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After Hours, by Cara McKenna

After Hours________________________________________________________

A dangerous infatuation with a rough and ready man…

Erin Coffey has been a nurse for years, but nothing’s prepared her for the physical and emotional demands of her new position. Needing to move closer to her dysfunctional family, she takes a dangerous job at Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital, where she quickly learns that she needs protection—and she meets the strong, over-confident coworker who’s more than willing to provide it.

Kelly Robak is the type of guy that Erin has sworn she’d never get involved with. She’s seen firsthand, via her mess of a sister, what chaos guys like him can bring into a woman’s life. But she finds herself drawn to him anyway, even when he shows up at her door, not eager to take no for an answer.

What Erin finds even more shocking than Kelly’s indecent proposal is how much she enjoys submitting to his every command. But he can’t play the tough guy indefinitely. If they want to have more than just an affair, both will have to open up and reveal what they truly need.

________________________________________________________

Such a great book! Cara has a very distinct writing style and the voice in her books is always unique.

“I’m gonna fall in love with you,” Kelly said. His words hung in the darkness, bright as candle flames.”

In After Hours, we meet Erin and Kelly, who are both flawed characters, but that’s what makes them all the more real and likable. They felt very real because they both have very….modest lives. They are like regular people, struggling with personal issues. They are both their own fears and insecurities to fight and even though it’s not easy for them, they work together to give in to love. And even though this book is really far from the hearts and flowers kind, it was really sweet to see Kelly and Erin help each other figure things out.

“I want to fill in the gaps, fight all the battles you can’t, because of whatever—your size or your gender. Maybe that’s sexist, but it’s what I want. I just want to feel needed by somebody who deserves whatever I got to offer.”

Erin was such a great character! She was very strong but managed to be sweet as well. She has a lot of personal and family issues to sort out but her voice throughout the book never felt whiny or annoying. And I loved Kelly’s relentlessness when it came to breaking through Erin’s walls. He’s bossy and arrogant but so loyal and well, very, very…manly, in his attitude and the way he thinks. But I really enjoyed him. Their relationship is at the same time very complicated and very simple as they “get” each other, without even trying.

“We’re not messing around tonight”, I informed him as we reached the main road.
“I never mess around. I’m all business in the sack.”

Now, let’s talk about the hot stuff. Boy, Mrs. McKenna is good at writing those too. Gosh, the sex scenes were HOT! Kelly and Erin have great chemistry and it just built and built to the point that I was going crazy for things to happen between them. I love when there is such great chemistry between two characters in the books I read and the growing sexual tension just made it better. And, contrarily to what one might think, Kelly had more facets to his sexuality than expected at first. Yes, he needs a level of control during sex (which I enjoyed) but there was more to him in this area too.

“He owned me in smooth, explicit strokes. But it was the noises he made that had me aching. The tight grunt each time his hips met mine. There was a helplessness in that plaintive sound. Something that said, Let me in, a plea trying to pass for an order.”

And an other thing I really appreciated with this book was that the ending of the story wasn’t an epiphany. It is rarely the case in Cara McKenna’s books and that’s something I really enjoy because it make the story more authentic. In this book, instead on finishing Kelly and Erin’s story by giving them a full out HEA, they simply come to realize that even though they don’t have everything figured out and everything isn’t really easy, they love each other very much, they connect with each other like no one else, and they realize that there is something to be explored between them and they are willing to give what they have a try. This kind of ending doesn’t happen often in books, but when it does, it’s really refreshing and it really makes the book stand out.

“What we got,’ Kelly said, ‘we’re stuck with it, even if our stubborn, rational brains might decide we’re through. It’ll always be there, whether we like it or not.”

This story was amazing. Once again Cara gives us a great book that I highly recommend.

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