Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Thursday, November 6, 2014

After the Rain by Leah Atwood


Welcome to Weatherton, Wyoming, where romance is always in the air!

Rand McCade made a promise to his dying wife to one day remarry. He couldn’t imagine ever loving someone again, but he’d do anything to give his wife peace in her final moments. Two and a half years later, he begins to fulfill his vow by contacting a mail-order agency in the east. He doesn’t want to remarry, but a promise is a promise.

Lettie Morgan needed to leave Baltimore. Widowed and pregnant, she was being pressured to marry a violent man. In order to protect herself and the baby, she seeks out an agency she’d heard of which finds brides for men in the west.

How can two hearts, broken and grieving, put their pasts aside and blend their lives into one?

A family-friendly historical romance novella with elements of faith, family and friendship.


Having come off reading ALL of Suzan Tisdale’s book, and having just finished Frederick’s Queen (you can read the review here), I am in a desperate search for a book I can’t put down. Sad to say, I have downloaded about ten books, but for various reasons I can’t seem to get into them. Some of that is me, some of it is the authors.

I finally picked up a charming little Christian romance novel by Leah Atwood titled After the Rain. This is book one of her Brides of Weatherton Series. Alas, I finished it, but I was not overwhelmed. Let me say, though, that that is probably more me than Atwood.

I like angst in my stories. As many of you know from my previous reviews, I don’t like heroes or heroines who are perfect. I want them to have a temper, to say the wrong thing, to do something ugly occasionally, if for no other reason than they are afraid and it makes for interesting conflict. None of this happened, of course, in After the Rain.

Rand and Lettie are too perfect for my tastes. When they say something catty to each other, they turn right around in the next scene and apologize. Honestly, one of the only reasons I kept reading was because I kept thinking that the former suitor would eventually turn up. At the end, however, we find out he likely committed suicide. On top of that, near the end of the book, Lettie’s mother shows up at the McCade ranch and asks for forgiveness. She has simply realized she was wrong to treat her daughter the way she did all those years. Needless to say, expecting fireworks from both ends and not getting either, I was a bit disappointed.

While I sometimes appreciate these sorts of sweet stories, especially if the romance is well-done even if too chaste, this one fell flat. I can believe two young people, inexperienced in matters of marriage and love, might not have a longing or a hunger for a physical relationship. (Actually I don’t, but I think lack of experience can make them reticent at least.) I find it harder to believe two people who were as happily married as Rand and Lettie aren’t fighting the normal natural desire of a physical relationship. Yes, they were Christians. Yes, a Christian, even one seeking a second marriage, needs to work hard at being chaste. But it should be work if you are falling in love. It should not be easy to turn off that part of themselves.

I did give After the Rain 3 roses. Atwood's writing is good. The story does flow. Not only is the writing itself (sentence structure) tight, but the plot passes along at a reasonable pace. However, there is no great soul searching for either Rand or Lettie. Neither do they experience any real character growth beyond their ability to tell the other “I Love You.”

If you like sweet Christian romance with little to no angst and no hint of a physical relationship, then you will enjoy After the Rain. If you want something grittier and more real, then you might want to keep looking along the bookshelf. As for me, I’m still on that all elusive quest for a book I can’t put down.

Length:  130 pages
Digital Price:  $0.99

Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie Donna & Rochelle

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