
even Esther. Don’t think we don’t know what you’re doing and why.”
Jordan winced. Shit. A kindhearted, sympathetic Ash Davis was almost worse than
the usual sarcastic attitude he dished out to everyone. “I’m not in the mood
for company; that’s all.”
“And I call bullshit on that. You’re still mourning Keith, and I get that, but
that doesn’t mean you don’t go on living. When your only company since he died
has been vodka or whiskey, you’re heading for disaster.”
“Jordy.” Drew slung an arm around his shoulder. “I’m worried about you. You’ve
lost weight, skipped days at the hospital, and I was told that during surgery
last week—”
“Are you checking up on me?” He pulled away from Drew, shaking with anger.
“What the fuck, man? You’re not my goddamn keeper.” Humiliation, shame, and a
sense of despair tore through him as he turned away from his two friends to go
back and sit at the kitchen table. He ran his hands over the battered wood of
the long farmhouse table. He remembered how happy he and Keith had been to find
it in the small Pennsylvania town they’d stumbled upon oneSaturday. Making love
on top of it after lugging it up the stairs of the brownstone was a memory
etched forever in his mind. He gripped the edge of the table to steady himself.
A few deep breaths settled him, yet he couldn’t face his friends.
For over thirty years he and Drew had been friends; the man knew him better
than anyone else. People might think Drew Klein was sweet and easygoing, but
Jordan knew the core of steel within his friend. Drew refused to back down if
he thought he could help. True to form, Drew dropped into the chair right next
to him, challenging and direct.
“Jordan. Look at me.”
It took an effort to tear his gaze away from the tabletop, but he inhaled a
deep breath and smiled into Drew’s face. “What is it?”
Drew seemed taken aback that Jordan was smiling and not lashing out with his
usual anger. “I’m not checking up on you. It’s common knowledge that you showed
up to your first surgery since Keith died and had to wait an extra hour to
start because you had the shakes.” Drew’s mouth thinned to a hard line. “Are
you crazy showing up drunk for surgery? You could lose your fucking license,
for God’s sake.”
“I wasn’t drunk. I was overtired and hadn’t eaten since lunchtime the day
before.”
Behind him he heard Ash snort with laughter. “Are you fucking kidding me,
Jordan? You can come up with a better one than that.”
“Fuck off, Ash,” he shot back. “I couldn’t care less about your opinion.”
“Do you care about mine, Jordy? Don’t lie to me.” Drew’s stare remained
unflinching, his eyes soft and knowing. “I know you’re still having a hard time
moving on from Keith’s death, but it’s going to be a year soon.”
“It’s only been nine months. God almighty, did you expect me to forget him
already?” Horrified, Jordan swept his hand across the table, sending the empty
bottles and food containers crashing to the floor. “Could you forget Ash so
quickly? Keith and I were together for almost four years. Stop pressuring me to
move on with my life. It’s over for me. There will never be anyone else.”

 

Review

After the Fire (Through Hell and Back, #2)After the Fire by Felice Stevens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

whew…i’m not gonna lie, i was hot pissed at felice for what happened to keith in book 1. and i had reservations about reading this book because i really wasn’t ready for jordan to move on. and apparently he wasn’t ready to move on either. his pain in this book was palpable and i felt it to my soul. it was luke’s kick in the a$$ that started to wake him up and make him human again.

jordan becomes more likeable in this book than in the first. those that are ash fans probably didn’t care for the way he treated ash in the first book and some of that continues here. you really start to see him for the amazing man he is though as you watch him struggle to recover and fall in love again.

luke was hiding behind a mountain of hurt. he had no idea what ash went through and resented him for it…for a long time. he became a shell of a man – not unlike ash. he really just wanted someone to share his life and love him and be there for him through his life. he had major abandonment issues (not unfounded).

while this story will bring you to your knees a couple of times there are so many great things about it. we still have the great characters – wanda, esther, rachel, mike and lots of drew and ash. the anticipation of ash and luke coming face to face was tangible. i was sitting on pins and needles waiting. WOW! we got hope for a new young character. of course, there was a dog :). there was a lot of love and healing in this book. and the writing was as good as the rest of ms. stevens books! can’t wait for brandon’s book!!

View all my reviews

 

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.


 

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