Apr 30 2014 10:15am

Playing with Jax: Sylvia Day’s Afterburn and Aftershock

Afterburn and Aftershock by Sylvia DayCosmopolitan magazine, in conjunction with Harlequin Romance, started Cosmo Red-Hot Reads, “A new line of sexy, contemporary stories featuring fun, fearless women who know what they want from their lives, their careers and their lovers!”

Recently, Crossfire series writer Sylvia Day released her delicious contribution to Cosmo Red-Hot Reads, a two-part series called Afterburn & Aftershock, in a single volume together, and I think I may like Jax nearly as much as I like Gideon Cross. (Now that is saying something.)

Jax is sexy, complicated, and rich. (Sound familiar?) Gianna wants him badly, but since he walked out of their short and passionate relationship two years ago, she has gotten a great education from her mentor, Lei Yeung—success is the best revenge. Now it looks like Jax and Lei's ex-lover are in business together, and it's affecting a multimillion dollar deal Gianna has been working to the bone for.

Gianna (aka Gia) comes from a tight-knit family that runs a successful restaurant. The hope is that each sibling in the family will open their own franchise to run and she knows she can always fall back on this. When her relationship with Jax ended so abruptly, she was lucky enough to have the support of her family to help her through, but Gianna was hungry for more in life, so she sought out tycoon Lei Yeung.

She did her homework and knew that Lei had experienced something Gianna could relate to—picking up the pieces after being publicly humiliated by a man. Lei agreed to take her on and they have become a formidable team over the past couple of years. Older and wiser, Gia should be prepared for Jax the second time around. But once they're back together, their passion burns as bright as it ever did, almost as if there was no time apart. Does she refuse the fireworks they set off in each other, or put on her big girl heels and use Jax for the pleasure she knows he can give her?

Jax comes from a political family. Every movement is looked at under a microscope and every move is a calculation on a chessboard. He can’t deny he is attracted to Gianna, in fact he doesn’t want to deny it. He wants to take her, possess her, and do naughty things with her. Unfortunately for Gianna, when it comes to business Jax will be as ruthless and cunning as it takes to win. Unfortunately for Jax, when it comes to business Gianna will be as ruthless and cunning as Lei and Jax taught her.

Gianna enters into this new relationship with Jax unable to refute her feelings for him and trying to separate her hormones from her business. He warns her against falling for him, even when he can’t follow his own advice. Jax’s world is full of sharks and cruelty, and the best way to prove that to Gianna is to show her those traits in himself. When she finally meets his family, the pieces start falling into place about who Jax is and why he does what he does.

Gianna has a choice. Does she let this ride out with Jax or does she fight for him? Their steamy relationship started whimsically, but the stakes have grown as high as their passion for each other. Jax has made a lot of mistakes and Gia has occasionally overplayed her hand. However, underneath it all Gia can see something in Jax that might be more than she ever realized. Despite the secrets, lies, and drama, in the end Gia realizes that she may just have to be the one to save Jax.


Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.

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