Must-Read Monday: After Hours by Cara McKenna

I know I've been bombarding you with old school romance picks lately for Must-Read Monday, so I thought today I'd feature a new release-- Cara McKenna's After Hours

Here's the blurb:

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. 


And here's my Goodreads review...

After HoursAfter Hours by Cara McKenna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've read Cara McKenna before and enjoyed her writing, so when I saw this one was about mental health workers, I had to pick it up. My first job as a social worker was at a mental health hospital, so I could relate to the heroine's fears about her new job. I primarily worked with children, but I had to train for a few days on the locked men's ward and went through the restraint training like this heroine, and it definitely was intimidating. So on setting alone, the author did a great job of making it realistic and not falling into the stereotypes of what an inpatient ward would be like.

Also, she did a lovely job of telling this story through a gritty lens. This story takes place in a small town but it's not the typical town of small town romances where everybody is nosy and cheerful, and where main street is full of flower boxes and ice scream shops. This is a dive town struggling to keep its footing after manufacturing days gone by. If this were a movie, I'd picture it being filmed with the kind of camera they use on The Walking Dead--kind of painted in faded greens and grays.

However, despite the slightly depressing backdrop (which I liked, frankly), the hero and heroine of this book are in full color. They both have angst and issues of course, but really, they're very sweet with each other. And funny. I love my erotic romance with a fat dose of wry humor and this definitely had that. Plus, I can't resist a filthy-talking hero like Kelly. Kelly is all alpha, dominant, and unapologetic about it. The heroine struggles with reconciling her feminist ideals with Kelly's macho ones, but the clash of them together is where all the fun is. Two thumbs up. :)

View all my reviews


Note: This one is available in ebook only.

Anyone else read this one yet? What do you think of gritty settings or tones in a romance?