Aftermath by Angel Martinez

Forbidden Publications

M/M Contemporary

Reviewed by Ley

   

 
Cody is sweet and very trusting, his dominant lover Vic wants to protect him, but sometimes he's a little overbearing in his protectiveness. That spurs on Cody's self-destructive behavior and his fits of rebellion.  Cody's gullibility and trusting in people no matter how many times they have proven themselves unworthy has led to him being hurt in the worst way.  His friend Jonathan was the main person who took advantage of Cody's trusting nature and the very person Vic tries to protect Cody from.  Jonathan has hurt Cody in ways unimaginable, he's responsible for two sexual and brutal assaults against Cody.  The last leaving Cody in a dark place where his art and his life with Vic may not be enough to help him recover.

Vic's joy in life is Cody, and he's also his biggest worry.  Vic worked hard to be able to buy a house for him and Cody where Cody could have his own studio to work on his art.  In order to give Cody these things Vic had to work long hours which took away a lot of the free time he and Cody used to share together.  After this recent assault Vic blamed himself for not being there to protect Cody.  Afraid he's going lose Cody to the dark places within himself, Vic's willing to do anything to prevent that from happening and get their life back.

Aftermath took on a very heavy subject and I felt Angel Martinez’s delivery of it was very well handled.  Vic and Cody were in a loving relationship, and it was obvious Vic was dominant and Cody was submissive.  I felt that the author was trying to show the difference between a D/s relationship and flat out abuse, as well as show that a m/m relationship is not synonymous with being rough and violent to one another for pleasure.  Ms. Martinez work was very thought provoking, overcoming sexual assault takes a lot from the victim as well as from those around him or her.  The victim most often blame themselves for it ‘s happening and regaining the lost feelings of control and personal safety is hard, no matter what gender the victim is.  I liked that the author pointed out that m/m rape is an issue, it happens a lot more than most people would probably realize, it just rarely gets reported or talked about.  However, as much as I liked Aftermath, I did feel the story was rushed, and Cody didn't evolve as much as Vic did.  Vic and Cody were seeing a therapist to help them deal with the assault, and through therapy Vic was able show Cody he too had weaknesses and fears.  The changes in Vic were obvious and they helped Cody in his recovery, but the changes in Cody were not very pronounced.  I still found him to be too trusting and forgiving especially where Jonathan was concerned.  Other than that Aftermath is a great story and I'm very happy I read it.

     

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