After Yesterday – Jacqueline Hayley

After Yesterday
Jacqueline Hayley

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great, gritty, hot follow up to After Today


Surviving the virus was one thing, surviving humanity after is another.

Rachel Davenport has always liked things ordered and neat, so when the Sy-V virus decimated the world around her, she was left reeling. With winter closing in and danger everywhere she turns, the last thing she needs is the unexpected arrival of her former high school sweetheart—a man who left her without so much as a goodbye.

When James O’Connor crossed the country to declare his love for Rachel, the girl he left behind eight years ago, he knew he’d have a fight on his hands. But the girl he left has become a woman he struggles to recognize. As the apocalypse forces him to balance his morality against Rachel’s determination, can he cross the chasm growing between them?

As humanity crumbles around them and survival becomes everything, James and Rachel must choose between what is smart, and what is right.

The stakes are higher than ever… can love survive a second chance?

Author’s note: After Yesterday is the second book in The After series of post-apocalyptic romance novels. If you love reading stories by Kate L. Mary, Kate Morris, T.L. Payne and Kyla Stone, then you will love this series.

After Yesterday is a standalone story with no cliffhangers and a HEA, however will be enjoyed further by reading the other books in the series. Possible trigger warnings for violence against women and consensual rough sex; this is mature content written for 18+ readers – there is unsavory language and gratuitous sex. Lots of it.

The second book starts off a bit before the climax of the first. It’s from the point of view of Rachel and James, who were secondary characters in the first book. There is a good recap of what has gone on before. I wasn’t lost even when it had been months since I read the first book.

To remind you: Jake and Mackenzie had escaped Sanford, but Rachel, James, and others were still stuck there under Townsend’s cruel dictatorship. There, they were kept prisoner, made to work, and given little food and heat. Rachel and James are stuck together and not getting along.

“James could take one for the team,” she offered helpfully. “I wouldn’t mind so much if he got shot.”
He winced. “Harsh, Davenport.”

James and Rachel had been sweethearts in high school, but James left, abandoning Rachel. He returned to Sanford just before the pandemic hit, intent on winning her back. After his betrayal, Rachel grew strong and tough but cold. She needs that strength to get through this apocalypse and fight for what she believes is right. I really liked how badass Rachel was.

“You are such a beautiful, fragile woman,” he murmured, reaching out a finger to run it down the tip of her nose.
“Fragile?” She pulled back, smile slipping.
“Not like a flower,” he hurried to reassure her, mentally kicking himself. “You’re fragile in the way a bomb is fragile. Powerful and potent and explosive.”
She narrowed her eyes, thinking. “Okay, I can accept that.”

Now I knew the Council of male-chauvinists was evil from After Today, but this clinched it for me:

Two armed guards would sweep a house first, identifying dead bodies and shooting any pets that had been left behind. When James, anticipating Rachel’s outrage, asked if they couldn’t just release the pets and leave them to their own devices, he’d received a rifle butt between his shoulder blades. They all took that as a no.

The Council had to die!

Dex, Mackenzie’s dog from After Today, was thankfully alive!

James: “Why did I wake up naked, spooning a dog?”

Once again, the action was very well written, and there was a lot of it. There are compelling cliffhangers at the end of chapters and sections. I just raced right along reading this and couldn’t put it down. Some great moments of humor relieve the bleakness of the story.

“Can you believe there was a book in the library on lock picking?” Jake said to Quinn, shaking his head.
“Who needs the internet when you have books?”

“These gangs, exactly how fucked up are they?” Even as he asked, James wasn’t sure he wanted to know. Why did it seem like Sy-V had upset the ratio of asshole to normal human beings, with the assholes coming out on top?

I liked all the characters and the chemistry between them. The sex scenes, of which there are many, are scorching hot. James is dominant and Rachel is submissive in the bedroom, but it’s only in the bedroom. This was handled well with there being a true partnership in the rest of life. This aspect of sex isn’t so kinky that it needs a trigger warning. There is no non-consent. There is much more story than sex, a good ratio. The plot kept me reading, and the sex spiced it up.

Overall, I loved this. It’s a great follow up to After Today, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series!

Contains graphic sex scenes. Very hot ones.

Occasional foul language.

3rd person past tense from Rachel and James.

Errors were fixed after I sent them to the author.

284 Pages

$5.99 at Amazon.

I received a copy of this for my honest review.

After Yesterday also contains the novella, The Beginning of the End.

The Beginning of the End
Jacqueline Hayley


It’s the beginning of the end…

Seventeen-year old Cassie is home alone planning her first ever house party, unaware the deadly Sy-V virus has begun to ravage humanity. But when most of her classmates fail to show for the party, she can’t contact her parents, and her best friend becomes sick, in the blink of an eye her entire world changes.

Stephen has lived next door to Cassie forever, only as the virus tears their friends and family apart, the boy-next-door suddenly becomes a hero burning brightly in the devastating dark of their new world. But no way could she fall in love. Not at this moment. With this boy. Right?

This novella is a prequel to The After series, which begins with After Today.

It’s about Cassie and Stephen, the teens we’ve seen in the novels. It covers their experience of the virus break out and the take over of the Council. It’s very short but very good!

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