Title: AFTER ALL
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 3rd July, 2017
Cover Design: By Hang Le
PR: Nina Bocci
After All is a STANDALONE lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance from the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact and Before I Ever Met You.
Emmett Hill is the perfect gentleman.
At least that’s what his PR team wants the world to think.
Tall, handsome, and wickedly charming, Emmett is in the midst of a career comeback, having landed the role of a villain in a popular TV show. The only problem is, Emmett has come a long way from the “nice guy” characters he used to play and his old squeaky clean image is quickly being tarnished by bar fights, womanizing and bad boy behaviour. Considering he’s two years shy of forty, it’s an act he needs to drop. And fast.
Enter Alyssa Martin.
At twenty-eight, Alyssa is tired and ready for a change. Her job as office manager has grown stagnant and unfulfilling, while she’s become continuously frustrated with Vancouver’s lackluster dating scene, always searching for Mr. Right in a city of Mr. Wrongs.
When Emmett and Alyssa’s paths cross at a mutual friend’s wedding, their chemistry is off-the-charts hot, culminating in a steamy one-night stand.
What neither expected was for the media catch wind of their coupling – and run with it.
Now Emmett has to convince Alyssa to date him for the sake of his image. Her curvy, cute and “normal” persona is just the ticket to smoothing out his reputation, while Emmett provides Alyssa with the excitement and change her life has been lacking.
The only problem is, the two fight like cats and dogs outside of the bedroom.
And considering their arrangement is just for show, they shouldn’t be in the bedroom with each other anyway.
Try telling them that.
★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse
The only way to describe this perfect summer read is lovely! I loved everything about this standalone. The characters are lovable and even though the premise of the story isn’t new, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. But before I start talking about Ms Halle’s latest release, I have to mention the cover. Just plain wow! The colours; a palette of sunset hues, a font I could find no fault with and lovers sitting on what looks like a pier couldn’t sum up this gorgeous couple better. I know you’ll see lovers-to enemies-to lovers in the blurb but it’s not quite what I thought it would be. I didn’t expect so much depth in a plot which flows at a very agreeable pace. And despite being a tad low on angst for my liking, the author’s writing has compensated this detail with her flair for drawing the reader in from the beginning and keeping them stuck to the pages until the end. She’s most definitely spun an emotionally touching prologue. When children have to endure, I always get weepy so be warned, you might shed a tear or two.
Then there’s a huge jump in time that didn’t bother me in the slightest and here’s the reason why. More than often, a story’s timeline is woven around the character’s past in stages. We get to understand them more, we don’t feel like we’re missing out on any details. However, Ms Halle has done the reverse and it worked a treat. It’s as if the reader’s been spoilt with inside info whilst the male protagonist’s female counterpart is ignorant to the fact of past happenings. This made it all the more interesting. Can he trust her with his past seeing as it’s not public knowledge, that hardly anyone knows about? In this respect, I really liked the structured writing because it kept me guessing.
Goodness me; did I like Alyssa Martin or what! For starters, her size I related to at the drop of a hat. She’s a curvaceous American size ten, not your typical skin and bones stereotype heroine! And she’s not ashamed of liking sex and has no qualms about it. But what sold me was her personality. Prickly; that’s what Emmett Hill, playboy extraordinaire and confessed man whore calls her. He’s not exaggerating, either. Ooh boy, does she give Emmett a run for his money! Take note: there’s an intended pun here which will only make sense by reading the book. Anyway, Emmett’s been told to behave by a mutual friend of theirs but he can’t help himself. It wasn’t just the socks he charmed off Alyssa. An unexpected romp in the hay will also have its consequences. It didn’t take me long to realise that regardless of their past issues or their present shenanigans, Alyssa and Emmett were more than compatible. A made to measure façade doesn’t stop them squabbling, but most of the time it’s playful leg-pulling. Laugh…I cried in one scene where an animal is involved. No cruelty by the way, just a lot of fun.
Emmett’s age is…yummy! Although I’m a sucker for a mature guy, his tendency to act a tad childishly annoyed me every now and then; yet I still invested in him. Believe you me, he’s all man and in all the right places lol! In fact, apart from Emmett kissing like a champ…yep, Alyssa wants more from where those came from, she’s having trouble controlling her hormones around him. So have the aircon control handy ‘cause you’re going to need it on full blast in some off the chart steaminess!
I’m not going to tell you much more about these two lovebirds except that the banter is plentiful, hilarious and at times, poignant. In a story abounding with contrasts, it gave me all the right feels. The secondary character development is spot on; nonetheless, one of them who I loved to hate resulted in a tinsy-winsy grey area. Perhaps a bit more of this person and sooner in the story would have sated my appetite. The setting and scenery. Abso-freakin’-lutey awesome. The author conveyed a sense of geographical perspective in her descriptive writing of places. They come alive for better or worse and made me want to go visit. After All is an easy book to read that got a smile, a laugh or three and a tear or two out of me! Bravo Ms Halle!
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.
Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.