Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: After the Rain by Renée Carlino

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After the Rain
    by: Renée Carlino

Publication Date: Nov. 11, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 304 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

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.

Wow. Talk about an emotional read! I was absolutely shattered for Avelina and heartbroken over everything she's gone through in her young life. She has endured tragedy no person should ever know and felt emotional pain and loss on a devastating scale. My heart ached for her loss of spirit and the life she had once adored. She has shut out the world and lives in her own type of isolation, not letting herself connect with anyone.
"She existed in a grief-filled world that was off limits to the living."
I have only read one other novel by Carlino and I have to say this has been my favorite thus far. The writing is beautiful and the emotions she evokes are both raw and moving at the same time. By delving into the past first, we get a much more powerful, intense story, thus having witnessed Ava and Nate's lives prior to meeting. While Ava's storyline is much more upsetting, Nate isn't really living life either. He has been dedicated to following in his father's footsteps and becoming the best heart surgeon there is. He doesn't have time for love. I love that Nate is a heart surgeon- day in and day out, he deals with literal matters of the heart, yet can't seem to get his own to truly beat and use it for anything else than purely staying alive.
After a misdiagnosis and tragic accident, Nate's father suggests he take some time away from work, and sends him to a cattle ranch in Montana to help out his uncle. It is here he meets Ava, and she is like one of those wild, unbroken horses that runs free. However, Ava hasn't felt free in years. She has been weighed down by guilt- guilt she should NEVER have to feel, as what happened was not her fault. She is incredibly stubborn and Nate knows it will be no easy to task to bring her back to life.
"Well, I suppose she needs to learn that there are as many ways to love as there are to die."
Nate and Ava's relationship definitely has its ups and downs. Ava is extremely reluctant to trust or let herself feel again. Letting Nate assuage the guilt she carries is not something Ava does easily. It takes time and patience on his behalf. She needs him to not give up on her, but she really needs to face the down of demons of her past in order to move forward.
Nate's grand gesture towards the end was such an awesome addition to the story. It was a bit bittersweet, but it showed his devotion to her and to their future together. Finally, the heart surgeon understands what it means to give your entire heart to someone and use it for love.
If you're looking for a sexy, steamy read this isn't it. It's sexy and steamy at times, but emotion overcomes that, which I really liked. Watching Nate and Ava fall in love and realize just how much they needed one another in their lives was really beautiful and I would highly recommend this one if you're in the mood for a good, emotional love story.

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  1. i'm all for a novel that is also emotional! I think I might like this one. This is the type of NA book i need.

    great review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. Oh I love the symbolism of Nate being a heart surgeon and also learning to heal their hearts romantically! I've read Renee's other books and loved them, she really does have a way with creating such emotional stories. By the sounds of it I'll have to prepare myself before starting this one! Lovely review girl! :)

  3. I really liked this one, up until the last 10%. I hated Avelina's actions after that. I still really liked the book, but not as much as I would have without that.


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