Published by Atria
Publication Date: November 11th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Sweet Thing
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a deeply emotional contemporary romance about the second chances waiting beyond the shattered dreams of youth.
Under the bright arena lights of a rodeo show, young Avelina Belo falls for a handsome cowboy with a larger-than-life personality. After a whirlwind courtship, she happily moves away from her family in northern California and settles into married life with her cowboy on a seven-thousand-acre cattle ranch in Montana. One freak accident later, Avelina’s hopes for the future come to an end.
Nate Myers graduated from UCLA medical school at the top of his class, ready to follow in the footsteps of his father, a superstar cardiothoracic surgeon. Six years later, Nate’s career is being ruined by a malpractice suit. Questioning himself for the first time, he retreats to a Montana cattle ranch to visit his uncle and gain perspective. There, he meets a beautiful young woman named Avelina who teaches him more than he ever knew about matters of the heart.
“But if you’re willing to look close enough, no matter how devastating the storm may be, after the rain you’ll always find new life sprouting in the aftermath.”
The only thing devastating about this book is how much I didn’t like it. I warn you that the following review will contain spoilers, so please read on at your own risk. After The Rain has the makings of what could be an awesome story. In fact, I was actually enjoying myself for the first 10% and that is saying something considering how quickly it turned into a tragedy. But pretty much after the “event” with Avelina’s husband the story just got progressively worse.
“Sometimes there’s no reasonable explanation why shit happens. We can take all the precautions, go through our lives being terrified of everything, and still there’s a chance that we’ll walk out the front door and get hit by a stray bullet meant for someone else.”
My biggest gripe starts with the characters. When Jake, Avelina’s husband, becomes paralyzed he does a complete 180. Instead of being this charming guy that you love at the start of the story, he starts taking his pain out on Avelina and starts beating her. I do understand that the accident changed him but it just seemed so out there. Like making him a villain would make it easier to deal with his eventual death. Avelina, in the years after he commits suicide, would go from putting Jake on a pedestal to saying how she hated him. I get that grief is something that makes no sense but it was so hard trying to understand her as a person when she was either switching roles from martyr to executioner. Top that off with her bizarre behavior (stalking a married man that looks like her husband and asking him to beat her) and I just couldn’t care anymore. I hate when characters play victim and she constantly pulled that card throughout the book. It only got worse when she met Nate. Nate who has absolutely no personality. All I can really recall about Nate is that he’s 1. a workaholic 2. he’s so hot but has no time for sex or relationships and 3. instantly falls for Avelina and literally uproots his life, more than once, to be with her.
“But you haven’t told me how you feel.”
“You said after the rain.”
Let’s gloss over the fact that there is no development between them. Maybe it’s just me but I felt NO connection between them. Nate came off as a horny 13 year old and Avelina was such a hot, drunk mess I’m surprised if she noticed he was around. When Nate “realizes” he’s in love with Avelina it’s during a corny ass conversation with a 10 year old heart patient that is an “old soul” and blah blah blah. I didn’t think this was cute. In fact I was cringing the whole time. But the real kicker that made me loath this book was that once Nate and Avelina declare their undying love, Avelina makes Nate wait a year to be together. For real? Honestly, I would have DNFd this 20% in had I known this was going to happen in the last 10%. All of these elements really left me in a state of irritation and unhappiness. I really loved Ms. Carlino’s novel Sweet Thing and was hoping that despite the heavier content, I would be in for a well written and original story. What I got was this. Sure it was original but very disappointing. Maybe it’s just me because I know many people that love it, but it was not my cup of tea.