Sunday, June 12, 2011

Aftermath

Title: Aftermath
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-561-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal, Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Shortly after losing his mother, Darren’s best friend also died and with his guilt for Stefan’s unexpected death eating him alive, Darren left town. Over the next months, he wandered the countryside until he finally found himself in McKinton, Texas, working at the local diner. 

On leaving the Army, Lee Bausch set out to discover what happened to his little brother but on returning home, learned the only person able to give him answers, Darren, had disappeared. It takes him two years of searching before he finds Darren and what he discovers is a shy, sexy man he desires from their first meeting. But he can’t forget Stefan and he’s certain his brother was murdered.  

There are spirits in McKinton and after a harrowing experience in a hotel room where they’re attacked, Lee won’t let Darren out of his sight. Together they must discover the truth and find a killer. 

Aftermath is the newest release in Bailey Bradford’s Southern Spirits series and while best read in sequential order; it can be read as a standalone. 

Darren’s an endearing guy. He’s shy…almost scared/skittish at what life’s dealt him and the descriptions of him and his actions at the beginning of the story are well done. My problem is the abrupt change in his behavior so soon after Lee’s arrival. It’s like flipping a switch and boom, the meek man turns assertive…there just isn’t enough time for this major transformation for it to be realistic. Yes the sparks fly between these two but their initial raging lust in the office of the diner is a slip-up for Darren and makes new-in-town Lee look like a sleaze.  

It took awhile for Lee to grow on me but his protective instincts toward Darren and his desire to discover the truth about his brother won me over.  His love for his brother is apparent and Stefan…as a ghost is a great addition to the spirits inhabiting the town. We see more of ghostly Connor, which is a nice surprise, and Virginia, Laine and Severo make appearances as breathing secondary characters.

I would have preferred less sex so more time could have been spent with the ghosts or dealing with the killer aspect of the story. Still, the author handily wraps up the loose ends dealing with Stefan’s death, giving a satisfying resolution and catching the villain in the end. Watch for the next release, What Remains, coming in mid-July.

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