After We Fall by Melanie Harlow
Publication Date: November 28th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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 for ten days, 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 three years ago 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.
“Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be even better after we fall.” —Unknown
“He was kissing me like I’d never been kissed before. Like he was going to war. Like he didn’t care about breathing. Like something in him needed something in me so desperately, he had to find it or die trying.”
“Something that had long been closed off inside me was opening up, and I felt a rush as it filled with her presence, her trust, her understanding. The idea that she could feel something for me. The hope that all would be forgiven. The promise of a new life. A new beginning. A new love.”
“I was vulnerable to her in a way I’d never been to anyone. Everything was bare to her now, all my secrets, all my suffering, all my scars. And she still wanted me.”
If you’re looking for a swoon worthy and angst filled second chance romance, than look no further, After We Fall is just the right book for you. For me, this book is one of those rare beauties that if I could rate it more than 5 stars, I totally would….And that says something. For me, After We Fall is one of those epic love stories that sinks its hooks in to you instantly and will stay with you way after the story ends.
After We Fall is told from dual points of view and follows the story of Jack and Margot. Margot never takes any risks and always does what’s expected of her….That is until one day, she finally has enough. When she sees her ex engaged to someone else, less that 24hrs after proposing to her, that is the last straw. Margot is no longer the model daughter and no longer is letting herself be stepped on. Her actions seemed like a good idea at the time, but only led to gossip. That left Margot with no choice but to leave town until things quieted down. When Margot left town, the last thing she planned on was Jack. You see, Jack and his family are new clients of hers. Margot is supposed to be wowing them with marketing ideas, not swooning over Jack. But, that is just easier said than done….Jack has been a mess since he lost the love of his life. He is just a shell of a man and lives his life the best way that he can. The last thing he ever planned on was Margot. Margot represents everything he wishes he had, but lost. In turn that made Jack even moodier (if possible) and his attitude; an all time worse. Even with all of that, it was impossible to not connect with this broody, grumpy man. His pain and heartbreak is very real and very raw. I know I was rooting for him the entire time….
After We Fall totally exceeded my expectations, taking me on a wonderful, angst filled journey. This story had a lot of ups and down and a lot of heartbreaking moments. I loved every second with Margot and Jack. Their push and pull had me begging for more and hoping for second chances. Margot and Jack’s story really pulled at my heart. It made me laugh and smile. I loved just how real these two characters were and how they were in no way perfect. I adored Jack. He is the book boyfriend that you just want to fight for. When he’s not being a broody jerk, he really is an amazing man with one hell of an alpha side…I don’t even think he knew existed. And Margot…I loved how she always tried to see the bright side of everything and wasn’t afraid to be herself…no matter how awkward the situation.
After The Fall is truly an amazing second chance romance. The characters and story-line are unforgettable and so easy to love. This book will definitely be making my list of top reads of 2016. I hope you’ll take a chance on this sweet second chance romance.
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*
“Wow,” she said, shutting the screen door behind her. “That was close. Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome.” I crossed my arms, wishing I’d thought to grab a shirt. “Want to tell me what you were doing out there?”
Her cheeks colored. “Um, I was taking a run.”
“Up a tree?”
She laughed nervously. “No. Well, I didn’t start out in a tree. That happened later.”
I cocked my head, unable to resist giving her a hard time. Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Barbie? “Oh yeah?”
“Yes. See, I left the cottage I’m renting without using the bathroom by mistake,” she began, twisting her fingers together, “and I was planning on running a loop around the farm, but it’s bigger than I thought.”
“Ah. So you were looking for a bathroom in the woods?”
“Well, yes.” She swallowed. “Sort of. But then I heard a splash and saw you…” Her cheeks were practically purple now.
I played dumb. “Saw me what?”
“Saw you naked, OK?” she blurted, throwing her hands up. “I admit it—I saw you naked.”
I had no hangups about nudity, but I was damn serious about my privacy, and about people sneaking up on me. But her embarrassment was funny. The two times I’d seen her before, she’d been so polished and poised. It felt good to put her in her place a little. “So you climbed a tree for a better view, is that it?”
Bowing her head, she dragged the toe of one shoe across the wood planks of the porch floor. “Something like that.” Then she looked up at me. Took a breath. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I was—I mean, I got—I couldn’t—” She sighed, briefly closing her eyes. “I have no excuse. Will you accept my apology?”
She was prettier without makeup, I decided. And the way she wore her hair off her face emphasized the wideness of her eyes, the angle of her cheekbones, the arch of her brows. Her lips didn’t need all that glossy crap, either. They were a perfect rosy pink, and I wondered if they’d feel as soft as they looked.
Fuck. I hadn’t kissed anyone in three years.
Clearing my throat, I took a step back. “Yeah. It’s fine.” Now get out of here.
She didn’t move. “So you’re not going to fire me?”
“I never hired you.”
“I know. But I really want this job. I think I can help, Jack. I know I can.”
“Suit yourself. I want nothing to do with it.” My name on her lips was trouble. Needing some distance from her, I started walking toward the dock to get my shoes and socks, but she followed me. God, she was a pest. It reminded me of the way Steph used to tag along after the boys when we were kids, wanting to get in our games.
“Are you going to be like this the entire time I’m here?” she asked.
“Moody and uncooperative?”
“Why? Do you hate me that much?”
“I don’t hate anybody. I just don’t see why we should pay some city girl who’s never set foot on a farm to advise us.” We reached the dock, and I leaned down to get my stuff.
“I’m not even asking to be paid, so piss off!” she shouted, her voice carrying on the water.
I straightened. “Oh, you’re working for free?”
“Then you’re an idiot. Or so rich you don’t need the money.”
“I’m not an idiot,” she said through clenched teeth.
“So you’re rich, then.” I don’t know why I was being such an asshole. But for some reason, I did not want to let her see another side of me, or see another side to her. “I should have guessed.”
She crossed her arms. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you look like you’ve led a charmed life. Like you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted handed to you. Like you’ve never gotten your hands dirty.”
“So get them dirty.”
I almost fell off the dock. “What?”
“Get them dirty. Teach me about working this farm. I want to learn.”
Was she serious? The last thing I needed was to drag her ass around all day, explaining things. Or stare at her ass all day, imagining things. But one look at her defiant face and I shook my head. “Why do I feel like if I say no, you’ll just keep bothering me?”
She smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, rocking forward on her toes. “Because I will. I don’t like being told no.”
“Of course you don’t.” Jesus, she was trouble. A bad apple—smooth and shiny on the outside, spoiled rotten on the inside. But for no good reason, I found myself giving in. “Fine. Go change your clothes.”
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2fCkHxU
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2gN23sa
About the Author:
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
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