Thursday, April 26, 2012

After All

After All
Deborah Raney
(Howard Books)
ISBN: 978-1416599951
May 2012/368 pages/$14.99

Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, 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 their marriage had been.

For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable?

Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence-—because her dearest friend was someone else’s husband.

Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls’ fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters who lost their lives that awful November night. Can he ever shake the feeling that he should have somehow prevented the tragedy?

As he tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County’s Station 2, it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

"Deborah Raney’s After All is a poignant story of betrayal, forgiveness, and love. If you’ve ever felt betrayed by someone you cared about, Raney has created a story that offers hope for your heart. After All portrays the freedom found through forgiveness, and the joy found in the courage to love again."

-- Ginny L. Yttrup, author of Words and Lost And Found

Deborah Raney's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was awarded a Silver Angel from Excellence in Media and inspired the acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Since then her books have won the RITA Award, the HOLT Medallion, and the National Readers' Choice Award; Raney was also a finalist for the Christy Award. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make their home in their native Kansas.

I almost did the happy dance when I pulled this book out of my mailbox a couple of days ago! I have been looking forward to its release since last summer when I interviewed Deborah Raney about Forever After, the second Hanover Falls book, and she also gave me a sneak peak into this final novel. (Read that interview and review here. Another interview with Deb and my thoughts on the first book, Almost Forever, can be found here.) After All primarily focuses on Susan Marlowe, the director of the homeless center that burned down, killing her firefighter husband and four of his coworkers as they battled the blaze. Fire Chief Peter Brennan is also a primary figure as he deals with the aftermath of the tragedy. Deborah Raney has crafted a wonderful story that pulsates with emotion - grief, betrayal, anger, and resentment - but she doesn't leave her characters defeated or overcome as hope, faith, forgiveness, and new love rise from the ashes. A hint of danger and suspense and a rather unexpected ending add further depth to this story. I was captivated by After All and read it in almost one sitting! While it can be read as a stand-alone, you will want to read the entire series to fully appreciate and understand the complete story. (As a side note, I particularly love how the titles flow into each other - Always Forever, Forever After, After All!) I wholeheartedly recommend this book and this series!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books (a division of Simon and Schuster) as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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