Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Life After Joe” as Want to Read:
Life After Joe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Life After Joe

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,337 ratings  ·  374 reviews

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 gor

ebook, 115 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Carina Press (first published May 26th 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Life After Joe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Life After Joe

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,337 ratings  ·  374 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Life After Joe
Julio Genao
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Julio by: Alexis Hall
Shelves: loved
dunno what to say.


sometimes you read a thing that gets you between the ribs and pins you like a bug in a box.

because what you've read are things that are inside you, and you're afraid of them, and now there they are, out in the open.

i understand much better now, why someone i used to know liked to save books like this for a rainy day.

for when the rest of it becomes just too much, and too little.

for when he needed a taste of home.

because even if the things i fear are given names, reading this w
Blacky *Romance Addict*

"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."

Image Hosted by

“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.”

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Amazing! I just finished and I still don
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
This book was indescribably fantastic. Harper Fox just wrecked me with this book!!!

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
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m, rolls-eyes
2 melodramatic stars. Review posted February 3, 2014

Expectations suck...

 photo tumblr_myp0mfZzFR1sjtac3o1_500_zpsdc8ffbfd.gif

In a nutshell
Matt is supposed to be a doctor and drowns in self-pity by swallowing every crap he can get his hands on. He's stoned, drunk and unhappy all. The. Time. Plus, he fucks everybody on two legs. Disgusting. Let's keep it simple. He's a sobbing mess of a depressing alcoholic. But of course it's not his fault (yes, it's also his fault). Joe, the little mean fucker left him for…(view spoiler)
Alexis Hall
Another of my favourites, which I also wrote about for Queer Romance Month.

Stories matter.

It really is that simple.

They teach us who we are, and how not to feel alone. They give us hope. And, sometimes they give us a framework to confront the things that terrify us. Perhaps it seems a strange thing to say about romance, this most dismissed and devalued genre that it supposed to pander solely to goodfeelz and fantasies. But, for me, it is precisely the safety of romance, the metatextual certainty
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What a pleasure it was to read such a literate, mature, intelligently written m/m romance. It's a deceptively simple story: two grieving men come to terms with their loss and learn to love again, but the author handles it deftly and with great sensitivity.

The writing itself is lyrical and lovely.
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
 photo d092ee9b-c5bf-4fdf-ba32-0d5194e087d3_zps0tzmcfbi.jpg

4 stars

I listened to the audio version of Life After Joe. Although Matt’s accent through me off the first few minutes of listening, it grew on me. This was a quick and emotional story that started off a bit depressing, but ended up being beautiful. My only real complaint is that ending. I really wish we would have gotten more with the ending. Still, a great read I would recommend!
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of angsty short stories
Recommended to SheReadsALot by: Plainbrownwrapper
Oh yes!

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
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book is told from Matthew's point of view, whose lover has just left him for a woman. At the beginning I was irritated by Matthew's "poor me" attitude, but as the story developes you understand the depth of the betrayal he has suffered. And when he started to turn his life around, I began cheering him on. Aaron is a much more shadowy character and it's hard to get a take on him, at times he seems too good to be true. But on the whole its a good story and one that I'll probably read again.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, lgbtq, favorites
I've devoured this novel by Harper Fox over a couple of days spent in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and the more I get to know this beautiful city (I travel there regularly for family reasons), the more I learn to find around me the places and signs of novels such as this or her Half Moon Chambers.

Locations such as the Powerhouse club, Fenwicks department store, the Laing Art Gallery, the Half Moon Chambers building but also the very atmosphere of Newcastle, cold but welcoming, harsh but sparkling with
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Life After Joe is an emotionally grueling read. Matthew had a beautiful home, a promising career as a doctor and was living his happy ever after with the man of his dreams, the man who had been his friend since childhood and his lover since their early teens. And then Joe left Matt to marry a woman who he had been seeing on the sly for two years. Matt can’t compete and is completely and justifiably destroyed. He has fallen into a devastating depression, drinking and screwing any man who will hav ...more
BR with Karen, Josy, Lila and Natalie, my partners in crime during this short read

Matthews has been dumped by Joe, his childhood friend and only lover. Since the break-up, he’s drowning, loosing himself in booze, pills and meaningless sex. He’s really going down : it’s raw and depressing. And there comes Aaron, respectful, understanding, supportive and so passionate. And Matthews realizes that there can be a life after Joe, even if Aaron’s life still remains unspoken about and triggers Matthews’
GAWD! That was beautiful, emotional, real and just effing beautiful.

Matthew is a mess. He’s a drunk who lives off of one night stands. Matthew and his partner, Joe, were supposed to be each other’s HEA, until Matthew discovers Joe’s infidelity for two years and that he wants to be with the woman he’s been seeing. When he meets a man, Aaron, who’s unwilling to treat Matthew as such, Matthew decides there might be a reason to straighten up.

I just can’t believe how good this was and how phenomenal
T.A. Webb
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Matt was dumped. His partner Joe decided to bow to family pressure and settle down with a woman, have kids, the whole dream come true. So he left his committed relationship with Matt, cheated behind his back with a woman, proposed to her and then calmly told Matt he was leaving him.

And that did it. Drove Matt over the edge, and six months later he is drinking every night, sleeping with any man he can find, and getting very close to blowing his residency at the hospital and not becoming a doctor
4.5 stars

Wow, that was good.

Since losing his longtime lover, Matt has been a hot mess. His days have been an endless cycle of drinking and anonymous sex, while his career suffers. He doesn't care, until he's turned down by Aaron, the hot serious man at the bar who always sits alone.

As always, Harper Fox's writing is marvelous. Evocative and poetic prose without becoming purple. I could really feel the loss that Matt felt.

Matt's self destructive behaviour doesn't make him particularly likable at
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
After losing his longtime lover, Matthew is in a serious tailspin. In his late 20s, he can't imagine a life without Joe in it, since Joe has been a part of Matthew's existence since they were children. In the midst of Matthew's spiral of self destruction, he finds Aaron, an intriguing and attractive man who seems to be out of Matthew's reach.

As it turns out, Aaron isn't as far out of reach as Matthew thinks.

This was a great story. There's an emotional poignancy in Matthew's self analysis, and
Angel Martinez
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love a beautifully written work. My degree is in English lit, and while I came to appreciate Romance novels for what they are in middle life, I often wish that many of them were better written. This one is, with beautifully crafted turns of phrase and sentences that aren't ashamed to be more than six words long. In many ways, it feels more like a denizen of the literary shelf than the erotic romance shelf.

Don't let the lovely writing fool you, though. The story is often dark, perhaps too real
Vanessa North
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I will start by saying I read this book under less-than-ideal circumstances. I had trouble downloading it from the diesel store, so I decided to read it in diesel's app, and it kept crashing my ipad, so I had to give up and try again in the morning.

BUT--that meant I actually got some sleep last night, because if I hadn't had all those problems, I would have been up ALL NIGHT reading, and probably re-reading this book. It was that good.

Anyone who has ever been shocked by a breakup--particularly o
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I feel like I've stumbled into a completely different world with Harper Fox's books. First Scrap Metal, now Life After Joe - different stories but the same in painfully beautiful prose and desperate love.

Her angst (examples below) makes me want to curl up in a pillow filled window seat somewhere and just look at the rainy ocean and enjoy my feelz.

What the fuck was I? A flicker in the dark yearning hopelessly towards another, which perhaps had forgotten my existence by now.

"Don’t leave me,” he
Back when I was still feeling optimistic about Scarp Metal I bought this novella on a Valentine’s Day sale. Then I lost my optimism and I had this ebook lingering on my Kindle.

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
~ 4.5 stars ~

Wow! This was another exceptional book by Harper Fox! It's the third one I read and I loved all of them!

It always takes me a little while to get used to her writing but when I do, it grips me completely. And she always manages to create an intensity that is amazing and a little frightening. I was so in tune with Matt and his emotions that I felt like living through all of his struggles myself. Maybe that's the reason why, in the end, I couldn't really connect with Aaron. I didn't ha
4 stars for a gripping shortie about a second chance after a betrayal and some broken hearts

There was never any review written and now the time has gone. But I remember in any case, what a wonderful fine and nicely told story about Matthew and Aaron this was. A bit special and quite different. A 100 pages novella to remember.

Really good - highly recommended.

I LIKE - emotional and sad but with new hope

 photo image_zps801742e0.jpg
Good grief I love this book.

The end.

 photo The-Sound-of-Music_zps8e831766.jpg
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's time...

That's right after having read this book at least 5 times, with the most recent being this past weekend when I was fortunate enough to share this reading experience in a buddy read with the awesomeness of Christelle, Josy, Lila and Natalie. It's high time that I attempted to review what is one of my absolute favorite books ever.

I'm not really sure that I know how to explain this book but here goes...'Life After Joe' is the story of what happens when one man's relationship ends.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Another of those books that I liked in places.

This story should have had me enthralled. I love a vulnerable guy, an A-hole ex, a white night and all the mixed up baggage in between. So this should have been a 5 star read. Sadly it barely makes it to a 3 star, more a 2.5

For me the writing style was not my cup of tea. In places it was long winded and flowery. I don’t mind a little description, but the poetic prose that was used was a bit over done for my taste. Matthew also failed to bring out my
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
For Buddy Read. My very first GR buddy read!

4.5 stars. I'd read Driftwood some time ago, so I thought it was time to try another title. There was a great deal of emotional punch packed into this little novella. Matt has been betrayed by his long-time friend and lover, Joe. He has fallen into deep depression, exacerbated by alcohol and self destructive behavior. Matt has seen Aaron frequenting the same bar he does and although he deflects Matt's advances initially, they eventually become lovers.
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
*** 4.5 Stars ***

I wasn't expecting this story. I wasn't expecting these characters either. And yet, I found myself gripped by both, emotionally connected to them in a way that I find exceedingly rare. This story was raw and beautiful and meaningful.

I... Well, I think that to say anything more would muck it up instead of making the jumble of thoughts and emotions roiling inside of me right now more clear to you, so I won't.

But I hope you read this book and love it as much as I do.
I don’t know how to review this book.
Everyone seems to have given it 4 or 5 stars and I can see why, it’s practically perfect and the writing is objectively awesome. Which leaves me in the awkward position to acknowledge that I don’t much care for Harper Fox’s writing. She’s a terrific writer, but her words don’t seem to touch me at all.
I read only one other of her books years ago and I gave it 4 stars, but I’m starting to think it was only due to the fact that I could objectively see the writ
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Muscling Through
  • Glitterland (Spires, #1)
  • How to Belong with a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives, #3)
  • How to Bang a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives, #1)
  • Waiting for the Flood (Spires, #2)
  • Rattlesnake
  • Nowhere Ranch
  • After Felix (Close Proximity, #3)
  • Thrown Off the Ice
  • How to Blow It with a Billionaire (Arden St. Ives, #2)
  • Spring Strings
  • A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County, #1)
  • Adam Only (Those Other Books #2)
  • Something Human
  • The Remaking of Corbin Wale
  • Boyfriend Material
  • Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet, #1)
  • Fakers
See similar books…
Harper Fox is an M/M author with a mission. She’s produced six critically acclaimed novels in a year and is trying to dispel rumours that she has a clone/twin sister locked away in a study in her basement. In fact she simply continues working on what she loves best– creating worlds and stories for the huge cast of lovely gay men queuing up inside her head. She lives in rural Northumberland in nort ...more

Related Articles

This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities—we...
184 likes · 71 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“There was life after Joe. There had to be, hadn't there? I just wished that instead of my constantly having to muster every scrap of my strength in order to feel normal, it would happen of its own accord. I didn't want happy. Normal would have done.” 16 likes
“The wheat sheaf got displayed to best advantage if I gave it a casual push back with one hand.” 0 likes
More quotes…