After The Rain
By Renee Carlino
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.
I noted a couple of outstanding characteristics about Renee Carlino’s writing while reading After the Rain, her third full-length contemporary romance. First, each story written by Carlino is very distinct from her previous novels. And second, her writing flows beautifully – something which has never been more evident to me then when reading this novel. After the Rain is a story about second chances, about recovering from tragedy, and about hope.
Avelina Jesus de los Santos Belo grew up on a cattle ranch in Central California. After meeting Jake McCrea at a rodeo, she fell in love. Three short months later, eighteen year-old Avelina dropped out of high school and married her cowboy. Jake and Avelina settled on a ranch a hundred miles northeast of Great Falls, Montana, earning their living as wranglers. After a brief period of happiness, Avelina experienced heartbreaking tragedy. And now, years later, she is terribly misunderstood.
Nate Meyers is following in his father’s footsteps. After graduating from UCLA Medical School, Nate has become the youngest attending surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center, where his father is chief of staff. As a cardiothoracic surgeon, Nate has a promising future ahead of him. He works extremely hard and his career has always come first in his life. After making a poor judgment call during surgery, Nate becomes involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit. His father grants him a one month leave of absence from work, sending him to visit his Uncle Dale on a ranch in Montana to gain some perspective on life. In the most unlikely place, Nate meets the reclusive Ava McCrea.
The plot and setting of After the Rain combine to make this story so unlike any other contemporary romance that I have ever read. Although parts of this story are tragic, I feel the overall mood of After the Rain is one of quiet beauty. Much of this story involves scenes in nature, such as riding horses and being outdoors under the big sky of Montana. I had trouble connecting with Ava’s character, although I believe the reason that I felt this way had more to do with her circumstances in life. I loved the ending to After the Rain! Without giving away what happens, I feel the unique method in which Carlino ends this novel strengthens the story, really bringing out my emotions when I was reading! My overall impression of After the Rain is beautiful, favorable, earning Carlino a solid 4-star rating.
Renee Carlino has another success with After The Rain.
After The Rain is an emotional book that not only gives the main characters the love of a lifetime, it is a story about second chances in life. It’s a story of emotional growth and acceptance.
Two unlikely people come together and find more than love. Avelina Jesus de los Santos Belo has suffered a great loss at a very young age. After the death of her father her family is torn apart. When she meets the charming young cowboy at a rodeo, she drops out of high school and marries at the very young age of eighteen. Her young love is her world until tragedy strikes and destroys her life. Rather than grieving and moving on in life, Avelina is stalled. She feels guilt for living, she feels responsible for the loss of her husband’s life, and she’s lost the only love she has ever known. When Nate Meyers arrives on the ranch, she begins to change. She realizes that no matter what, she is still the one who is living and that it might be time to let go and move on.
Nate Meyers has always wanted to be cardiothoracic surgeon. He has focused his entire life on that goal. He reached this goal at an early age after sacrificing much of his youth. Now he has the career he has always wanted. When a surgery goes wrong and Nate loses a patient, it is more than a professional loss he is feeling. He suddenly is questioning his life choices and sacrifices. He is questioning his career and purpose as a doctor. A visit to the ranch and introduction to Avelina will change everything.
Nate and Avelina will find a new life that is waiting for them. It doesn’t necessarily mean that this new life is with them together as a couple. They will have an emotional journey that will forever change how they are as individuals. It is a journey of emotional growth and learning what matters most in life.
Renee Carlino wrote a touching story that was mature, insightful, and beautiful. I highly recommend After The Rain.
About the author:
Renée Carlino lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.com.