3.9 stars. Yes, I'm being difficult with going so close to the solid 4 and not giving that extra tenth of a point. While I found myself fully immersed in this dark, quiet, sinful story with no major complaints, I felt like something was a hair off kilter and I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.Could it have been the fact that this couple seemed like an improved-upon version of Daisy (that was the guy, believe it or not) and what's-her-face (FFS, I can't remember her name now, the young one) from [b:Skin Game|10482097|Skin Game|Cara McKenna|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1302811683s/10482097.jpg|15387560]? Kelly reminded me of Daisy for some reason. I don't even know why, but something about the two characters kept running together for me.Or...could it have been that we had hard-edged sex then were dropped back into Erin's (wow, I had to go look her name up too because I don't think it was stated more than a couple of times in the book) career and this side story she had with a patient which wasn't related to the main crux of the entire premise? I actually liked the interactions with Erin and her patient, but thought the push toward a career rethink was out of place for the context of what was trying to be accomplished between Kelly and Erin. There was a lack of focus when the plot veered in another direction.I remember back when I'd read Willing Victim and wished for more info on the characters because it was just that good. Now, I'm realizing that WV really did a great job of getting to the point without making us sit through extraneous info dumps which were unnecessary.As an erotic book, this was SMOKING. As a romance book, this was melancholy. The notion of two people meeting in a psych ward (as co-workers, not doctor and patient) is a new and different take on the tired office romance. The majority of the world isn't playing secretary and boss, so I'm glad someone decided to pony up on how the other 99% lives. In the case of After Hours the melancholy tone didn't bother me. These were the lives of the characters and we got to see it.Back on the erotic front, let's address why Cara McKenna has got the gift of sex writing. For the people in the world who want to read about strong, dominant men but can't get around the entire pain and submission concept of BDSM, McKenna offers something which appeals to the kink of letting a man be alpha without all of the staging and routine which can make BDSM almost tedious to read at times. This type of sexual play feels more organic and attainable for the average person, which ups the fascination tenfold.There's a market for in-between books like this - stories which let the man get rough and aggressive, without making this about ownership and props and how far you can push a person.As well, there's a lovely strength in the women that McKenna writes. They allow themselves to be guided, but also know when to fight back for control. There's a brilliant play on give-and-take in this writing. Not everything is about giving up control. Sometimes control is earned; sometimes it's taken back.What we have between us is strong and stupid.What makes this a book worth reading is watching two people learn to come to terms with what makes them tick, and figuring out how to find themselves within the boundaries of an unexpected relationship. There is heat, there is compassion, there is revelation. And I love when something which starts out as "just hot sex" turns into something far deeper than what you'd initially expect. Raw can evolve into real beauty.Just us two, stripped and spent, hearts beating together in the dark.This book provided from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted in the final copy.