on November 28th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Personal Copy
Jack Valentini isn’t my type.
Sexy, brooding cowboys are fine in the movies, but in real life, I prefer a suit and tie. Proper manners. A close shave.
Jack might be gorgeous, but he’s also scruffy, rugged, and rude. He wants nothing to do with a “rich city girl” like me, and he isn’t afraid to say so.
But I’ve got a PR job to do for his family’s farm, so he’s stuck with me and I’m stuck with him. His glares. His moods. His tight jeans. His muscles.
His huge, hard muscles.
Pretty soon there’s a whole different kind of tension between us, the kind that has me misbehaving in barns, trees, and pickup trucks. I’ve never done anything so out of character—but it feels too good to stop.
And the more I learn about the grieving ex-Army sergeant, the better I understand him. Losing his wife left him broken and bitter and blaming himself. He doesn’t think he deserves a second chance at happiness.
But he’s wrong.
I don’t need to be his first love. If only he’d let me be his last.
After we Fall by Melanie Harlow played out like a super sweet Hallmark Movie: socialite city girl is thrown for a loop when her PR firm assigns her to represent an organic farm in small-town Michigan. I laughed, I sighed – I even cried happy tears!
Margot Lewiston, socialite, and PR wiz retreats to rural Michigan after an altercation with her ex-boyfriend involving baked goods food-fight. Combining work and recovery, Margot accepts a job planning PR for a local organic family farm. Margot is thrown for a loop when the handsome neighborhood farmer (and client) is Jack – an army vet, shaken from the war and unable to move on after the tragic loss of his wife.
This was the first book in a while that made me cry happy tears. There was something very heartbreaking about Jack’s stubbornness. A glutton for punishment, Jack insists on a life of loneliness, convinced that losing his wife was punishment for fighting in the war. He refuses to give in to his ever-growing attraction for Margot and remains loyal to his pain. I expected this book to be a silly, RomCom about a city slicker girl who fell for a cowboy. Instead, I found a very sweet and heartbreaking story about redemption and moving on to new chapters in your life.
Quick warning and rant about the synopsis…. I’m not sure where the synopsis got cowboy from. Jack is a farmer, who owns a farm, who grows farm-ish things. Not once is there mention of a cow (although several chickens) and Jack owns a horse, but by no means is he a cowboy. Also, the synopsis plays down the book’s angst. The blurb’s events are captured in the first ~90 pages, but then everything gets pretty serious pretty fast. Frustrating to see a 4+ star book marred by a 2-ish star book blurb.
I walked away from this book thinking about fate and how your first love isn’t always your last. Super heart-warming and a little silly, After We Fall was a nice and easy read on a long weekend. After we Fall is billed as a contemporary standalone and can truly stand alone. There are other books surrounding Margot’s best friends, but I didn’t miss anything but not having read them.