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VINE VOICEon April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This wasn't an especially terrible book, but it wasn't an especially good one either. In fact, at times, it was just rather dull. Gia and Jax were lovers two years ago, but he just quit calling her one day, and she was heartbroken. So, of course, she changed her look and threw herself into her job, becoming a successful businesswoman who is now courting a contract with an up-and-coming chef. Her plans are thrown awry when Jax suddenly shows up as a business rival. What's a girl to do? Well, Gia is supposed to be brilliant and strong and a modern day woman, so she sleeps with him. It didn't work for me. I didn't have problems with the sex, per se. But I had a problem with the fact that Gia is so weak that she just gives herself to him so easily. Likewise, it's implied that her hard work in business is sort of an act of spite/revenge against Jax, which seems contrary to the strong, independent woman she's supposed to be.

There's supposed to be all this hot chemistry between Jax and Gia, but I just wasn't feeling it. Their entire previous relationship took place off the page, so I never really understood how they got together in the first place (the first person narrator explains how they met, but not why she fell in love with the jerk). Their current relationship seems to be based on angry sex. It might make for a hot read, but it got pretty boring after awhile when so little else was going on. The plotline revolving around the two competing to get different chefs under contract just wasn't done especially well. I didn't care what happened in their businesses or bedrooms.

As to the title "Afterburn & Aftershock," that too left me feeling like something was missing. I expected the story from two perspectives or some major event that would split the novel into segments or something--anything. But there really is nothing to explain why the book is titled as it is, and that was just a little annoying to me as a reader. Sylvia Day has been around for a while, but this is far from her best work.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For Gianna Rossi, Jackson Rutledge was the one that got away. Their affair was hot and heavy a few years ago, and way too short. It ended abruptly when Jackson stopped contacting Gia without explanation. After that heartbreak, Gia threw herself into her career, determined to make something of herself. She wins a position as assistant to one of the most successful women in the restaurant management industry, intending to use the skills she acquires from her new mentor to improve her family’s already successful restaurant even more one day. With several siblings ready to run their own restaurant, it is time for expansion for the Rossi’s popular eatery.

Gia is focused, driven, and very successful working for Lei Yeung. She is finally closing her first big project – until it is derailed by Jackson Rutledge himself. His re-entry into her life is like a bucket of ice wataer being thrown on her and soon Gia is struggling to repair the damage he has done to her career and the wounds he has reopened in her heart – all while trying to resist him. Jackson’s renewed interest in Gia makes resisting him prove harder than Gia expected, however, even with the memory of how he ended things before weighing on her so heavily.

‘Afterburn’ and ‘Aftershock’ are two parts of one story by Sylvia Day. The second story won’t make much sense if you haven’t first, so the author and publisher very wisely packaged them in one book. This author is known for writing very strong female characters, and Gia is no exception to this. This woman definitely has moxy along with an abundance of drive. She won’t let anyone or anything stop her, however she does have limits. Gia might be determined to succeed, but her values won’t allow her to destroy someone else to do achieve her goals. Having been raised in a big Italian family has instilled a good moral code in her that has molded her into a hardworking, honest person and a character I can admire. Those same family values do put her at a disadvantage at times when dealing with others who operate less honestly, but she learns quickly how to navigate the shark-infested world of business and politics and deals with these situations without compromising her own ethics. It is easy to see just why Jackson wants Gia back.

The real mystery is why Jackson ever let her get away in the first place, given his immediate attraction for her when they cross paths again. But the answer to this question is part of the story, and I won’t spoil it for other readers – the way the author unravels this part of the plot is too riveting and I love the way she builds to great effect when the answers finally come to both Gia and the reader.

The first time I read one of Sylvia Day’s novels, she became one of my favorite romance authors, and after reading this book, I can say without hesitation, she has yet to disappoint me. This author has proven to me that her imagination is without limit and she has so much skill at creating intriguing characters and plots that I can’t imagine ever tiring of her work. I would highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys contemporary romance.
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on March 2, 2015
This is the first time I've read Sylvia Day's work and not enjoyed it. I couldn't connect with these characters at all. I don't understand how Gia could go from being a booty call for 6 weeks, 2 years ago and then spout off sentences to Jax like "I love you and I know you love me. " What!?! Anyway I got this on sale for $1.99 and seriously overpaid. I wouldn't have enjoyed this for free!
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on October 7, 2014
I'm rating this book as a three star for Sylvia Day, the author. She has several books that are better reads. But this is a four star book for the genre. There is a lot of tripe out there to choose from.

Having said that about the tripe, here are my thoughts about AFTERBURN and AFTERSHOCK that might be helpful:

1. What is up with Sylvia Day and unlikable journalists named Deanna? LOL!

2. The boxed set is a nice convenience. I do not like series/serials at all. Because I read too much to keep up with multiple-part books, I really, REALLY prefer to have all my story in one place.

3. I liked the H and h, Jax and Gianna. I know some reviewers didn't care for them, but I liked them.

4. There are some odd scenes (just a couple) in each book that do not move the story forward in any way. I couldn't figure it out. For example, in book two, a scene with some friend named Lynn. I'm obviously no expert, but these kinds of scenes stuck out like sore thumbs. Why?

5. And speaking of that, some reviewers mentioned the characters and story were not as richly drawn as they would have liked. I agree. The space devoted to (in my opinion) unnecessary scenes could have been used to give us a much more detailed and rich story and characters. This author is usually so good at that.

6. The sex is hot! Something else this author is good at.

7. Lastly, and this is all on me only, I never really understood the business Gianna was in. Was the company in talent acquisition, public relations, restaurant management or promotion?
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VINE VOICEon June 30, 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the first book I've read by prolific author Sylvia Day. I've seen her books featured in many stores and online, but hadn't read one of them until now.

This two book complilation features the love story of Gianna (Gia) and Jackson (Jax)Rutledge. Evidently this is a collaboration between Cosmopolitan Magazine and Harlequin. As I understand it, either parts or all of the books were featured in the magazine.

Gia has a clear view of her future as a power player in the business world helping people realize their dreams. Her family has run a restaurant in Little Italy for three generations. Jax comes from a family of sophisticated and wealthy politicians. Can the two achieve a happy-ever-after? He and Gia had a short, intense relationship that was in the past as he just left one day and didn't come back before they ran into each other again. Can the two of them mesh their very different lives and find true love? The passion and the chemistry is there, but can they find happiness on an everyday level?

I so wanted to like this book. It was decently written, but I couldn't warm up to Jax and Gia. Jax was a complex character, but seemed immature and shallow in many ways. Gia was more simple as a character, but I found her rather annoying. Personally I don't like care for books where I (key word "I") feel that the story takes second place to hot passionate sex. There is plenty of sex, but the story seemed a little lame. Obviously since Sylvia Day is a best selling author she is many readers cup-of-tea; just not mine.
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on January 27, 2015
I love the dynamics between Jax and Gia. Their love was unbreakable by the time they spent apart. They were two totally different people from two different worlds. Yet, they still had love.

They struggle and have trust issues. Like most love. I loved how they handle them. That said, though I enjoyed this book, it didn't grab me and hold me hostage. It didn't have me anxious to get to the next page. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I loved both Jax and Gia' s characters. Jax is a sexy Alpha Male and Gia is sexy smart and strong. For me, it just didn't have that "wow" or "oh, damn" factor. But still it is a good read.
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on August 1, 2015
These are not two books. That's completely misleading. The first book just ends in the middle of the story without any real stopping point.
And as for the books themselves, I wished I'd listened to other reviewers who said the characters sucked. They do. The guy never comes across as anything more than a complete d**. The girl sleeps with him anyway because he's just so hot, which makes her seem pathetic. Seriously, the guy's a jerk, and he treats her terribly the whole time.
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on October 25, 2014
While these were good books and worth reading, they definitely weren't Crossfire caliber. Ms. Day's writing style wasn't what it was in Crossfire. I loved the characters and I disagree with those who wrote reviews saying Gia wasn't a strong female character. My main reason for only giving these a 3 star rating is the length. The books were so short! I will admit that I always want more but it was definitely warranted in these. With that said, you still should read this series if you love a good, spicy love story!!
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on May 20, 2015
This was a fast paced story which I both liked and disliked. I wished the story was drawn out longer because there were some aspects I would've liked to see in more detail. Story was very well written and had a nice flow to it. Sylvia Day did a great job with her attention to detail because it painted such a vivid picture. I felt as if I was a character in the story (one can only hope). Gia and Jax were good for each other. They were opposites but were the same (if that makes sense).
Gianna was strong and passionate about her work. She was very smart and sassy.
Jackson was sexy and smart. He was powerful in his professional world as well as his personal world.
The Rossi brothers were awesome and added a certain charm to the story. And I would love to have a story about them.

I definitely recommend for someone in need of a quick steamy read that has a nice story to go with it.
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on September 15, 2015
She know how to create a passionate and intriguing story that captures the reader's attention. Most of all the Jax is not an overly possessive man. He is not crude or womanizing as so many male character have been lately. Don't get me wrong, he's still an alpha, but one much more to my tastes. The story isn't sex all the time, in fact, those scenes were limited. It actually has a decent plot and you want to learn more about the couple's past and the mysterious Jackson.
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