Life After Joe
It's not the breaking up that kills you, it's the aftermath.
Ever since his longtime lover decided he'd seen the "heterosexual light," Matt's life has been in a nosedive. Six months of too many missed shifts at the hospital, too much booze, too many men. Matt knows he's on the verge of losing everything, but he's finding it hard to care.
Then Matt meets Aaron. He's gorgeo...more
"I didn’t know what I was to Aaron, but to me, he was—oh God, so much—warmth and life, proof I could, despite all post-Joe expectations, find it in my heart to fall in love again."
“Come in. For God’s sake, come in and…f*ck my brains out.”
He put his hands on my shoulders again.
“I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my time,” he said quietly. “But I’ve managed never to screw someone as drunk, stoned and fucked-up as you.”
Amazing! I just finished and I still don't know what to say except...more
I ADORED "Life After Joe". In only 100 or so pages it packed an emotional punch that rivals any book that I have ever read.
Matt has been in a tailspin since his partner since childhood left him for a woman. Meaningless sex, non-stop drinking; life is a blur for Matt at the moment. Only the green eyes of a reticent stranger at a bar seen to draw Matt out from his haze of misery. Aaron seems perfect to Matt; intell...more
The writing itself is lyrical and lovely.
Don't let the lovely writing fool you, though. The story is often dark, perhaps too real...more
I wanted to read this due to a largely positive review and a new publisher. While I didn’t like the book as much as the other review, Life After Joe is a solid contribution to the genre. It’s not perfect and some of the angst goes overboard while the writing tends to be awkward and wordy. The characters are well rounded and interesting, with depths that are well portrayed among the angst. The story is strongly character driven and those romance fans who love underdog protagonists with a...more
This is truly wonderful book.... My heart was shattered into pieces and then put back again! Breaking up with someone you loved, you wanted, the person who was always with you, for you, can only be devastating. Especially if it's not you who did the breaking up....
So...the things go pretty downhill when Matt gets dumped by Joe...he is devastated, he is ruining himself, until he meets Aaron, who brings him back to life ♥
“It’s all right....more
“Matthew,” he repe
Favorite Quote: …and when I returned the embrace in kind – hesitantly, because something about him made me shy, even after my recent performances – he smiled against my ear. Ah yes.
Matthew is no longer with the love of his life, Joe who left him for a woman, and he is not handling it well. He spends his days missing school and rounds as he tries to become a doctor, and spends his nights drunk, on pills, an...more
I found out about this new to me author lurking at my favorite m/m author site, LB Gregg. So, of course I had to read it. I did have a little bit of trouble initially getting into Life After Joe, I think it was due more with the sentence structure. This is probably more of a style issue, but I often lost track of where the sentences were going, which made it difficult for me to find my pace up until Matthew meets Aaron. Once the book shifted...more
I’m also thinking I should never ever look at reviews even sideways before I embark on a book. All of those snippets swirling in my head (“OMG, literature”, “OMG, painful”, “OMG, beautiful”) met with my inner voice’s contradiction as I read. My inner voice is perverse like that. (It makes comforting me a bitch but that’s another topic.)
During roughly the first half this story is a mood piece,...more
This story was heavy and exhausting, at least most of it.
Matt is trying to recover from his lover and BFF leaving him for a woman, they had been together for practically his entire life, had built a life together and then he finds out not only is Joe 'going straight' but has been seeing the 'other woman' for the last two years.
I was amazed at how nice Matt still was, he was nice when talking and thinking about Joe, Marnie and even Lou, who had known and was silent about it.
Matt's life is spi...more
I instantly loved this couple’s chemistry; they felt just right for each other. But Aaron has a secr...more
Matt has been in a relationship his entire life with Joe. They were friends growing up, then they become lovers and then they moved in together and became doctors. Their life was set... until Joe decides that he wants to be straight. So Matt turns to alcohol and faceless, nameless, meaningless sex with a lot of men. Then he meets Aaron who looks at him and tells him he's better than that. Matt & Aaron the...more
Not sure if I would have enjoyed this another time or if It just didn't grab me. It's a shame to because I loved this author's offering in the 'His For The Holidays' anthology.
After this disappointing read, I think it's time to crack open my yearly re-read of JCP Psy...more
Why haven't I read Harper Fox already? (Thanks Plainbrownwrapper for giving me that boot in the ass.) She's been sitting in my TBR shelf for too long. And it wasn't even this book. But I digress, the story's key here.
It had angst, it was darker than I expected and it made me think. Love stories like these. Two damaged men who quietly turn their affections on each other while mucking their way through life and their problems.
Love between a suicidal, damaged, drunk of a doctor resident, Ma...more
Matt is in a downward spiral after being dumped by his longtime lover - and I mean longtime since they've known each other since they were kids and were lovers as soon as they realized what sex meant - and late blooming douchecanoe, Joe, after asshole decided he wanted to be straight. And he didn't just decide to leave Matt as soon as he knew what he really wanted from life. Noooo, he had to line up his options first and conducted a pretty well planned affair for two years. Joe and Pete...more
Matthew, 6 months after being dumped by his childhood best friend come partner of 6 years, is still reeling from the aftermath. Just when he hits about as low as he can go, he meets Aaron, a man with his own emotional scars and secrets. Theirs is not an easy romance, as their pasts leave them with issues or insecurities that seem to rise up and bite them on the ass just at the worst possible time...more
The other reviews and the blurb give the story line, so I'll just give my impressions. Matt is deep in a self-destructive cycle six months after the break up of his 6-year relationship with his childhood sweetheart. Because of the way the relationship ended, Matt is left with zero self-worth, fighting a black depression. He turns to alcohol...more
"Life After Joe" is an intense and engaging story. For me the biggest strength of this book was the nuanced and empathetic characterisation of the protagonist Matt. I initially thought I might be put off by Matt's self-destructive behaviour, but this...more
The story is straight forward but wrapped with complex and strong emotions. While the romance is solid and heartwarming to read and I adore both characters, but for me, this story is beautiful torch song about break-up.
The confusion, the devastation, disappointment... the feeling of unlovable and loss sense of worth - anyone who ever has their heart seriously broken could identify. Told...more
Life After Joe by Harper Fox. My introduction to this author was through the novella she wrote for the "His for the Holidays" anthology: "Nine Lights Over Edinburgh." Let me tell you, that story was quite a surprise! I'm really liking this author. She creates and develops some tough, flawed characters that might not necessarily be likable, lovable or heroic, yet she makes her romances work. After reading Life After Joe, I will definitely purchase more of her books. Thank you Mariana for...more
The story itself was intense, heart breaking and not always comfortable. Matt wasn't always likable but always understandable. Aaron felt like a real person. This is what made the story so good - it felt authentic, real, the guys not some pretty boys on steroids and atificial conflicts but the real deal. I would give the book 5 stars.
But - I'm rating the audiobook and it hurts me to say it - but Sean Crisden was the wrong narrator for this...more
Again, at first, I thought maybe I hadn’t made such a huge mistake after all. Fox will never be one of my favourite authors but her stories are entertaining and I do have certain reading moods when I devour emotional anguish like candy. Yeah, no.
Matt is a horrible self-pitying mess with the worst taste in friends and chi...more
This is the second time I read this story and it had the same impact on me as reading it for the first time. Funny thing was that I remembered only barely the plot of the book but the feeling it evoked then and now stayed with me some years after reading it.
After Joe is a beautiful story about coping with losing the person you loved and made a life with. Matthew, our main character...more