A Stella Review: After Ben (Seattle Stories #1) by Con Riley

RATING 5 out of 5 stars

A year after the sudden death of his longtime partner, Ben, Theo Anderson is still grieving. The last thing he’s looking for is a new lover. But as Theo soon discovers, sometimes life has other plans.

While Theo experiences a powerful physical attraction to fellow gym member Peter, it’s his new online friend, Morgan, who provides the intellectual challenge to make him come alive. Morgan is witty, brave, and irreverent, and Theo is ready to take the plunge… until he discovers Morgan might be half his age.

Theo’s late partner was significantly older—enough to strain Theo’s relationship with his family—and the potential of another relationship being cut short leaves him gunshy. Theo needs to lay Ben’s memory to rest, reconcile with his family, and rekindle neglected friendships if he’s to start afresh with a new lover. But Theo isn’t the only one with a past.

His biggest challenge, in living after Ben, might not be his to face.

After Ben is one of my favourite books in the mm genre and the first audiobook (in English) I listened too, even if my English isn’t good enough for it. I have no clue how many times I read this novel and each time I am overwhelmed by the emotions I get. And here lays the reason why I love the author, and all her works, so much: the feelings she puts in her stories are always so strong and real. In particular, as you can understand from the blurb, After Ben is not exactly a light story, there is a lot of grief and hurt to manage, Theo needed time to process and try to overcome the death of his beloved Ben. He’s not sure how to do it, still he’s trying, some days more than ever. Until a moment, where different events happens all together: the meeting and sudden attraction with Peter, the long chats online till late night with Morgan, the changes at his day job. And then it’s time to say goodbye to Ben while trying to reconcile the past with the present.

Although it’s not a light story, it was still a pleasure to read, cause the plot, the scenes, the characters, are all so well done the reading didn’t become heavy or too stifling. I could feel an air of positiveness and joy for the future, that ease the important themes the book tells.

I can’t recommend After Ben enough, you won’t be disappointed. And be sure to check Con Riley works, all of them are awesome.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is lovely and fitting, this artist is a guarantee.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link  Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited


Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 344 pages

Published October 5th 2019 by Amazon Digital Services (first published July 1st 2012)


Edition Language English

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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