Review Tuesday: After the Rain by Renee Carlino

I hated this book. It was shit. I really was expecting to like this book – I loved her first one Sweet Thing, and her second one was okay (not amazing but ok), but this one, holy moly, this one was just shit. And yeah, this is definitely going to contain spoilers.

From Goodreads:

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.

After the RainNow, the book starts off with Ava experiencing a massive tragedy. I mean massive. And I gasped, and felt such sympathy for her…and I still felt that in the middle of the book when all she did was drink, remain oblivious to everyone else, or when she was just plain mean. I still felt it when she yanked Nate around like a yo-yo playing the game of “do I want you, or do I not?”

But then I got about 70% of the way though it and my sympathy evaporated. I understand what the author was trying to do in that Ava had to get over the tragedy, trust people again, learn what she wanted to do, grow and mature etc etc. But the pacing was off, and while I understood that Ava needed to do all of those things, how she handled herself and Nate was beyond crap, and Nate shouldn’t have waited for her. Nate should have cut and run – not because of her tragedy but because she is a conceited selfish childish asshole. I was completely disgusted by the ending.

Ava jerks Nate around for the majority of the book. But what sealed the deal of bullshit for me was when they get into a fight – he has to perform open heart surgery and she gets left in a cold truck over night because apparently she couldn’t use the hospital phone and call for a ride – and then WITHOUT A WORD TO NATE she gets on a plane to Spain and he once again has to go and chase after her and get her to talk to him. Just when you think this bullshit can’t get any more ridiculous she decides that she has to figure out who she is without being defined by someone else and so that means no contact for a year while she does that and Nate (having flown to Spain for essentially 24 hours) goes home to WAIT for a year.

So Nate then writes her letters – one of every month they’re apart – and by this point in the book I just want to finish the damn thing because I hate it so much – and a year later she shows up on his doorstep “all fixed” and “ready to be his forever”. Really? You are? You haven’t seen him in a year, you haven’t contacted him in a year, and yet apparently they’re just gonna pick up where they left off. AND THEN she says something about how his letters kept her going. You know what should have kept her going? WORKING SHIT OUT TOGETHER rather than high tailing it every time she had a feeling.

I really didn’t like either character. Both of their dialogue was stilted, and they felt flat and one dimensional.

I have nothing good to say about this book other than that I was so excited when I finish it because I didn’t have to read it anymore.

Don’t read this book. Just don’t. It’s not worth it.

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