Top critical review
Left me wondering about the romance itself.
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2017
The characters in Afterburn/Aftershock by Sylvia Day are reminiscent of those in her Crossfire series: the hero is an alpha male millionaire and the heroine is a sassy, headstrong, and career-minded woman. Like the characters in that series, Gia and Jax have a tumultuous relationship that left me wondering just what keeps them together, other than hot sex. By the end of the story, I was still wondering why they’re so in love with each other.
Gianna Rossi comes from a tight-knit Italian family that runs its own family business: their restaurant, Rossi’s. When Gia lands a job as the assistant to Lei Yeung, a mogul in the restaurant industry, it’s her dream come true. But Gia’s world is turned upside down when she crosses paths again with wealthy Jackson Rutledge, head of venture capital firm Rutledge Capital.
Two years ago, Gia and Jax had a romance that ran hot and heavy—but was short-lived when Jax ghosted her. Now that work has brought Jax back into her life, Gia is determined not to blur the lines between business and pleasure. But the past has come back to haunt her when Jax makes it clear that he still wants Gia more than ever...and old habits die hard, because Gia still wants him too.
Jax comes from a powerful political family, which ramps up the drama when he and Gia try to make a go of an actual relationship. For people who claim to be crazy about each other, I had trouble understanding why. Gia and Jax spend a lot of time fighting, only to follow up with make-up sex, which led me to believe maybe that’s why their relationship seems to thrive off conflict. Other than an amazing sexual connection, I didn't understand why Gia and Jax are so obsessed with each other—enough to make them pick up right where they’d left off two years prior.
The resolution felt a bit rushed to me and included a plot point that struck me as extremely anti-feminist, which I had a huge issue with. In one sense, I can understand why it was used to show a certain character’s desperation, but at the same time, I wish another route had been taken.
I did love other parts of the book, such as the readability of Day’s writing and the inclusion of a diverse set of supporting characters.
Afterburn/Aftershock will especially appeal to those who enjoy the push/pull of drama-infused relationships. For me, it was just an okay read—one that left me scratching my head with regard to the essence of the romance itself.