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.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
For the past six months, Hunter Sloan has done his best to get Evangeline Ambrose out of his head. Of all the women in the world to obsess over, Evangeline occupies the very last spot on the list. Had Hunter met Evangeline in a bar or the grocery store or some other totally ordinary place, obsessing might be alright and asking her out would be a total no-brainer. Unfortunately, Hunter met her the night her soon to be ex-husband beat the holy hell out of her and Hunter found her barely alive walking along the road.
For six long months, Evangeline has fought tooth and nail to reclaim her life and her sense of security. For many long years, Evangeline lived with a man who stripped her of everything: her friends, her family, her sense of safety, her sense of security, and her sense of self. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the night he beat the hell out of her and she saw no other option but to escape. Walking along the road, Evangeline found herself rescued by a police officer who delivered her safely to women’s shelter where she worked on both her physical and mental recovery. For the first time in years, Evangeline is on her own and her new found independence starts with moving into her new apartment. Carrying the boxes up the stairs isn’t easy so it’s a good thing the beautiful man with the sexy voice showed up to help. And damn all if that beautiful man with the sexy voice isn’t her savior, Hunter Sloan.
Evangeline has absolutely no intention of getting involved with any man but Hunter Sloan is a hard man to resist. Because of her background and his involvement in her rescue, Hunter knows the things that trigger Evangeline’s anxieties and fears and works hard to make her feel safe and secure. Hunter is kind, caring, careful, and sexy as hell. Hunter also makes it perfectly clear in a totally non-aggressive, pressure-free way that he is interested in Evangeline and wants to know her better. Slowly but surely, Evangeline allows Hunter into her life but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her moments of worry and concern. To be fair, Hunter has done nothing to invite either worry or concern but Evangeline’s history makes her wary.
As each day goes by, Hunter and Evangeline grow closer and Evangeline’s world gets a little bit bigger. Her quirky and awesome neighbor offers her a job at the animal shelter, she adopts a dog, and she begins to find her footing where he ex is concerned. Not willing to quietly into the night, Evangeline’s ex is up to no good but Evangeline is a different woman now and not willing to give up her hard earned new life. In fact, with Hunter’s help, Evangeline is able to take full control of her new life, stand up to her ex, and move forward rather than buckling under to fear and doubt. For Hunter’s part, helping Evangeline isn’t a part of his job or out of some sense of duty but because he genuinely cares for the woman and wants to see her happy and free. In fact, Hunter is willing to go to great lengths to protect Evangeline even it means exposing himself as a trained and very skilled fighter. To protect her, Hunter is willing to lose her.
The Bottom Line: Welcome back, Hunter Sloan!! Until this book, we only had the briefest of glimpses of Hunter Sloan and that glimpse was of a kind and caring man who spent his off hours transporting battered women to a local shelter. After We Fall gives us a far deeper look into Hunter’s life and that deeper look reveals what we already knew, Hunter isn’t just a sexy beast, he is also some kind of wonderful. Evangeline is a completely likeable character and she only becomes more so the longer the book goes on. Under Hunter’s care and with his support, Evangeline once again finds her confidence and sense of self and she truly blossoms. Oh, make no mistake this isn’t a sweet and easy road to an HEA and there is quite a bit of drama to make the eventual HEA totally worth the wait. As with so many of Valentine’s books, After We Fall was a one sitting, stay up way too late read and it was worth every minute of sleepiness the next day.
About the author and where to find her:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.