Aftermath

Cover for Aftermath by Tanya Chris features a young man in a leather jacket in front of a NYC cityscape
Part of the Ever After series:

The Ever After series concludes in Aftermath. Tragedy, redemption, love… Ever After

Once upon a time, Casey flirted with a pretty boy at a bar, and that changed everything. Recently released from jail, he’s starting to rebuild without the family who raised him to hate himself. He’s got a new job, a room at his aunt’s, and community service hours at an LGBTQIA community center. But his biggest challenge is figuring out how to live as the one thing his father and brother drilled into him he could never be: a gay man.

Once upon a time, Brooks was a confident Dom with a particular taste for bigger men. But since his run-in with a dangerous homophobe, he’s lost his touch. Big, buff guys are hot but scary, and hurting people isn’t as much fun as it used to be.

Until he meets Casey, the big guy with the problematic past. Casey’s willing to do anything, but does his submission stem from healthy kink or from an unhealthy need to be punished? And is Brooks doling out release or revenge? Two people who share a past as violent as theirs could never fall in love. Unless, somewhere in the aftermath, there’s forgiveness.

Content warning: internalized homophobia, homophobic language, and references to homophobic hate crimes that have occurred in the past

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“Casey.” Brooks waited until Casey glanced up at him. “I’m not shaming you, okay? I’m just saying there’s safer ways of getting that feeling. Assuming you liked the feeling.” He wouldn’t ask if Casey had liked it. It wasn’t his business, and besides, he could guess.

Casey still didn’t say anything, so Brooks stood up. “All right, good talk. If you ever have any questions….”

“You’ve done it?” Casey’s words stopped him just as he was about to escape from the room. Apparently they were going to talk, after all. He shut the door and leaned back against it.

“I don’t choke people. There’s really no way to do that safely. Safer, but never safe. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take.”

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“But other stuff?” Casey asked his boots. They were work boots, well-worn and hideous. Huge. Which of course didn’t mean anything.

“I’ve been in the scene since I turned eighteen, so yeah, I’ve done stuff. I could point you to some resources, give you a few links.”

Casey shuffled those large boots of his across the floor. “Which one are you?” he asked with a quick upward glance, curiosity brimming in his eyes. “Are you the one who hits people or the one who gets hit?”

“That’s personal.”

“Oh.” And there went the eyes back to the floor again.

“Fine. I’m a Dom. Does it matter? I’m going to point you to the same resources either way.”

Casey opened his mouth, and Brooks suddenly knew what was about to come out of it.

“No,” he said, before Casey could ask. “Definitely not.”

“Why not?”

For a moment, Brooks was tempted. God, imagine laying into this slab of a man, putting his marks all over him. Or just getting him to kneel. It didn’t even have to be physical. The emotional high of having his enemy kneeling at his feet would carry Brooks for a month.

But, God. No. Enemy. That wasn’t at all what BDSM was about. He couldn’t go into a scene literally wanting to hurt the person subbing for him.

“You said it wasn’t safe,” Casey said, “what I did. So show me safe.”

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Reviews:Kris on Joyfully Jay wrote:

I have to say that my biggest worry going into this book was how the author was going to make me believe that these two characters, whose start was terrible when they met for the very first time, could fall in love. But Chris is a master storyteller and in the end, their romance is not only believable, but beautiful. It takes a lot of hard work on both their parts, but that’s perhaps the best part.

KR Phoenix on Books, Tattoos & Tea wrote:

Casey was so broken, to a point he doesn’t even realize how badly. The reality of his upbringing and his internalized homophobia was devastating, confronting and heartbreaking. What he’s been through is touched on and is confronting and saddening. I really enjoyed his overall character development and feel he grew so beautifully into himself as an eventually out and proud gay man. I loved his healing and honest process. His care and buddying friendship with Finn was so wonderful to read and the love and trust he has for Brooks is great to watch unfold.


Aftershock

Cover for Aftershock by Tanya Chris features a despondent man in front of a NYC cityscape
Part of the Ever After series:

Being acquitted of Jamie’s murder won’t bring him back. Syed might be free, but he’s lost his lover and his sub, along with his sense of control, his libido, his friends, and the stomach to inflict the kind of pain Jamie thrived on. Even his high-rise apartment doesn’t suit him anymore.

Dashiell is drawn to the handsome man he represented in court, but he’s promised himself never to get involved with another confident playboy. His next boyfriend—if he can find such a thing—will see him as something more than a backup plan for a better offer. And how could he ever give a man like Syed what he wants anyway?

Dashiell fears the day Syed will ask him to bear more pain than he can handle as Syed struggles to reconcile how he’s coming to feel about Dashiell with how he still feels about Jamie. Can their fledgling relationship survive the discovery that Syed’s new sub might be representing the man who murdered his last sub?

Jamie deserves justice, Dashiell deserves love, and Syed wants to be the one to give both these men exactly what they need.

Content warning: this book includes descriptions of homophobic hate crimes. There is very mild BDSM content.

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Frustrated by the console separating them, Syed sat back for a moment. Dashiell was too tall to pull into his lap, and the heated seats made the car warm, almost sultry. He tugged at the knot of his tie to loosen it.

“I knew you’d be in a suit.” Dashiell reached for the knot of his own tie.

“I wouldn’t have minded if you’d been dressed casually. If I’d cared, I’d have spelled it out for you.” He didn’t play mind games. What his sub needed to know, he told him. Not that he claimed Dashiell as his sub yet, but even a date deserved that courtesy. “Though you do look very nice.”

He traced up the inseam of Dashiell’s slacks, cut more narrowly than he wore his own, stopping before he reached the hard length that stretched across to Dashiell’s hip. He put his hands under Dashiell’s knees and separated them, showcasing the bulge of his balls in the tight cocoon of fabric. “Very nice.”

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“You’re sure you don’t want to come up?”

“I won’t take the risk of letting you down tonight. From now on, you’ll know how much I want whatever we do.” He leaned over again to nibble at the dimple in Dashiell’s chin.

“Do you really want me though? Or is it just that I’m a safe person to test yourself with? Comfortable.”

“Believe me, the way I feel about you is anything but comfortable. I feel too much, not too little.” He traced his thumb over the graceful arc of Dashiell’s prominent cheekbone. “You make me think of warmth, of sunny places and bright colors. Your family is Greek, yes?”

“My grandparents came from Greece. My father’s parents. My mother isn’t Greek.”

“But you are.”

Dashiell’s beauty was masculine without being hard, his features chiseled but delicate, his mahogany curls an untamed splendor.

“I can imagine you against a white beach. How brown would you get in the sun?” He stroked over the skin that called to mind warm breezes and lazy mornings.

“I’ve never had a chance to find out,” Dashiell said petulantly. “Work, work, work.”

He wanted to keep Dashiell like a spoiled plaything—let him bathe in the ocean and tan on a beach and never worry about another thing, wanted to come home to find him soft and laughing and nearly naked, brown with the sun and hot with need.

He took his hands off Dashiell’s body. He was doing it again—thinking too far forward. That was what made being with Dashiell so uncomfortable, that ache in his chest when thoughts of Dashiell intruded into areas where only Jamie belonged.

“I should let you go. You said you have a big case.” He smoothed his thumb over Dashiell’s pout. “I’ll call you.”

“You mean you’ll have Bhupati call me.”

“Is that a problem?”

“No, it’s fine.”

“Good. He keeps me on track. I wouldn’t know where I was going if it weren’t for him.”

“I doubt that. You seem like a highly organized person.”

“Well, perhaps so, but trust me when I say that I’ll see you sooner and more reliably if I allow him to arrange the details. And that’s what I want—to see you soon. It’s what you want also, yes?”

Dashiell let out a small yes, and Syed took him by the upper arms to kiss him one last time, a simple touch of mouth to mouth, a promise that next time there’d be more. He watched to make sure Dashiell made it safely through the security door on the other side of the lobby before putting his car in gear.

It’d been a successful date, he thought. Not more than his heart could handle. When he got home, perhaps he could think of Dashiell when he took himself in hand. Perhaps his thoughts wouldn’t drift elsewhere tonight.

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Reviews:loveQhuay on Amazon wrote:

So I started to read this book, and the next thing I know? It's dark outside and I should be sleeping. But then what? I'll go to sleep after one more chapter... lol!

I couldn't put it down, it was so good! Better then the first, better then the third, better then anything!

Kathleen on Amazon wrote:

This story is one of the best I've read as far as watching a relationship develop and seeing characters stretch and grow. Both characters have some major hurdles to overcome and both do so in such beautiful ways. Dashiell is just adorable. He really is.

dagio on Amazon wrote:

This is an incredibly moving book. It looks at several different facets of a relationship, of grief, of societal expectations and much more. Tanya Chris did an amazing job weaving all of the components together into a masterpiece.

The character development is intense. The level of complexity the author is able to use is perfect. She really poured her heart and soul into these characters. Syed and Dashiell may have been primary but I loved the fact the author gave that same attention to secondary characters as well. The world building was flawless; the author did an excellent job creating vivid imagery. Between both the depth of characters and the world building, it felt like I was right there.


Aftercare

Cover of Aftercare by Tanya Chris shows a man in front of a NYC cityscape straightening his tie
Part of the Ever After series:

Aayan Denir knows Garrett Hillier was once a high-powered defense attorney, and—thanks to a leaked photograph—he knows Garrett is sexually submissive, which makes him ideally qualified to defend Aayan's brother from the charge of murdering his sub. Aayan would do anything to protect Syed, even if he doesn't understand how Syed could hurt someone he loves. He could never hurt Garrett. He only wants to take care of him—love him, serve him, cherish him. And maybe torture him. Just a little.

Garrett probably shouldn’t be dating his client’s brother. Right? And what’s the use in a confirmed sub dating a guy who doesn’t want to be a Dom anyway? The important thing is to get Syed cleared of the discriminatory murder charge he’s facing. Aayan is a distraction. But for the first time in the three lonely years since Garrett’s husband died, he’s feeling hope, ambition, and desire. Can he give up the pain he craves to find the love he needs?

As Syed’s trial date looms, Aayan and Garrett explore what a BDSM relationship means for them, and what they mean to each other.

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Excerpt:

He was prepared to exit the dark interior of Aayan’s very comfortable car with a handshake and a quick goodbye, but Aayan trapped him with no more than a look. He held his breath as Aayan slid closer across the leather seat.

“Your gaydar must be pretty dysfunctional if it didn’t pick up on how attracted I am to you. I knew you were attracted to me. Your reaction was immediate.”

“Yeah, I, uh …” God, articulate much, Garrett? “It would be a bad idea to get involved though. Conflict of interest, and, um …”

Aayan’s hand curling around the back of his neck temporarily cleared his mind.

“So I shouldn’t,” he concluded, as if he’d presented a coherent argument.

“Shouldn’t or won’t?”

“Shouldn’t. I can’t say won’t.”

“Good.”

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Aayan didn’t close the distance between them himself; he didn’t even meet Garrett in the middle. He stayed rock still and drew Garrett to him with a force that was irresistible but unhurried, perhaps giving Garrett a chance to say no but only proving that he didn’t want to. Aayan’s lips closed over his firmly, parting and opening them so that their tongues met in a wet tangle.

Garrett inhaled around Aayan’s kiss. His hands clawed blindly forward, seeking Aayan’s shoulders to steady him as his head swam. The wool of Aayan’s sweater was like moss beneath his fingers—too soft and slick to save him. He groped higher until he found the coarser texture of Aayan’s hair. He clung there, inching forward, pressing harder into the kiss, choked whimpers rising up to fill Aayan’s mouth with his need.

Three years. Three years since he’d been so hard, so hungry, since someone had held him so commandingly. Just that single hand to the back of his neck coaxed him to fall deeper into the rich darkness of desire.

The panic came as quickly as the desire had. What was he doing? He hadn’t even known this man twenty-four hours ago. Russell’s picture lay at his feet, and he was shamelessly trying to crawl across the center console and into Aayan’s lap.

He pulled back as far as Aayan’s hand would allow him. “I can’t— I’m not ready for—”

The pressure on the back of his neck eased. He could move away now. If he wanted to.

“OK.” Aayan’s lips teased his. “I understand.” Another kiss, like morphine to his jangled nerves.

God, his head was so fuzzy, his resolve so hazy. “You say that, but you keep kissing me.”

Aayan chuckled and released him. He resettled himself into the center of his seat and held both hands up. “OK?”

Right. It was on him now. Garrett sat up and slid back into his own seat. Right. It would be better if he could breathe, but Aayan wasn’t touching him, so …

“I’ll see you,” he said, putting his hand on the door handle.

“Don’t forget the photograph.”

Right.

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Reviews:Jaime on Alpha Book Club wrote:

Aftercare is my first book by author Tanya Chris and hopefully I will be reading more, soon! I really enjoyed the emotional depth this author went to in this story, as we watch our two MC learn about each other and figure out if they can be what the other needs.

They say a picture can speak 1000 words…nothing is more true than two very important pictures in this story. Both pictures feature a man in love, in the throes of submission, while deep in love with their Dom…one picture brings a new love to Garrett and the second photo may just save a life.

Caroline on Love Bytes wrote:

I was drawn to Garrett Hillier immediately and I think that was due to the sadness that surrounded him. He’s a sexually submissive man who has lost an important part of himself since his husband’s death three years ago. He also walked away from his role as a top defence lawyer choosing instead to open a smaller practice. The death of his husband was heart-breaking enough but when his husband’s family turned on him and stole the most important memento he had left it was a double whammy that ensured Garrett didn’t offer his heart out again.

Kris on Joyfully Jay wrote:

I loved this book. It had everything a good books needs to have: great writing, well-paced plot, layers upon layers, and a truly beautiful D/s relationship. I have no trouble recommending this one at all.


Original cover for Aftercare is illustrated and shows a man standing in front of a desk with a picture in the background
Original cover for Aftercare

Cover for the Italian version of Aftercare shows a belt and a flogger on a dark background
Italian cover for Aftercare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aftercare is also available in Italian: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KFRDJP7