Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she's finally beginning to heal. But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave-a secret that changes everything she thought about their marriage. For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?
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What a wonderful conclusion to this series! Raney does a great job of bringing readers who may not have read the previous books up to speed while still moving the new story forward. There are several seemingly independent story lines happening at the same time: Susan's work at the homeless shelter, trouble with Susan's son, a flirtatious fire inspector butting in at every turn, the discovery of hurtful secrets in Susan's previous marriage, and the budding friendship between Susan and David. Whew! At times, I wasn't sure how all of these were going to tie in together, but they all came together in the end.
There were a few times when I thought that the characters' responses to things were a bit . . . off. For instance, David and Susan had a major disagreement and then in the next scene things were back to being fine with no further discussion of the problem. However, these "jumps" didn't detract from the overall story or the flow of the book.
Great mix of interesting characters, deep relationships, romance, and mystery. Whether you've read the previous books in this series or not, fans of romantic suspense will enjoy After All by Deborah Raney. [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Truths are revealed and new love grows from the ashes in Hanover Falls.
Susan Marlowe faces a startling new truth about her late husband while meeting opposition to the Homeless Shelter to which she gives so much to. Will hope rise from the ashes?
This is actually the first book that I have read from Deborah Raney, and I can tell you right now that it will not be the last! I loved every minute of it! Though this was the third in a series, I had no problems at all with jumping right in, in fact I found myself glued to this book much quicker than I normally find myself hooked to a book. But I can totally see where it would certainly be beneficial to read the first two in the series. What I liked most about this book was how real the characters were to me. They were not perfect , yet they were realistically flawed in a way that really made this story come alive. The characters also reacted realistically, in my mind, to the many situations that they faced. For me this was one of those books that grabbed me from the first and wouldn't let go until I had turn the last page down. At times I felt like I was reading this book for Olympic Gold, I was reading so fast! I just had to find out was they would do, I really cared about those characters!
Ms. Raney has done a stellar job with the crafting of each of the characters, I even felt some pity for Andrea. I liked how After All dealt with forgiving and making thins right even when it seems like it's too late. A riveting read from beginning to end, and wonderfully satisfying! I received this book from the publisher through Glass Road Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
This was a different kind of book for me. It was very good and I had a hard time putting this book down. It's hard to describe why the book felt different and was so enjoyable. Maybe it was because the plot was more complex or perhaps it was the layout of the book.
Starting with the front cover, it made me want to pick it up. As I was reading it, I loved the layout! It was different than most books because it had quotes on one side at the beginning of each chapter. Then it had a cute decoration on top of the chapter page. It was very appealing to me as I was reading and it was something I had never stopped to really think about until I picked up this book. The chapters were short, so it was easy to stop and start without losing my place or feeling like I needed to go back a few pages to remind myself of what had happened.
The story focuses on three people. The first is Susan Marlowe. Her husband was a firefighter and died fighting a fire at a homeless shelter that she had started. It wasn't her fault but her husband and several other men and one woman never made it out of the fire. They had problems in their marriage like the typical marriage, and had hardly seen each other, but Susan was convinced they still loved each other. That changes when she receives some news about a secret that David, her husband, never told her. Just as she was moving forward, the news makes her go back to the beginning of the grieving process again.
Andrea Morley is the second character. She also lost someone in the fire, but she can't really express her sorrow about him. After all, she's not really supposed to talk about him to anyone else. Why is that? Apparently she's attracted to people that she can't have...people like missionaries and military people or pretty much anyone who can't give her what she wants. Oh, and married men should have been included on that list. She wants to be married and have children, but she doubts that will ever happen now. Will she come clean about her affairs or will she continue pursuing men that need to be left alone?
Peter Brennan is the last main character. He is the fire chief who works almost all of the time. He was responsible for the firefighters who died the night of the big fire. He was also friends with Susan Marlowe and had heard of the rumor that Susan has just been informed of. He has befriended Susan since her husband had died and is constantly trying to get over his guilt that something else could have been done to save the men. He also just might fall in love with a woman who is passionate about something he is not.
This book is third book in the series. I have never heard of or read any of the other books, but I plan to download the other two now. I wasn't lost at all when it came to the characters but I'm curious to know who was carried over from previous books. Deborah Raney is definitely an author that I'm adding to my favorites list. ___________________ I received this book free from Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster in exchange for my honest opinion.
Susan Marlowe is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel after the tragic death of her firefighter husband David nearly two years before. The fire that took his life took several others, as well, leaving few people in town unscathed. Busy getting a homeless shelter up and running, Susan sees romantic possibilities and new friendship in Fire Chief Peter Brenneman. Peter has also caught the eye of Fire Inspector Andrea Morley, who desperately wants to find home, hearth, and children. With Susan's adult son back at home still dealing with the loss of his father, new information about her husband's activities, and clashes with the community, can Susan find a way to move forward?
Susan doesn’t seem like the cheerleader type. She didn’t have the perfect marriage, she struggled as a parent, and she gets too focused on her work. Yet despite her tendency to see only the rosy side of people, her situation draws you in like few others could – because she seems real. As a reader, you can identify with her issues and want to know how she resolves them; you just might have the same things happening in your own home. With the added stress of the firefighters’ jobs and the mystery man who keeps turning up, you’ll be turning pages as fast as you can to race Susan to the end.
I really liked the way that Raney didn’t spill the plot all in the first chapter. Really great books have a hook, some information that the author withholds to keep you reading until the end; but Raney kept back more than the usual whodunit. Without even knowing exactly what the mystery was, she drew you into Susan’s world, which at times looked incredibly bleak, but always gave you a shred of hope and a glimmer of what could be.
After All is inspiring and encouraging with a sense of reality that is hard to find. I'll definitely be reading more Raney in the future.
Once again Deb Raney takes us to Hanover Falls, the scene of a tragic fire that took the lives of five heroic firefighters. Susan Marlowe mourns the death of her husband, Pete Brennan carries the weight of the death of four of his men and one woman in the fire, and Andrea Morley must mourn the loss of her closest friend in the fire without the right to mourn him. Raney weaves a story that reveals secrets which affect the lives of all concerned. She gives us characters who tug at our heart, make us angry, and give us hope. The twists and turns of events will keep you turning the pages to see where the next turn takes you. The last in the Hanover Falls series, Deb Raney wraps up the stories of the firefighters and their loved ones who have overcome loss to regain hope and forge a future that draws them closer to God and brings them great joy. AFTER ALL begins eighteen months after the tragic fire. Susan Marlowe mourns her husband, but is finally beginning to heal until she discovers a secret her husband carried to his grave. Pete Brennan is the fire chief who continues to believe that somehow he could have prevented the tragedy. Andrea Morley mourns David Marlowe, but does so in silence because he was someone else’s husband. As Susan contends with the knowledge of David’s relationship with Andrea and the behavior and attitudes of her sons following the death of their father, she finds support in Pete who is rebuilding the team at Station 2. As these two grow closer, they learn lessons in love and forgiveness that only God could teach.
In this, the last of the Hanover Falls novels, it has been eighteen months since the homeless shelter fire that killed five people. One of those killed was Dave, the husband of Susan, shelter operator. She is struggling to keep the shelter open. Volunteers are becoming harder to find and contributions are on the decline. Then Davey, their younger son, shows up. He has quit college, quit his job and returned home. It doesn't take long for Susan to be upset with his behavior, coming home drunk. When she gives him an ultimatum, he reveals the source of his pain. He had seen his dad and the female fire inspector in Springfield, together, all over each other. Susan is shocked as she faces the painful idea that her husband was having an affair. Susan finds some support from Pete, the fire chief. The two explore getting to know each other a bit better. But Susan's troubles continue as Zeke, a homeless man living in the shelter at the time of the fire, returns to Hanover Falls. His police record reveals him as a violent man. Is he out to harm Susan? When a fire is spotted on Susan's property, is Zeke to blame? To add more pain to Susan's troubles, the very fire inspector with whom Dave was having an affair is the one to inspect that fire. Susan is bewildered as the local newspaper carries a story making it look like the entire community is against Susan and her homeless shelter. Yet she knows this shelter is what God wants her to do.
This novel is a combination of romance and mild mystery. Susan and Pete begin to feel the spark between them and it is rewarding to see how they explore their feelings in an adult and responsible way. It is also good to see Pete struggle with his anger against God for his wife leaving him. Pete goes off fishing by himself but soon finds out that God uses that solitary time to get his attention and slowly draw him back. The mystery aspect of this final novel in the series is mild. One gets the impression there is still something uncovered regarding the months ago fire. And there is a surprising revelation at the end of the book. But, in general, the story is about Susan and Pete and their attempts to move beyond the deadly fire. It is also good to see Davey, so hurt by his father's traitorous acts, finally get his life straightened out. That Pete would have a hand in that gives one hope for Susan, Davey, and Pete and their future. While not action packed, this is a fitting conclusion to all the troubles in Hanover Falls. The “bad” person is finally revealed and the “good” guys look forward to a better future.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
I have long been a fan of Deborah Raney's books. She writes about subjects that other authors would shy away from and this makes her books one of my favorite reads! This novel is the last book in the Hanover Falls Series and was a perfect ending. It makes me wish there were other books to this series to show more of these peoples lives:)
Susan is quite a strong woman and I found myself liking her, even when she would get on my nerves. I guess this is kind of how Peter Brennan felt, huh? I kind of picked up that Andrea Morley was not a nice lady and I wanted to slap Peter when he kept asking her out or thinking of her. I felt bad for Davy for all he was going through and his troubled life. Even though at times he was definitely wrong I kind of felt for him. There is mystery in this book along with some romance. There are several characters who show up from the previous books which made it all better for me. I enjoy when a series has previous characters and you see more into their life.
Overall this is an excellent ending and wraps up some loose ends that you will have after reading the other books in this series. This deals with a delicate subject but is done in a good way. It opens up some ideas you might want to hold back your position of until after you are done with the book. Check out the reading group questions at the back of the book. Loved this and can't wait for the next series from Deborah!!
I received a copy of this book for review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.
After All is a very sweet love story of two people finding love again, both after heartache. There's also a mystery in this book, leading to all the threads from the previous two books being tied up. It has a very satisfying, sweet ending. This is another of Deb Raney's sweet stories!
In the conclusion to the Hanover Falls series, I found a story riddled with the human condition. A sweet and tender love story that must test the odds. And a cast of characters, I couldn’t help but care for. It’s like stepping into real life, with a divine purpose to entertain.
I have to chuckle *just* a bit since a great deal of the scenes were centered around a meal of some sort with the characters; what is it about food and socialization? (wink) But it’s one thing that gives the novel its charm, because it carries a rich undertone of real life, while giving the reader characters they can cheer for, situations that keep us worried and wondering how they will outsmart their problems.
Having read all three books in the series in the order they were released, I have to say “After All” has been my favorite. It ties up some loose ends from books one and two, gives us snapshots of past characters lives and moves on with the third widow of the Hanover Falls Homeless shelter’s fire.
A quick read, but a fulfilling one, as it tangles and weaves life and family situations in Susan and Pete. Wonderful little subplots that keep the story focused.
A great way to end a good series. Now, this reader wants to know…what’s next?
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy to review.
In the final book in the Hanover Falls Series, After All by Deborah Raney provides the reader with a sense of closure in one instance and a moving forward and new beginnings in another. Susan Marlowe is beginning to pick up the pieces of the life she knew that was destroyed in ashes just eighteen months ago, when her husband David and four other firefighters were killed in an accidental fire at Grove Street Shelter.
She was the one responsible for running the homeless shelter despite her husband David's misgivings about wondering if the shelter was doing more harm than good to the cities residents. Yet when fights, and threats began to break out there, David felt that Susan was opening herself up for more trouble than it was worth and their marriage began to take a turn for the worse, with each of them spending more time at their jobs than at working on strengthening their marriage.
Now that Susan has begun to rebuild the Grove Street Shelter in a building across from where the former one stood, she is once again making the headlines in the local paper, The Courier. Seems now that Bee Quinton, feels its her responsibility to seek the answers for two letters to the editor about the homeless shelter and its purpose in bringing out the worst criminals to the city. When Susan takes the bait in defense of the good the shelter offers families in need a place to stay over sleeping in their car, she does more harm than good in feeding Bee just what she needs to make the front page.
Fortunately for Susan, not everyone believes the homeless shelter is a bad thing for the city when Chief Peter Brennan speaks out in her defense reminding the citizens of Susan's diligence in having fire alarms and smoke detectors installed. Now if only he can keep his mind on the tasks of running the local fire station instead of romantic thoughts about Susan. However Peter finds himself the source of competition between Susan and fire inspector Andrea Morley, a first in his life since his previous wife Lana left him when they couldn't have children.
Just what type of closure will After All bid for its readers in this series conclusion? You'll have to pick up the book and find out. Even though this is the third and final book in the series, there is enough back story for the reader that this one can be read as a stand alone, but trust me, if this is the first book you've had the pleasure to read from Deborah, you'll definitely want to pick up the other two.
I received After All by Deborah Raney compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for my honest review and LOVED it! Just the perfect amount of suspense and romance to keep the reader entertained and turning pages til the end. If you love Christian Romance novels or have a spark for firefighters, then this is a MUST read for you! I rate this one a sizzling 4.5 out of 5 stars.