Author: R.J. Prescott
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Blurb: Cormac “The Hurricane” O’Connell’s star is on the rise. Billed as the most promising young boxer of his generation, his new career is taking him to places he never dreamed. But O’Connell only needs one thing in life: his wife. In her final year of college, Em cannot follow him around the world but together they make it work. Just when everything they ever wanted is on the horizon, the past resurfaces to haunt them, and O’Connell realizes that justice might not be a part of his happy ever after. He couldn’t protect Em once before, but in the aftermath of the hurricane, he will make sure that never happens again.
Everything I meant to say went straight out of my head when I walked through the door.
“Arsehole,” was the first thing my wife said as she smacked me on the chest, then surprising the fuck out of me, threw her arms around me.
“I’m sorry, baby. I’m so fucking sorry,” I blurted out, as I held her as tightly to me as I could.
“What’s going on O’Connell?” Em mumbled into my chest.
I took a deep breath, knowing that she needed to know where my head was at. But it went against the grain to do anything but protect her and make her feel safe.
“I’m scared, Em,” I told her.
“Of what?” she asked.
“Of losing you. I promised I’d protect you, and I couldn’t have fucked that up more royally if I tried. Now I’m doing it again. Frank’s finding ways to get to you that I can’t stop. I’m pissed off and frustrated, and I’m hurting anyone in my line of fire because I can’t hurt Frank.”
Bone wearily tired, I sat down on the sofa and pulled Em to sit down in my lap. If she forgave me enough to hold me, then I wasn’t letting her go.
“Why the fuck didn’t you just talk to me about it?” she asked.
“I think you’ve sworn more today than any day since I met you,” I answered.
“Stop changing the subject,” she replied.
“Because husbands are supposed to protect their wives. It’s my job to deal with my shit, not drag you down with me,” I said.
“I didn’t marry you for protection. I married you because I love you. If there’s stuff worrying you, then I’m the one you talk to about it. Because this marriage isn’t going to work if you try and keep me in the dark about important stuff. I get that you want to take care of me, I really do. But don’t you think it worries me more to see you go off the deep end like this?”
“I’m sorry,” I repeated, but I really did mean it. There weren’t enough apologies in the world for the way I’d been acting.
“Don’t be sorry, O’Connell. Do something about it. You promised me once that you’d be a better man. Well, be it. You can’t solve every problem with your fist. This shit has to end now or you’re going to end up in prison one day, and I really do not want to be visiting you there.”
“And if Frank gets to you again?” I asked her.
“Then I’ll fight him off again and stay alive until you rescue me. I’ve lived life in fear once before, O’Connell. I won’t do it again. You can’t worry about everything. Just take things a day at a time, and what will be will be. And when you get angry, hit punch bags, not people,” she ordered me.
“I can do that,” I agreed. I was so relieved that she hadn’t just up and left me after knocking Earnshaw out, that I’m pretty sure I would have agreed to anything. In all honesty, it felt like a weight had been lifted off me just by sharing with her.
I’m not the only one you need to apologize to either,” she reminded me.
“I know Sunshine,” I agreed, as I rested my forehead against hers. “I’m just really not looking forward to it.”
Review: I don’t know how Becks expects to get by with The Aftermath for the title because I felt like I was still in the eye of the storm! So much happened in this sequel to The Hurricane that it was really hard to believe this was supposed to be the follow up. The whole time I was reading I was trying to gauge how far I was in because I just didn’t want it to end–I love being in Con’s head and hearing his thoughts about Emily. And her story just slays me every time. I went back and re-read parts of the first book and remembered how she was at the start, and I’m so freaking proud of her. An amazing journey crafted by a talented writer that’s created this world out of thin air and made me care so much about it.
Cormac O’Connell has weathered his first big fight. Emily’s back by his side after being kidnapped out of the arena by her stepfather, Frank. Two big things achieved. They should be ecstatic, right? They are, but if he’s going to make a go of his career, there’s a lot more sacrifice and dedication ahead–which is all fine and good until the first hurdle appears. Con will be in training while Em’s got to testify at Frank’s trial.
How can he make that choice? If he refuses the fight, he’ll lose the chance at a title belt for three or four years. Their future won’t look as bright. But if he accepts it, he won’t be beside the woman he loves most in the world–the only one he wants to protect to the very depths of his soul–while she’s facing the demon from her past that’s trying to destroy their future. In the end, it’s too important NOT to take the fight; so Em, Danny and all their friends convince Con to do it.
In our adult world, it’s okay to trust people to look after the one you love. We all do it. But ask yourself, who will you blame if something happens?
I love this book because I feel swallowed up in a huge love story, and the suspense adds an edge that’s intoxicating. The male character in this story is so tough and strong–alpha to the core–but inside, he’s just a softy who’s finally found the place he can be himself–and I love it when he thinks about Em! He’d rather kill her stepfather and go to jail than have her suffer at his hands again, and he might have to if Frank gets off.
The Aftermath shines just bright as its predecessor; it’s sexy and sweet, with the added bonus that they’re already having sex! So, no waiting 😉 I feel like I know all of the characters that hang around the gym, and I can’t wait for Kieran and the others to get their own stories! So get on the stick, Becks, and write the entire series for us to enjoy. Since I can’t get to the gym, it needs to come to me. Thanks!
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About the Author: USA Today bestselling author R.J. Prescott was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and studied law at the University of Bristol, England. Four weeks before graduation she fell in love, and stayed. Ten years later, she convinced her crazy, wonderful firefighter husband to move back to Cardiff where they now live with their two equally crazy sons.