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Release Blitz Review: After You



Title: After You
Author: Stephanie Rose
Release Date: Feb 21, 2017
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After You is the final STANDALONE novel in the Second Chances series.

I had the happily ever after . . . until it was gone.
Three became two. And I was alone.
Our time—my time—was over. Alone was the right way to be. The only way. Life was me, my son, and my memories. Until the day I met someone who turned my lonely existence upside down.
This man made me smile, made me laugh, made me ache for his touch.
But I couldn’t.
He shouldn’t awaken feelings I resolved to bury with my husband. But he did.
I couldn’t let his presence make my heart race. I couldn’t let him into our little world, where he fit so perfectly. I couldn’t want Nick.
But I did.

***

I rescued people. My family relied on me to lend a hand. Everyone thought of me as the fixer, but no one had the first clue how to fix me. Until Ellie.
The freckled beauty’s sorrow was like a well-worn shirt—easy and familiar, difficult to part with—and she wore it comfortably. And though I was hers from the moment our eyes first met, she’d never be mine. I loved her in the here and now, but how did I compete with a ghost?

***

How can there ever be anyone After You?

 



“Nick, let’s sit here.” Jack yanked Nick by the hand down the movie theater aisle and pulled him into a seat. Jack plopped down in a seat next to him adjacent to the wall. So much for my son wanting to sit anywhere near me tonight.

“Perfectly good seat right here.” Nick patted the chair next to him. All the theaters had been renovated with leather recliners. Usually, since my son dragged me to the latest kid movie, it was a real fight to keep my eyes open and not drift off mid-movie. I was sure sitting next to Nick for the next couple of hours would keep me wide awake.

“I can’t wait to see Optimus Prime!” Jack exclaimed through a mouth full of popcorn.

“Me, too! He was my favorite when I was your age.” Nick took a handful from the bucket resting on Jack’s lap.

“Really?”

“And I used to drive a car like Bumble Bee.”

“You did?” I squinted at Nick as I took a slurp of diet soda.

“A yellow Camaro.” Nick’s mouth tipped in a sexy smirk as he pushed his seat back.

I bit my lip to hold in a laugh as the lights dimmed.

“You can wipe that smug look off your face. Chicks loved that car.” Nick whispered in my ear. The hot tickle of his breath against my cheek made goose bumps spread down my neck to my shoulder.

“Did you drive around blasting Metallica in your banana-colored Camaro?” I giggled back. “At least they saw you coming.”

He laughed as the opening credits started to roll. “Women loved my banana.”

I sputtered a cough as I choked on a piece of popcorn. Nick shrugged with a sly grin as he settled into the seat.

I leaned my elbow on the armrest between us, and it grazed Nick’s forearm. I jumped at the contact and jerked my hand into my lap, where it was safe. I was catapulted back to my teenage years when the slightest contact with a boy I liked sent shivers up my spine.

Nick wasn't a boy, though. He was a man—a gorgeous man with unforgettable lips that knew how to kiss a woman stupid. I wanted to touch more than just his elbow. Keeping a level head around him was damn near impossible with adolescent hormones ravaging through my thirty-something body.

Nick laughed at my hands, now frozen on my thigh.

I focused on the screen until Nick pulled my hand back on the armrest.

“We can share, Ella-Jane.” He smirked as he slid his hand against mine and laced our fingers together.

My palms were damp as he brought our joined hands to his lips. He pressed a long, wet kiss to the inside of my wrist.

The bristles of his beard scratched against my skin as goose bumps drifted down my arm. I felt the warmth of his mouth all the way to my toes. My body was enjoying the simple but intimate attention too much at that moment to move my hand.

Something felt wrong holding Nick’s hand around Jack. When I glanced at my son, he was munching on popcorn and oblivious to anything but the robots on the screen. I smiled at Nick, but he didn’t smile back. Illuminated by the soft flicker from the movie, the heat and yearning in his eyes burned brightly. My breathing quickened as his finger blazed a light caress back and forth over the top of my hand.

For five years, I never so much as glanced in another man’s direction. Now, Nick simply holding my hand melted me into a puddle. It was pathetic but spoke the volumes I couldn’t admit out loud.


TeriLyn's thoughts: 

TeriLyn rated it it was amazing
**After You generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**

"What you call complicated, I call interesting." Stars

This marks my first Stephanie Rose contemporary romance and certainly not my last. A simple love story makes up the pages of After You based on the trope of a deceased spouse and moving on. Rose indelibly makes on her mark on romance with this book for me. From the very beginning starting with a great prologue Stephanie Rose embeds you into Ellie's story of incredible loss. From there alternating between the dual first person points of view of heroine and hero, Nick, we're drawn into the delicate and simple prose of two people falling in love and letting go.

What I really loved about the story that set it apart from others of it's kind is how Stephanie Rose really humanizes her heroine by exploiting her faults and very carefully exposing her most raw vulnerabilities. Ellie never once balks at her own issues allowing the reader to get caught up in the beauty of her present rather stuck in some contrived angst. I felt Ellie's emotions organically and understood them just as Nick had. The understanding and patience he shows as a hero is exactly what you want in a real life romance and a real life hero. This story paints a picture with care and encouragement. It highlights the melancholy and pain one feels down to their bones when they're existing through life after tragedy while simultaneously showcasing the beauty of opening up to all those wonderful feelings of falling in love and finding a best friend all over again. The flourishing of Ellie's happiness became such a joy to read thanks to the poignant, reflective, and heart-warming way Stephanie Rose chose to tell her story.

I read this book quickly. It was one I simply didn't want to put down. Not because of some crazed need to see what happens but because I was wrapped up in just FEELING the romance and beauty of it. From secondary characters and plot to emotional prose and sexy passion I felt consumed.

Pure romance. Full of love and honest moments. Undeniable chemistry. A hero to swoon over and a heroine to relate to. These are the components that make up After You. I loved this book about second chance love from start to finish. It was just what I needed to sate a romantic craving for a story that makes you smile, laugh, and feel deeply for characters. I highly recommend reading it to romance lovers as they'll all fall in love with this book.
 


Stephanie Rose was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and still lives there with her superhero-obsessed husband and son.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a day job in marketing, but she always has a story in her head. Her books are full of swoon-worthy men and feisty heroines.

This lifelong New Yorker lives for Starbucks, book boyfriends, and 80s rock. Her voice is often mistaken for a Mob Wives trailer.

Books by Stephanie Rose:
Always You | Only You | Finding Me | Always Us

  




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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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