This review contains spoilers.
“I love you, Nick. I’ve never been in love before, but I know this is love.”
Series: After Hours
Published: 2018, by NineStar Press.
Release Date: 9th April 2018
Format: eBook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBT, Contemporary
Contains: Strong Language, Sexual Content, Homophobia
I received a copy of this book from NineStar Press through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
‘After Hours’ tells the romantic tale of Alex Michaels, a manager at a Wall-Street financial firm, and Nick Covington, a waiter at a gay club. The pair are struggling, both wanting to fulfill dreams elsewhere, with Alex’s culinary talents and Nick’s devotion to teaching children after his own rough childhood. However, as the pair grow close, they manage to lead each other onto the right path to reach them.
The moment I saw this gorgeous cover on Netgalley, I knew I had to read it. The summary sounded like the perfect read, the type to curl up to on a gloomy day, and I was not disappointed.
From the first page, Haze sets up this character to route for, Alex Michaels, as he works for an incredibly successful company and gradually moves up the ranks in his firm. Alex is dedicated to his job, yet devoted to his friends and coworkers, and the fact he wears his heart on his sleeve means it’s impossible not to fall for him. The dialogue between himself and his friends is heartwarming to read, adoring the banter among the group.
When the mysterious Nick Covington enters the picture though, the novel just seems to get better. Nick’s character was a personal favourite; I adore his flirtatious remarks at first before revealing the insecure man beneath. His history was explored in detail, my heart aching for the man and justifies his paranoid thoughts throughout the story. However, I would have liked there to be more dialogue explaining their childhoods, rather than mostly description; I think it could provoke more opportunities to explore their characters via reactions to each others lives. The romance between Alex and Nick bloomed beautifully, regardless of how it was the dreaded insta-love, as the interactions between the pair justified their instant spark; it was believable. Plus, the sex was well-written and interesting throughout; nothing was repeated, their boundaries gradually lessening each time and highlighted their trust of another.
Although, I don’t think there was any dislikable character, (minus Nick’s parents) Andrea was another personal favourite. I adored the instant connection between her and Alex, setting up another lovable character whose own story progressed beautifully to the romantic climax for herself. She deserved that happy ending too!
Overall, ‘After Hours’ is a heartwarming story of romance and discovering your true self. The characters are adorable, the plot is engaging and Haze’s writing makes for a perfect one-sitting read.