Cosmo and Harlequin have recently teamed up to present two RED-HOT Reads each month. AFTERBURN by Sylvia Day is one of the first to be released under the RED-HOT Reads.

Wow! Sylvia Day has definitely taken the heat up a notch with AFTERBURN! She had this Southern Gal hopping up for a glass of cold, iced tea!

I loved the two main characters, Gia and Jax. And, while hating to repeat myself, I will:

“He came into the bar with a sultry stride that made my hands curl into fists beneath the tablecloth. That walk of his was easy and smooth, confident. And yet it somehow signaled to the female brain that he was packing heat between those long, strong legs and knew how to use it. God, did he.”

That got my attention! AFTERBURN gets hot and stays hot.

One of the two main characters, Gianna Rossi, is a protege to Lei Yeung, a powerful and successful restaurateur. The other, Jackson “Jax” Rutledge is heart breaker and he’s broken Gia’s heart into a thousand pieces. They spent five great weeks together full of passionate sex and sweet words, then he disappeared.

Imagine Gia’s surprise, after having Jax cut out of her life without a word, he comes strutting into the very bar where she and her boss, Lei Yeung, are trying to whoo the competition’s star chefs away. How can two people who love each other, yet still remain as much of a mystery to each other as the day they met?

“You’ve got no right to invade my life like this. None of this is your business. You shouldn’t be butting in—” “Damn it. I didn’t know you were in love with me, Gia.” My eyes closed against the pain of hearing those words from his lips. “If that’s true, you didn’t know me at all.”

Let me tell you, the sparks start to fly and they just don’t stop. As in any love story, you have the conflict and the making up. In AFTERBURN, you also have the charming and very large Italian family of Gia’s in the mix. Her brothers are very protective of her and the author did a great job with the camaraderie between the siblings, which greatly added to the story.

“We took an elevator up, standing on opposite sides of the car, our gazes locked as the seconds ticked by. The tension was so thick I found it hard to breathe, my lips parted as I pulled air into my lungs in a near pant. I could feel the need radiating off him, sensed the hunger…The elevator dinged to announce our arrival on his floor and he surged toward me, grabbing my hand in his and dragging me after him…grabbing me so tightly my feet left the floor…”

“An insistent pounding on Nico’s door woke me…”What…” I groused. “Yeah…” Nico wandered in from the bedroom…Brother or not, could still appreciate what a good-looking man he was. “You know what time it is?” Vincent came in first. “Time to get up.” Angelo followed Denise in…”You put Gianna on the couch? Seriously?” “I offered her the bed.” Nico crossed his arms. “She wouldn’t take it.” “Don’t blame her,” Vincent said. “If that bed could talk, it’d have its own reality show.” “Don’t be jealous,” Nico returned. “I’m sure your bed will see some action eventually. Despite everything, you’re still a Rossi.”

AFTERBURN was very well written. It was engaging and entertaining. The only disappointment I had with the book was the ending. I wanted more! I felt the book actually fell a little short of being a “whole book”, and I am sure that the follow-up book, AFTERSHOCK will provide the remaining story-line and ending that so many of us were waiting for. I am going to give the book a four-star rating because I felt it was well-written and entertaining. AFTERBURN and AFTERSHOCK, combined, would probably be a five-star rating.

“You’re a head trip.” I ignored the waiting suitcase on my bed and sat at my desk instead. I woke my computer with a shake of the mouse. “And your mystery-man days are numbered.”

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About the Reviewer

Donna McBroom-Theriot
Writer. Book Reviewer. Southern Lady. Connoisseur of Chocolate. My Life is like an episode of "I love Lucy!" I'm a writer, book reviewer, and a Southern Lady who loves her Sweet Tea. My blog, My Life. One Story at a Time. is where I've been writing short stories since 2009. As luck would have it, the very first short story I wrote was published within months of my writing it. This quote pretty much sums me up: "Deep in my heart, I know there’s no promise I’ll be free from trouble in this life. In fact, I’m usually either getting out of trouble, currently in trouble, or about to meet trouble around the next corner." Well, you know that old saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" - that road is usually the one I'm on! And, as much I used to mock (we all grow up eventually) the Cajun dialect, 15 years ago, I found myself marrying the sweetest Cajun boy - complete with the requisite white trawl boots and a trawl boat. I love writing stories about the South and life with our two German Shepherds, and the four kids who meander in and out of our lives as they live their own journeys. Most days you'll find me out on the front porch swing, with the dogs at my feet, a tall glass of sweet iced tea close by, and a good book. It's what life in the South is all about. - See more at: