After Ben was a beautiful, painful, and engrossing read. More than just the story of a man who loses one lover and finds another, this is also a story about grief, acceptance, forgiveness, and regret. It's about learning from a past you can't change, and applying those lessons to a present (and future) that you can. This book had a lot of depth and subtlety, much more than I expected it to, and being surprised thusly is always a rare and wonderful experience. Maybe that's why I keep my expectations low. ;)I especially identified with and enjoyed the parts dealing with forum-dwelling and internet relationships... I can relate. Boy, can I relate... and everything here rang 100% true, including the surreal experience of meeting a stranger that you know intimately, yet don't know at all. The sex between the (present) MCs, when they finally get there, was incredibly intimate and quite hot, though I could have done without all the flashback-lovin' between Theo and his late partner.This book is full of sadness and angst, but never gets bogged down in melodrama. The writing style was easy and enjoyable, quite skilled, though I feel the author still has some honing to do. At times I was knocked out of the story by the repetitive overuse of a phrase, or a lack of focus. I was most put out and disbelieving over Theo's blindness about Morgan's past, in the face of ANVIL-SIZED clues. I'll definitely read more by Con Riley.