Life After Joe [NOOK Book]

Overview


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 gorgeous, intelligent and apparently not interested in being picked up. Still, ...

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Life After Joe

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Overview


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 gorgeous, intelligent and apparently not interested in being picked up. Still, even after seeing Matt at his worst, he doesn't turn away. Aaron's kindness and respect have Matt almost believing he's worth it—and that there could be life after Joe. But his newfound happiness is threatened when Matt begins to suspect Aaron is hiding something, or someone...

35,000 words

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426890369
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 130,809
  • File size: 404 KB

Meet the Author

Harper Fox weaves her stories from her home in rural Northumbria in the UK. She loves northern England all the more because it is the country of her adoption—her grandfather came here as a refugee from Lithuania during the Second World War. The landscape inspires her to poetry of the magical-realist kind, and her work has appeared in several British literary magazines. She is not quite sure why the area also inspires her to erotic M/M prose, but she doesn't look the gift horse in the mouth.



Harper has been published by Carina (her first success), Samhain Publishing and Loose Id. She has written M/M stories all her life, and she hid them in drawers until the hard drive was invented. She loves being able to share her romances with a readership now, as well as the backgrounds they're set against, which are some of her favourite places in the UK.



She is lucky enough to have lived for the past twenty-four years with her SO, Jane. She isn't that old, really—they met when they were very young. Honest.

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Read an Excerpt

December, Northeast England

I concluded, towards midnight in the Powerhouse, it isn't breaking up that kills you. It's the aftermath. This revelation, coming hard on the heels of six or seven shots of JD, seemed momentous. I wanted to communicate it to someone. But that's the problem with the Powerhouse—and the Barking Dog and the rest of the handful of gay dives struggling to hold on through the regeneration of Newcastle upon Tyne's west end—you don't communicate, at least not verbally. A track whose sole lyrics were riverside, motherfucker repeated at intervals across its trippy, bone-shaking bass had been circling round the club for the past ten minutes. If I wanted to talk, I'd have to get up close and personal. Right up against someone's ear.

Maybe I could try it with him. The stereotype there at the bar. While I was at it, I could tell him the rules—because there are rules down here, even for the heaving sea of flesh and muscle fighting it out on the dance floor, assuming their positions and their partners for the night. You don't come here alone four weekend nights in a row, sit there looking the way he did and not expect to be picked up. Not that he seemed offended by the regular attempts. Whatever his method for repelling boarders, it was quiet. Good-natured, even: most of the rejects had come away smiling.

All right. My turn. If he was the archetype of lonely dignity—dark, impassive, bloody beautiful in the industrial style, all lean muscle under his tight black vest, leather jacket slung across the bar beside him—I was my own kind of caricature, perhaps a match for his. Friends, mirrors and an undamaged ego had once told me I was lovely too. Postgrad-student, promising-young-doctor lovely. Wheat-sheaf fair to his dark. I always got my man. The song said, riverside, motherfucker, and it felt like the word of God.

I got to my feet. He was watching me, as expressionlessly as he watched everything and everyone else around here, but I did have his attention. The wheat sheaf got displayed to best advantage if I gave it a casual push back with one hand. I went for the manoeuvre, caught the tinsel banner some festive-minded fuckwit had thought apt to string around the walls of the city's most hard-core pickup joint and brought the whole lot down.

I slumped back into my seat. I didn't have left inside me whatever it took to be mortified, or even amused. I just didn't fucking care. The trip-hammer rhythm went on. Riverside, motherfucker. At the bar, the stereotype had turned so his fine-sculpted profile was all I could see. It was perfectly still. If he was laughing his arse off inside, it was down very deep. Wow. Kind as well as gorgeous. He was definitely breaking every damn rule around here.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 19, 2011

    Great Book

    I loved this book =)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    A New Voice in M/M Romance

    I didn't know what to expect when I picked this one up. However, it wasn't long before I found myself thoroughly immersed in the world of Matt, Joe and Aaron.

    Life After Joe is told from the first person POV giving us a very intimate look at a man who has lost the one person he has spent his life loving. When Joe leaves Matt after almost a lifetime together, Matt is left to pick up the pieces of his life and start anew. What follows is a downward spiral of emotional pain and self-degradation that almost brings Matt to his knees. It's when Matt meets Aaron that he begins to see a glimmer of hope and a life after Joe.

    What I found wonderful about this book was Ms. Fox's ability to bring us into the emotional story through Matt's voice; and he has a very distinctive voice. You are easily transported into his world and feel at once a kinship for his longing and heartache. I was particularly engaged in Ms. Harper's honest portrayal of Matt. He is a vulnerable and flawed character reacting to the circumstances of his life and there are no apologies for it. This makes him a perfect set-up for Aaron. Aaron is not a person who 're-acts', rather he's a man who thinks before he takes action. The juxtaposition of these two characters brings into sharp relief what has been missing in Matt's life and the question becomes can he finally take stock of his life and once again become fully engaged in life and not someone who is purely mired in his own grief.

    Ms Fox has drawn with fine lines the world of a man who is at a crossroads in his life and the choices he makes to find a way through to a life after heartbreak. Life After Joe is an intimate and engaging book and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    Heartfelt

    Great read,looking for others that touch the heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Wonderful story

    This is short, but Harper Fox does a great job of developing the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    This one will haunt you. A very simple, very moving Christmas s

    This one will haunt you.

    A very simple, very moving Christmas story that works any time of year.

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    Highly recommended

    Another book in which the writing by itself is very good with the added bonus of gay suject matter. I don't really enjoy writing which is just "friction fiction" but this was way more.

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    Great M/M Romance

    Originally posted at: www.whippedcream2.blogspot.com ***** Harper Fox has constructed an intelligently written, thoughtful work with Life After Joe, one of internal drama and doubt.

    Most breakups sting the soul a bit, but once in awhile the end of a relationship is so devastating, the jilted party feels as if the world has tilted and nothing can stop the slide into oblivion. This is where we find Matt in the opening scene, not only with his heart broken, but also with his sense of self-worth destroyed. Fast friends since childhood, Matt has never been without Joe, never truly dated, never had another partner, so when Joe announces he is leaving, Matt is devastated on multiple levels. This is not your average breakup; this is the complete destruction of the persona Matt has built for himself, one built around Joe.

    The first person, single POV narrative allows the reader to join Matt in his self-destructive behavior. We get glimpses of the sensible young man still living behind Matt's despair-he knows his drinking and sleeping around will eventually cost him his career, his home and his friends-but he's having trouble caring. This vivid portrait of depression may be a bit difficult for some readers, but I found the gritty realism poignant and believable. The single person narrative is also a bit unusual for modern romance, but dramatically necessary for Aaron to keep his secrets until the end. Despite a bit of distance from Aaron, his character is still well drawn, painted by his actions rather than his thoughts as he treats Matt with almost heartbreaking kindness. He's not perfect, though, which would have rendered him boring. Though it appears at first that his role is to rescue Matt, he is a wounded soul who needs some rescuing himself.

    Much of the writing sounded to my reading ear more in the vein of literary fiction than romance, which I enjoyed thoroughly, but once again might not be for everyone. Well-crafted, beautifully phrased sentences with lovely metaphors pepper the work (I particularly loved one passage where the author compares time to a slide of honey.)

    My only issue with this lovely work was in the ending, where the careful adherence to realism bent a bit and I had some difficulties with suspension of disbelief. It almost felt like a different story in the way we reach the resolution and reveal. That being said, the ending did not mar the rest of the story for me.

    A well-executed story about two people finding their way back from the dark, Life After Joe is well worth the reader's time. I devoured it in a single afternoon and sat staring at the screen, wishing there had been more.

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    Posted April 30, 2012

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    Posted June 23, 2011

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    Posted April 16, 2011

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    Posted November 13, 2010

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    Posted August 8, 2010

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    Posted May 27, 2012

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    Posted October 5, 2010

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    Posted December 27, 2011

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