After We Fall by Marquita Valentine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After We Fall is the story of police officer Hunter Sloan and pet-lover Evangeline Ambrose, who recently escaped an abusive marriage. Evangeline is learning to trust and open up to the world again while Hunter is dealing with his troubled past in his own way.
I’ve spent a couple of days considering what to say about After We Fall. I enjoyed the book and thought that the characters were well-developed. It was conflicting to read compelling characters dive into a relationship that didn’t feel quite believable.
From the onset we find out that Hunter, the cop who found Evangeline beaten six months prior to the start of the story, hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind ever since that night. This struck me as kind of creepy, considering the circumstances in which he found her.
Hunter does a decent job trying to restrain himself from being too overbearing, but I think their romance would have been better served by moving slower. Evangeline seems too accepting of everything (mild spoilers: being commanding with her and mild physical restraint during sexy-times; the reveal of Hunter’s secret hobby) at times I thought she’d hesitate instead.
Overall the characters, as well as their friends Hayden, Saylor, and Piper (who really added a lot to the book), are what make the story. Jake, the dog, is also a great asset to the story and a basis for common ground between them. Better pacing, more passage of time, and more focus on Evangeline rebuilding friendships and mentally healing would have made the relationship feel more natural.
I don’t think I’d re-read After We Fall, but I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Hard to Fall, which features Evangeline’s friend Saylor and Hunter’s friend Hayden.