Afterglow by E. Davies 3.5 Stars!
Chris Black, a firefighter in Santa Barbara, is finally out and trying to make up for lost time. He has no trouble finding men, but their first dates end behind his bedroom door. Nobody sticks around except his ex, who leaves him feeling rotten after every booty call. Being passed over for a promotion thanks to his loud mouth is another blow. Most of all, it’s coming home to an empty house that’s wearing down his optimistic spirits. Answering a cry for help sends him straight to the side of a man who’s his opposite, but everything he wants.
“No more me. Good.”
The last glimmer of hope for Ash’s future vanished when he came home to find his now-ex, drugs, and four guys in their living room. With nobody by his side, in a hotel room in the small hours, the fog of depression lifts and pushes Ash into action at last. Standing on the balcony railing, he sees a glimpse of freedom and takes a step toward it. Seconds later, his body and spirit broken, Ash is pretty sure he’s died after all when he sees a gorgeous stranger fighting to keep him alive.
“I’m safer on the ground.”
When Ash falls through his porch on the way home from the hospital, Chris can’t resist offering his guest room. Ash will get the help he needs to adjust to his new limits, and Chris will get a friend, even if he wants more. The close quarters push them both to realize life is brighter and more fleeting than they knew. Each man faces danger from within and outside. Can they make it through the flames to fall in love?
Ash is in a very bad emotionial state when Chris meets him. Even though, it seems like a horrible idea to get involved with him, Chris offers him a place to stay and they fall in love despite being really different people.
I enjoyed this ‘I love you as you are” romance. There are parts that are rushed over for the kind of character exploration I like best but I liked Chris’s sunny honesty and Ash’s willingness to let him in.