Sylvia Day does it again! Just when I though that there was no way that she could possibly grab my attention so completely like with the Crossfire series, she gives us Gia and Jax. Two e-novella instalments that will eventually make up a complete novel, Afterburn gives us our first taste of the very passionate and utterly captivating love affair between a young woman trying to leave her mark in the business world and a powerful and very wealthy man whom she met while at college and never quite got over.
“I wasn’t me when I was in bed with him; I was his. Willing and ready to do whatever he wanted, to take whatever he chose to give me, knowing he would make me come again and again…”
Gianna “Gia” Rossi is ambitious, capable, hungry to succeed in the cutthroat restaurant industry. Fresh out of college with a degree in restaurant management, she lands her first job as administrative assistant to one of the most successful restaurateurs in New York. After a year of earning her stripes, Gia has evolved into a sophisticated young woman with a keen business sense and has gained the trust and respect of her employer. But her first big project throws her in the path of the man she fell in love with while at college, a man with whom she spent five passionate weeks and never heard from again.
“I’d known who he was, knew his reputation, yet I’d thought I was sophisticated enough to take him on.”
Jackson “Jax” Rutledge comes from money. He is confident, indomitable and he always gets what he wants. When he walks into Gia’s life after two years of silence, he is not only there to mess with her business, he also wants her back in his bed. What follows is a delicious cat-and-mouse dance between two people who cannot keep their hands or minds off each other.
“Back off, Jax.”
“I did. It didn’t take.”
Jax and Gia come from two very different families – one being a loving and down-to-earth close-knit Italian family, and the other being modern ‘American royalty’, all old money and ostentatious lifestyles – making them two very different people with two very dissimilar support networks. But while Gia believes her five-week romance with Jax had meant nothing to him and was just another notch on his belt, the more she gets to know him in his element, the more she realises she might have never known the real Jackson Rutledge. Or the reason he left her in the first place.
“Damn it. I didn’t know you were in love with me, Gia.”
In a high-stakes world of multi-million dollar deals and ‘every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost’, nothing is as dangerous as a woman in love determined to make the love of her life never forget her again.
“You were made for me,” he said fiercely. “No one else, Gia. You’re mine.”
I truly loved every minute of this book and I did not put it down until I reached the very last page. Jax and Gia are very “Gideon and Eva”-ish so if you’re a Crossfire fan, you’ll undoubtedly love this story as well. It is very short, novella-sized, so it is a quick but very satisfying read. If I’m allowed to be greedy, I would have preferred it to have been longer and to get the whole story all at once, but this is the format it was always intended to have – two shorter instalments that in reality make up a full novel. We are left in an OK place story-wise, having been given small but satisfying revelations and hints of what is to come, but no nail-biting I’m-going-to-put-my-head-in-the-oven-if-I-don’t-get-the-sequel-now kind of cliffhanger. The writing is pure Sylvia Day – direct, effective, mouthwatering. A seasoned storyteller, she grabs our attention in every scene and gives us such emotionally intense interactions between characters, we are not just reading them, we are living them.
Aftershock cannot come soon enough because I get the feeling Ms Day has left the best for last.
“I’m on to you, Jackson Rutledge.” My voice was low and hard, unwavering. “I’m going to figure you out.”