Aftershock

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Expected Release Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQN
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Unnamed Trilogy
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Hero Staying Away “For Heroine’s Own Good”
Favorite Tropes: Natural Disaster, Survival, Secret Identity

Official Blurb:

THERE’S A FINE LINE  

As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers-including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright… 

BETWEEN PERIL AND PASSION  

Handsome and take-charge Garrett aids Lauren in her rescue efforts, even as the steely look in his eyes seems to hide dark secrets. When a gang of escaped convicts goes on the attack, Garrett’s bravery makes him more than a courageous bystander to Lauren. If they can save the others before time runs out, maybe, just maybe, they can explore the fire igniting between them-if the truth about who he really is doesn’t pull them apart forever…

What Worked For Me:

  • I really enjoyed the almost post-apocalyptic feel of this book. Even though it’s technically more of a natural disaster/survival type of book, there was still that wonderful gritty feel to it that only comes from the isolation from the rest of  civilization that I enjoyed. 
  • I really liked  the author wasn’t afraid to beat the bejeezus out of the characters on a regular basis, nor was she shy about killing or permanently maiming them, either.  That sense of uncertainty helped to add both a sense of realism and urgency to the story, and make the whirlwind feel of the romance between Garrett and Lauren much more believable.
  • I liked the amount of action in this book — and there was plenty to go around. With enemy convicts constantly causing trouble, multiple injuries and other medical conditions that kept things interesting, as well as several attempts at escaping the area they were trapped in, there were never any shortages of things happening, and even though the main part of the story only took place over a short amount of time, it felt as though a much longer time had passed — just as it must have felt for the characters experiencing it.
  • For the most part, the steam and chemistry was wonderful as well. There were only one or two moments where “reality” intruded a bit, and I thought about the unsanitary and uncomfortable conditions, but even those were addressed mostly in the story, and so I tried not to let those parts bother me.  I loved that Garrett was as much of a gentleman as he could be, and the tension between him and Lauren was delicious.
  • One thing I really liked about this story was that it wasn’t just about Garrett and Lauren at all — over the course of the story, I came to care for every single one of the characters, and loved how none of them ever seemed there as “filler”.
  • This doesn’t count for the final rating, but I’m very pleased to hear about the stars of the next two books in the series. No spoilers, because I refuse to spoil anything for new readers, but I think that others will be pleased as well.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • I really hate it when heroes stay away from the heroine for the heroine’s own good, or because they feel that the heroine will be better off without them. While I do enjoy that Tortured Hero schtick, the fact that they are so arrogant as to take the choice away from the heroine annoys the pie out of me. 
  • Even though there were extraordinary circumstances, I’m still not a fan of relationships where the I Love You’s come literally days after meeting each other.  This was actually addressed in the story, and was a surprisingly minor issue for me, but it was still enough of an irritant to mention.

I’ve always been a big fan of “survival” style stories, and though I haven’t read many where natural disasters were the source, I was drawn in from the very beginning.

I admired Ms. Sorenson’s ability to make me care for every character individually, rather than simply focusing on the burgeoning romance between Garrett and Lauren, and her unashamed ability to injure, maim, and even kill off major characters added a wonderful amount of uncertainty and realism to the story.

While I’ll likely never be a fan of whirlwind romances, I did appreciate the way the speed of the romance was handled, and overall, thoroughly enjoyed it.

3half3.5/5 Stars