Title : After Midnight
Author : Santino Hassell
Publisher : Self Published
Genre : M/M, Post Apocalyptic
Length : 244 pages (e-book)
Published : September 17, 2013
Rating : ★★★★1/2
Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it’s his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn’t quite the same.
Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.
When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.
Gordon Frost is a drug dealer. He’s doing his best to not get caught by the cops or the rival gangs dealing drugs in Lexington. After narrowly escaping what was obviously a police sting operation that was set up by Marquis, the man Gordon has a crush on, Gordon makes his way home to a neighborhood locked down with heavy police presence. He learns the details up close and personal when he’s grabbed, beaten, and is forced to take his captor into his apartment. Gordon is tied up and ignored in his own home. He’s hurt and has no means to help himself. Gordon finds himself completely powerless. Gordon’s captor does speak to him. Not much and most of the conversation revolves around his captor’s disapproval of Gordon. Gordon is left with the distinct impression he will not live another day. Gordon learns his captor’s name is Adam. Adam finds Gordon to be completely pathetic. He’s pathetic yet alive. Gordon has survived things no one else has. Adam shouldn’t leave Gordon alive as he’s a witness who knows too much. He threatens Gordon but lets him live. Gordon has no awareness Adam has bugged his apartment and phone. Everything he says is recorded. Any mention of Adam will result in Gordon’s death. Any information about Adam reaching his bosses ears will result in Adam’s death. Both Gordon and Adam are powerless.
Gordon and his best friend Carla are in the midst of a budding drug war. Gordon works with Carla and Chance. Chance runs the organization that has the monopoly on the drug Pandora. Gordon has worked for Chance for years and has been best friends with Carla even longer. The other local gangs are attempting to get Chance’s supplier. Gordon doesn’t know who it is. Adam is sent by the organization for which he works to infiltrate Chance’s operation as the chemist making Pandora is also capable of making biological weaponry. Adam and Gordon are repeatedly thrown together for work. They like each other quite a lot which causes a lot of tension. They don’t really handle it well. They are forever saying horrible things to each other and regretting it immediately. After a particularly explosive and luscious encounter between the two of them Gordon is caught by a rival gang member who blames Gordon for the death of his twin brother. Adam has to find out where Gordon is, rescue him, and manage to not blow his cover and destroy his job and survival prospects all at the same time.
This book was excellent. Gordon Frost is a fascinating character living his life at the bottom of the barrel without ever realizing how he got down there in the first place. He’s a bit of a doormat. Okay, he’s a lot of doormat. In some ways that made his relationship with Adam a codependent nightmare. In an interesting turn of events I didn’t need this to be a healthy relationship. Gordon and Adam are disasters. They’re happily making a home in Dysfunction Junction, and it works for them. It also works for the world in which they live. Lexington, PA stuck in a bit of a post-apocalyptic nuclear winter isn’t the kind of place I expect to read about happy, healthy, and well adjusted people.
Okay, so I just got done saying Gordon’s and Adam’s relationship was perfect for them and this may seem to contradict that, but I kind of wanted a bit more interaction between them after they realized they loved each other. The bulk of the book was spent getting these guys together and realizing they didn’t hate each other. I wanted the sweet romantic pay off. Yes, I can see this isn’t that kind of book, but I wanted what I wanted. Sorry, I know that’s not exactly logical. What I did enjoy was a great action adventure with romantic overtones and sexual tension.
Rated 4.5 stars by Faye