Darren Brown is terrified and on edge although no one knows why. He's slowly finding his way back to normalcy when he gets the feeling that someone is watching him. He needs stability in his life, support, purpose; he needs to believe in something again. This story is about Daren's journey toward redemption and resolution.
Darren seems so lost that all the citizens of McKinton want to help him, but no one knows how and their attempts just seem to push Darren deeper into his shell. He's obviously nervous and afraid of something but won't confide in anyone. He gets hints about past issues, but is so self-absorbed that he is ignoring all the signs he's being given by Stefan's spirit. When Lee Baush comes to town, he's wary of him until Lee makes his intentions clear. Lee is trying to make sense of his life after the death of his youngest brother, Stefan. He's not convinced that it was a suicide. He's looking for answers and is convinced that Darren, who was Stefan's best friend, has them. He, however, wasn't counting on the sexual explosion that occurs between him and Darren.
I liked Lee and Darren, although after being apart for so long and not having been that close before, I was surprised that they became lovers so quickly. I was also amazed by the rapid transition in Darren's personality. Almost overnight, he changes from a shy, withdrawn, nervous boy to a confident, sexy young man. The change is so drastic that he felt like another person all together. Stefan, as a novice spirit, is adorable. Considering his mischievous nature, I would not have thought that Connor would have been a good influence, but was pleasantly surprised when Connor befriends Stefan and teaches him the ways of the spirit world. Their friendship does make me wonder though. In her next book, is Bailey planning on treating us to her vision of a romance spirit-style?
'Aftermath' is the fifth book in the Southern Spirits series and can be read alone, but will be much more enjoyable if read after the other four books in the series. I'd recommend it for anyone who likes mysteries, hot sexual encounters, and happy endings.