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Published by Loveswept on April 26th 2016
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After winning raves for Take the Fall (“crackling with tension, intrigue, and romance”—Katy Evans) and When We Fall (“sexy, emotional, heartfelt”—Monica Murphy), Marquita Valentine ratchets up the tension as new beginnings lead to undeniable passion.
A tough cop with an even tougher past, Hunter Sloan has never let anyone stop him from getting what he wants—and he wants Evangeline Ambrose bad. With her gentle curves and raw vulnerability, Hunter’s beautiful, mysterious new neighbor awakens his protective side. Determined to do right by a woman who’s gone through hell and back, Hunter could be the one to take away the pain—so long as his own secrets don’t sink their relationship before it begins.
Having escaped an abusive marriage, Evangeline simply wants to start over in the small, quiet town of Forrestville. She’s also avoiding all contact with the opposite sex, because she just can’t trust her instincts when it comes to men—not even with the sinfully sexy cop next door. So why can’t she stop thinking about him? Hunter has darkness in his soul, and yet no one ever made her feel so safe. For all her best laid plans, Evangeline didn’t count on choices this hard—or temptation this hot.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
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I’ll be completely honest, I went into this book completely blind, didn’t read the synopsis and I couldn’t recall the connection between book 2, WHEN WE FALL (which I read) and this one, but thankfully again the author did a great job of making this book an amazing standalone spinoff and I was able to enjoy it without wracking my brain trying to recall the correlation. AFTER WE FALL was about Hunter Sloan and Evangeline Ambrose (love her name BTW!) and their relationship. They met each other in the most unlikely of circumstances, one of which Evangeline probably wishes to forget about and Hunter could NOT forget about. Hunter was the cop on duty when he found Evangeline bruised and battered as a result of domestic abuse. He instantly felt protective of her and drawn to her. Although the circumstances for which they met were not ideal, Hunter was not able to get her off his mind and hoped to one day see her again, alive, healthy and FAR away from whomever hurt her. Evangeline has now since gotten away from her husband and attempting to rebuild herself and her life…literally starting from rock bottom. She moves to a new town, into a new apartment and has no one to lean on. Fate would have it that these would meet again. She is not out looking for anyone to help comfort her, she just wants to move on and find herself, but fate would have it that these would meet again.
AFTER WE FALL is about finding yourself again and even though it wasn’t planned, you are able to find yourself with the help of someone else.
Marquita Valentine did a beautiful job of portraying Evangeline’s growth throughout the novel. Even though we didn’t get to read firsthand the abuse she endured from her husband, we did get flashbacks of it and because of that, we were able to see how strong Evangeline had become and how resilient she was. Domestic abuse is not a light topic to discuss and I think Marquita went about it that right way in AFTER WE FALL. I will admit it was intense at times to read about what Evangeline had to go through, but it made her progress as a character that much more potent. She went from this broken (literally) woman to this fiercely feisty woman and I, for one, loved reading that transition.
Then we have Hunter…*swoon*! He was the PERFECT man to come into Evangeline’s life. He showed her what a healthy relationship was supposed to look like and BE like. He was the right combination of protective and passionate without overdoing either. Even though he wanted to jump head first into a relationship with her and he knew that he was in for the “long haul”, he was willing to take baby steps and allow Evangeline to come to those decisions on her own. He knew that if he didn’t, he would lose his chance with her. She had all her decision making abilities taken away from her with her ex and he didn’t want to do that to her again. For that, I LOVED his character <3 Oh and I loved how adorable he was with Jake, his dog. *awe*.
In the epilogue, Marquita hinted at Hayden (Hunter’s friend) noticing Saylor (Evangeline’s friend)…potential for another book!! I’m curious to see if book #4 is about them! Only time will tell!
Caro’s Review: 4 Stars
“After we fall” is the story of Evageline. She is a victim of domestic abuse and has moved to a new apartment, as a part of the divorce from her brutal husband. Her new neighbor? None other than the good-looking police Officer Hunter, who took care of her the night her whole life exploded around Evageline. Can she learn to trust another man again?
This is the second book in this series I read. Admittedly, I liked the first book I read by this author, “When we fall”, better. Considering that this book is on the shorter side, I liked the pace of the romance per se, but there was ultimately too much going on. There was this issue with the domestic abuse, then Hunter’s hobby career as a MMA-Fighter, Eva’s job in the animal shelter, their friends, Hunter’s own childhood-story plus of course their romance – it was all too much for such a short book. It was a sweet, sexy and heartwarming book, but ultimately everything felt too rushed. The writing was great and the characters were adorable. Really a pity, that this story was so crammed with issues, otherwise it could have been a total winner for me.
All in all, I rate “After we fall” with 4 stars (I wavered between 3 and 4 stars, to be honest) and can recommend it to fans of romance novels on the shorter side. Can be read as a standalone, contains explicit sexual scenes.
Ralou’s Review: 4 “Angel” stars
This book is definitely all about the emotions. Not only the ones the characters are going through, but also the ones it evokes in the reader.
“These are the sounds of my heart, the sounds of my future, and the sounds of my home.”
Once again, my attention focused on the female character, Evangeline. I was watching closely every one of her thoughts, reactions and feelings because when you have a woman that has gone through severe domestic violence, your brain stays on that. At least, mine did. Although, Hunter’s role in everything above, undoubtedly doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could I, really, when his personality and the way he’s treating her had me mushy inside?
Hunter shares an incredibly strong, deep and intimate connection with Evangeline. You see, he’s one of the cops who had found her after her husband had beaten her almost to death and he’s the one who helped her recover. Although, after Eva got back to her life and got to stand up for herself and the decisions she made during her recovery, she never came out of Hunter’s mind and heart. Hunter since the moment he met Eva, he lost every interest for any other woman. She had become his obsession – with the good way – and his angel. Until he saw her again while she was moving in the apartment across fro him. Tell about core-rocking shock! This is the moment that sets their love in motion and ready to run its final lap.
Their every interaction is overflowing with unspoken and unrevealed feelings which pulls the thread of attraction between them even tighter. Evangeline, though she wants nothing to do with men for her very far future, she can’t deny the strong pull between her and Hunter and how her heart and whole body reacts when she is near him. But she is not alone in that. Hunter is trying to deal with the same and more, since he knows that he has to treat Eva with more delicacy, care, gentleness than usual because, otherwise, he may loses her and that is a scenario he can’t stand to consider. The difference though is that whatever he does, comes directly from his heart and his delicate behavior has its roots, not on the fact that Evangeline is a domestic violence victim, but because she means the world to him. And this is what makes their story amazing and so wonderful.
There’s a fire in her eyes that I would love to get burned by.
Although, what bothered me about this book was the fact it was progressing fast and the unfolding seemed a bit rushed. Which had as a result for me to not enjoy it as much as I would like. Marquita once again let her fantastic writing to take over the story and captivate me in its sweet world, but her rushness kind of put a break on it. But, I would definitely read it again if the chance would arose. It’s an amazing love about a couple that denies to give up on each other and comes out stronger with every obstacle is thrown in their path.
How can you not love it and to recommend it to everyone so they can love it too? 🙂