Title: After We Fall
Author: Marquita Valentine
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Take the Fall #3
Main Characters: Hunter and Evangeline
Release Date: April 2016
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
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.
These characters were introduced in the last book in this series, and I'll be honest, I wasn't sure I would like their story. Evangeline's back-story is not an easy one, and while I like emotion-filled stories, depressing doesn't work for me at all. Thankfully, this was not that book. While her story absolutely is heartbreaking, it's also inspiring because she overcomes and works through the trauma even when it would be so easy to let her hold back.
Hunter and Evangeline met when he was on the job as a cop. He found her beaten to within an inch of her life by her husband and wandering along the highway. It's a night she doesn't want to remember. It's one he can't forget. Even though he's helped tons of domestic abuse victims during the course of his career, he can't forget Evangeline. Six months later, in a twist of fate, she ends up living across the hall from her.
Evangeline doesn't trust men and she sure doesn't trust her judgment of them anymore. As a result, she doesn't want to have anything to do with Hunter despite her attraction to him. Slowly things evolve as she begins to heal from her trauma.
I loved Hunter's patience with Evangeline. His own childhood experiences gives him a great insight as to what she endured. I loved him so much and the fact that he always put her needs first. He's a great hero...and he fosters dogs. You can't help but fall for a hero like that. (And note...I did really like the side story with Jake. Added into Evangeline's job at the animal shelter, and I really liked that entire aspect of the story.)
My only complaint...before she got married, Evangeline was a huge YouTube music star. We didn't get to see her reclaim that part of her. I could understand why she wasn't quite ready to go public again, but I wanted to see her find her passion for music again. Just one more part of herself to reclaim from her jerk of an ex.
I'm ready for the next story in the book...maybe between the firefighter and the manager of the animal shelter. Sparks certainly seemed to by flying in that final scene of the book. I think I'll like them together. I'm definitely looking forward to more from this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.