After the Rain – Review


“When we’re young, we want so badly to connect with others that we end up reflecting them, losing ourselves in the process.”

I continued my Renee Carlino marathon with After the Rain, and like every book of Renee’s, I devoured this in no time. In many of her books, Renee dives deep into the grief of the loss of a loved one. I think this is a subject she knows well, unfortunately, as it’s a common theme in her novels. Somehow she has a way of writing it in a way that isn’t completely heartwrenching, which could be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. With death occurring early in the book, it’s easier to separate oneself from the sadness. This story was more about life after loss, which made the character growth exponential. I really enjoyed getting into the trenches of Avelina’s life and experiencing the sadness with her. I only wish there had been a little more show than tell. I didn’t feel this story quite as deeply as I wish I could have.


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.

I found there to be a fair amount of repetition in this book and I was sure this was going to be another three-star read for me. Luckily, there was a twist in the latter half of the book that completely caught me off guard and redeemed the story. It had the deep, heartfelt love I was looking for and showed the characters moving forward in a healthy way. I absolutely loved the ending and the significance of the title. These pleasant surprises made me bump up my rating, something I rarely do past the halfway mark of the story. Usually, I know pretty early on where each book falls on the scale of my rating system.

Overall, this was a pretty quaint read, but Before We Were Strangers and Swear on This Life are holding strong as my favorites. We will see where Sweet Thing and its companion novella fall on the spectrum soon!

Rating: 3.5 stars

Purchase on Amazon.


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