A polyamorous romance about building a new life after the world falls apart.
Life in post-collapse rural Colorado fifteen years after the second U.S. Civil War can be perilous. Van and his girlfriend Hadas only recovered from a bandit attack that killed Van’s wife because their small community, Freshtown, helped them heal. The warm affection Van and Hadas share isn’t the love he lost, but it doesn’t have to be. He’s content.
Clark made it through the war, but his family fractured and now his relationships are in ruins… all of which must be his fault, or everyone who knows him wouldn’t say so. Figuring he can’t destroy ties he doesn’t create, he moves to Freshtown to start over, zero interpersonal complications welcome.
When Van and Clark meet, however, it’s nothing but complicated. Clark can’t stop flirting with quiet, loyal Van no matter how the electricity between them misfires, and Van craves more from the charismatic newcomer than casual hookups. Not until Hadas and others start coaxing a wary Clark out of his emotional isolation do the two men seem to have a chance.
When bandits threaten the community again, though, Van and Hadas must leave Clark behind to risk their lives defending it. To bring them safely home, Clark will have to decide whether Van’s love, Hadas’s friendship, and the belonging Freshtown offers are enough to overcome his fear of once again letting down everyone he cares about.
I’ve tried to make these as spoiler-free as possible, but to me it’s more important to give full content information to those who need it.
On-page or extensive discussion:
- Violence, including beatings and shootings.
- Memories of a modern U.S. civil war sparked by right wing-violence, being a child soldier, losing parents, forced relocation, emotional fallout of wartime experiences. (No extended flashbacks.) Mention of bombing of Jewish synagogue.
- Large wildfires several years in the past (none occur or threaten in book), and increased vigilance about fire.
- Past bandit attack that killed multiple people, left a character with scars on hands and face, and multiple characters with trauma and mental health needs afterwards – including one who was temporarily suicidal.
- Loss of teeth.
- Anxiety attack.
- Pursuit of violent lawbreakers with a goal of killing them, due to lack of robust criminal justice / rehabilitation system.
- Death of secondary character.
- Grief over loss of a romantic partner, sibling, adult child.
- Accident that required surgery and a hospital stay with limited availability of painkillers, and treatment consumed most of family’s financial resources.
- Disability after injury, character struggles with self-confidence, others’ perceptions, and economic anxiety.
- Marijuana use.
- Alcohol use.
- Sex, explicit, with mild D/s elements.
- Character goes into subspace during sex unplanned, which is undisclosed to partner until afterwards.
- Forced migration due to climate change.
Off-page or brief mention: