Gun or No Gun

Gun or no gun became Cam and Austin’s motto, their mantra, for surviving their abduction/ confinement and looking for any opportunity to take out their kidnapper. Cara Dee has written a fabulous, intriguing story in Aftermath (Aftermath #1). I confess that I read this book in one day…well, I am home sick with bronchitis, but still, I couldn’t put it down.

Ms. Dee immediately grabs the reader with her introduction of Austin Huntley.

Unable to sleep, Austin left the bed, slid on his new black-framed glasses, and trudged downstairs.

. . .  But after having spent five months in a basement against his will, nothing was going to stop him from being outside.

Ms. Dee then launches into a flashback, giving the reader insight into how Austin landed in a basement. In fact the story of their kidnapping and captivity is told through flashbacks. Nicely done!After the flashback, the reader meets Cam, who is dealing (or not dealing) with being “elsewhere.” Later in the story, the reader learns that Cam suffers from anxiety and Aspergers. One of his methods of dealing is 

. . . he tapped the pad of his thumb along the fingertips on his right hand . . . Meanwhile, he looked down and touched his thumb to the remaining four fingers on his right hand. Just the tips. Over and over. While he breathed deeply through his nose.

These two are an unlikely pair. Austin is a clean cut, family man, with his MBA and working as an accountant. Cam is tattooed, looking more like a bad boy, and working as a mechanic in his brother’s garage. However, after spending 5 months in a cage together, they have grown close in a number of ways. And reading as they discover their love – intimate love – for each other is incredible. The first kiss…amazing!

Gotta share this one. At 40%:

Cam got his answer the second Austin brushed his lips over Cam’s. Shallow breaths were exchanged while their mouths stayed connected in a ghosting touch. It was light, barely there, but fucking electrifying. When Austin applied pressure, Cam groaned in surrender and deepened the kiss further.

My only minor complaint with the story is in the latter half of the book, the flashbacks seemed to dominate. I wanted more of Cam and Austin in the present day, dealing with getting back to “normalcy” and figuring out things between them.

Add this to you must-read list! 4.5 stars out of 5 

**** SPOILER ALERT **** don’t read beyond this if you intend to read the book!

Kudos to Ms. Dee for wrapping this up nicely in the end. The purpose of the kidnapping was clearly explained and perfectly plausible. Also, how the men were able to free themselves from captivity made sense. Their strength and resolve had me cheering them on – down with Psycho!!

I had a big laugh when Austin tries to explain to Jade, his ex-wife, about his new relationship, and then when Riley catches Austin and Cam kissing in the kitchen. The father-daughter talk was cute. Riley seemed much older despite her use of “peoples.”

Lastly, I have to share a snippet from the ending. It is too perfect not, too.

But Cam and Austin stuck together, gun or no gun, and created their own little piece of fucking awesome in that house in Bakersfield.

Ms. Dee can be found at or at She is also on Twitter @caradeewrites

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