Author: Tanya Chris
Series: Ever After Book 2
Main Characters: Syed/Dashiell
Genre: MM Fiction, Romance, BD
Length: 198 Pages
Publisher: Tanya Chris Publishing
Release Date: August 14th 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
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Being acquitted of Jamie’s murder won’t bring him back. Syed might be free, but he’s lost his lover and his sub, along with his sense of control, his libido, his friends, and the stomach to inflict the kind of pain Jamie thrived on. Even his high-rise apartment doesn’t suit him anymore.
Dashiell is drawn to the handsome man he represented in court, but he’s promised himself never to get involved with another confident playboy. His next boyfriend—if he can find such a thing—will see him as something more than a backup plan for a better offer. And how could he ever give a man like Syed what he wants anyway?
Dashiell fears the day Syed will ask him to bear more pain than he can handle as Syed struggles to reconcile how he’s coming to feel about Dashiell with how he still feels about Jamie. Can their fledgling relationship survive the discovery that Syed’s new sub might be representing the man who murdered his last sub?
Jamie deserves justice, Dashiell deserves love, and Syed wants to be the one to give both these men exactly what they need.
Content warning: this book includes descriptions of homophobic hate crimes. There is very mild BDSM content.
Nothing is simple in this story about Syed’s days following his release from prosecution for the murder of his lover / long-time partner, Jamie. This book was on my TBR for a while because I remember how emotional I felt when I read Ever After Book 1, Aftercare. I was a bit afraid, I’ll admit, that this couldn’t live up to the passion engendered by Aftercare.
I was wrong.
A cornucopia of culture, religious and ethnic, this story takes the reader on another journey, with Syed, to learn much more about himself than he, perhaps, had learned in all of his earlier years. He didn’t see much hope for love in his future as Jamie was everything to him. He was filled with despair about the things he should have said and done. His self-identity is been colored by his Turkish Muslim origin, India, the country of his childhood and his need for some level of kink in his relationship/s.
Dashiell, a member of Syed’s defense team, is attracted to Syed, very attracted, although he knows that he likely doesn’t have within him, the ability to meet Syed’s needs, sexual or social. His self-image is colored by his own past experience. His hurt is deep, embedded within his own image.
A major theme circling around and through this story is that of familial relationships, particularly that of a father and son. After Jamie’s death, Syed realized that he held back from his love for Jamie because of the fear of losing the respect of his father. There are other circumstances within this story based on pivotal misbehavior resulting from dysfunctional familial relationships.
There is not one theme within this story but many with real-to-life circumstances including gay bashing and homophobia as well as elements of mystery, unexpected turns and above all self-acceptance. There are sex and violence but none that is gratuitous only to set a perfect stage for the unanticipated events of the story.
I’m glad that I waited until the exact right moment to read this powerful, wonderful story more about emotional need than sexual desire.
Syed could feel him trembling the way he had in the alley that night, a small creature poised for flight, waiting like a stray kitten to see if Syed would kick him or feed him. Syed took him deeper, feeding him, calling to him. Here kitty, kitty. He hadn’t had a drink yet tonight but he felt intoxicated…
“Did you know there’s been a noticeable uptick in the number of assaults taking place outside of gay bars in the last eighteen months? At first, we thought it was the Trump effect, but what if we’ve got a serial offender?”
Dashiell asked if he needed more. . . “You and me and this.”