Life After Joe by Harper Fox

lajLife After Joe by Harper Fox
Published: 2010 by Carina Press
Genre(s): M/M Romance, Adult, Novella
Pages: 115
Format: ebook
ISBN: 9781426890369
Amazon (Kindle)

2 stars

Warning: Spoilers

I went on my friend’s Kindle and guess what I found? A M/M novella that nearly made me squeal in glee. Alright, this isn’t the first M/M romance I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last—but was this book great? Superb? Well, let me share my thoughts:

Written in Matt’s POV, I could feel his pain and sadness as he tried to drown away his sorrows—to function as properly as he could after his breakup with the one man who he thought was the love of his life, Joe. It brought me to tears a few times but other than that, Life After Joe was average at best. This book was too rushed (Hell, I finished it in more or less 30 minutes). It could’ve been fleshed out better and the characters wouldn’t be flat or static. Matt could’ve grown to become a more dynamic character, he could’ve become more human. Aaron, Joe and even Lou could’ve been fleshed out more as well. None of them felt three-dimensional, really.

The plot on the other hand, is cliché. Let’s face it, just about everything has been done before so being cliché is inevitable, but this book is so incredibly cliché that there’s nothing special about it to make more unique. The basic rundown of this is guy is broken hearted and drowns his sorrows in alcohol, he can’t function properly and one night, he sees some Hot Bloke (Aaron) in the bar he frequents. He tries to win a one night stand from him but fails because Hot Bloke is ‘unattainable’. Even so, he pulls a stunt and captures Hot Bloke’s attention. Hot Bloke turns out to be a supremely kind soul with a mysterious past that’s holding him back from relationships, blah blah blah. You can practically guess where this goes, aye? It’s like a chick-lit paperback without the major “Oh my God, are they going to get together?! At all?! NO, THEY MUST GET TOGETHER!! STOP GETTING IN THEIR WAY!” conflict, lead females or (near-)proper romance.

Other than that, there are some typos in this book. The first one, I’m not actually sure what it is because I can’t grasp the semantics of “Postgrad-student, promising-young-doctor lovely. Wheat-sheaf fair to his dark.” I spent a good two minutes rereading this line but I still don’t get it. I went ahead assuming that it’s supposed to mean “Postgrad-student, promising-young-doctor, lovely wheat-sheaf fair to his dark.” Or something like that. Something. Urk. The second one, “out or home”. Seriously? Was somebody so hungry that they ate the ‘u’ to ‘our’?

Also, the part where Aaron consoles Matt over his broken heart and uses words like “bastard” and “sod”? Am I the only one who found that weird, not sympathetic and/or unromantic in every sense? If I had my crush trying to make me feel better, whispering to me as I rested on his shoulder, that I was a poor bitch/whatever-the-feminine-equivalent-of-sod-is because of my brokenness, I would snap. The dialogue should’ve been worded better.

So yeah, despite the tears shed, my expectations for this book wasn’t met. I’m pretty disappointed because there should’ve been more. Honestly, the romance wasn’t really romance. It was pretty much just sex. The plot twist was a little silly and it would probably have seemed less silly if it was written better, but what’s published has been published.


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