After All (Romancing Manhattan)

After All
by Kristen Proby
Release Date:  July 14, 2020
Publisher:  Avon
Book #3 in the Romancing Manhattan series
Number of Pages:  288
Kindle edition
Source:  MCL
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating:  XXX
Read 10/30/20 to 10/31/20

When Carter Shaw’s wife died five years ago, he was left to pick up the pieces not only of his own broken heart but also that of his devastated eight-year-old daughter, Gabby—leaving him with no time for anything else, let alone dating. But recently, Carter has noticed women again and soon even begins dating. No one has stuck around for long, mostly thanks to one very angry Gabby.

Nora Hayes has worked as Carter’s assistant for years. Recently divorced herself, Nora spends many hours at the office and helping Carter with his daughter whom she adores. Despite loving her job and being wrapped up in the Shaw family, Nora’s never given her handsome, kind workaholic boss a second thought, especially in the romance department.

But then the snowstorm of the century hits, and Nora finds herself stranded at work with Carter overnight. And suddenly, she sees Carter in a whole new, sexy light. The sadness that’s lived in his eyes for so long has now been replaced with pure, unadulterated lust—and Nora isn’t quite sure what to do about it. For after the pain of her divorce, she never thought she would give love a second chance.

Carter and Nora have always believed in never combining business with pleasure. But how can they possibly deny the all-consuming chemistry between them…?

It seems Kristen Proby saved the best for last. As I said before about this series, I’ve enjoyed it but found something missing. I felt there was more depth in this book than the others that just gave it an edge over them. Since Carter is a widower with a young daughter, of course there would be a lot of emotions going on here. There was no longer anything missing.

Gabby, Carter’s daughter, has been involved in this series from the start. Often times the kids are almost throwaway characters, but not Gabby. She was a catalyst in the first book, and is up to her shenanigans again in this one. While Gabby has always adored Carter’s assistant, Nora, the emotions that her dad dating bring up in the child are perfectly understandable. The author does a great job with that part of the story. Gabby’s reactions, her hot and cold attitude toward Nora, all of the acting out. On top of losing her mom at a young age, here she is years later as a pre-teen feeling misunderstood on so many levels. Nora is absolutely amazing with Gabby. I’m sure it helps that she’s known the girl for so long and truly cares about her. But often times I felt she had the patience and understanding of a saint.

As for Nora and Carter, they had heat before they even realized they had heat. They just never looked at each other that way because it would have been unprofessional. And they’re both extremely professional people. But sometimes life can throw even the most strait-laced and by-the-book people for a loop. Once the spark was ignited, they couldn’t put it out.

There’s, of course, a huge misstep by one of the characters. They act in a way that is so totally not to their character and it causes huge problems. At first, I was annoyed. Well, I’m still annoyed. But in hindsight I also feel that most of us will behave badly at the height of an intensely emotional situation. I’m just glad the author didn’t make this drag on and the reactions and fallout were dealt with head-on quite quickly.

Now that this series is over, I have to dig out some of her other stories I have on the back burner.

4.5 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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