Aftershock by Jill Sorenson
Romantic Suspense (or more specifically, Natural Disaster Romance!)
December 18, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
This book has such a different premise as it starts with a huge earthquake that rocks the city of San Diego. Lauren Boyer is a paramedic heading to a call as the earthquake hits. Her ambulance falls as the entire freeway collapses. When the earth finally settles, she ends up in a large cavern, underneath the collapsed freeway. Her paramedic partner is dead, actually many, many people are dead.
As Lauren starts to try to find survivors and help the injured, she meets Garrett Wright. She doesn’t learn much about him, except he used to be a solider in the middle east. He is quiet, but strong and helps Lauren aide those that need help. He also has a secret about him, which I’m not sure how I feel about. I’ll let you discover it for yourselves. They are totally trapped inside this cavern, only seeing a tiny bit of sun peeking in way above them. They meet a few other survivors, one who has a RV. They have limited food and water, and do their best to survive. To add to this drama, a prison inmate van is in the cavern with them, and some of the prisoners are alive, armed and not friendly.
Like I said, I like this set-up. It is a natural disaster romance. This book is very heavy on the ramifications of the earthquake, The author does not hold back on the violence or darkness of the situation. It’s very gritty and graphic. A lot of death and a lot of despair. It makes the book very realistic in regards to what your situation would be. The blood and gore is not glossed over. The prisoners that have ‘escaped’ are not kind and are brutal to Lauren’s group.
So where does the romance fit in? Wellllllll….that was my problem with this book. Obviously, Lauren and Garrett are not going to be going at it like bunnies when first they have just met and under such dire circumstances. They do become the leaders of their little group and spend a lot of time together helping others and trying to figure out a way out. Which is all great, but a romance between them develops and I never believed in their love. I didn’t feel their chemistry. I kind of believed in their sex scene, that felt more organic. But the love declaration – where does that come from? It really was not convincing to me.
Besides Lauren and Garrett we get a lot of page time with Penny, a teenager who is pregnant and one week away from her due date. An escaped prisoner becomes an unlikely ally to her. Not sure if I like how it all ended up for him but maybe we will see him in a future book. This escaped prisoner has racist tattoos as he belonged to a certain gang in prison. It is a very dark and heavy topic and I’m not sure if there is enough page time to throw in a character like this.
Unfortunately, this one gets poor ratings for romance, although my heart was pounding quite a bit at the action and intense scenes the earthquake caused. The author does a nice job with the seriousness and intensity of the entire situation, but the romance didn’t work for me at all.