Alexia “Lexi” Hanson moved across the country to rebuild her life after the attack that almost destroyed her. She enjoys the simple things in her beach cottage. Life is finally complete.
Noah Matthews is Rock & Roll’s hottest star and on top of the world. After years without a break he finds the solitude he craves at his beach house. Enjoying his early morning coffee, Noah is surprised to see his neighbour sneak into his garden and crawl around.
They never saw that fateful morning coming. Someone was watching them. Someone who thought Lexi belonged to him and would stop at nothing to have her.
Lives are changed forever when they meet amongst the blooms in his garden. Even when things seem darkest, there is always light After the Storm.
WOW and double WOW……just finished this book and there is no way I can wait to write this review. PURE INTENSE BRILLIANCE is what I would say about this book. What starts out as a simple love story between two damaged people turns into a dramatic tale leaving me begging for more and I mean MORE NOW. These characters and even the support characters are so well written, you are instantly drawn to them. I laughed out loud at some of the antics the Trio pulled and melted when Noah would flash his charm. I cheered for Lexi as she tried to reclaim her life and cried when I would see her stumble and fall. These characters are a family who are begging for us the reader to join them .
Lexi is a fighter, a survivor and a broken woman all at the same time. Being attacked, raped and almost murdered years ago, she escapes from California and her family to start over at her Grandma’s beach house. Finding comfort and healing in photography she spends her time taking pictures and playing with her dog. She had built walls to protect herself, never really letting go of the shame and guilt of her attack.
Noah, the hot rock star who just wanted a two month vacation at his beach house, away from fans and the demands to constantly be performing, saw Lexi hiding in his garden one morning and decided to investigate this discovery. For him it was love at first sight. Lexi had a pure innocence about her, she was nothing like the groupies he had found and had sex with while on the road. He knew he had to take his mother’s advice and treat this one like a gentleman and give her what every woman deserved………love and respect.
As the story progresses Noah finally shares his past with Lexi and the heart-break that he has endured in life. This gave Lexi the courage to tell Noah about the attack and the damage she has had to live with. Noah went into protective mode instantly while Lexi went into independent survivor mode. I am sure you can see where this was going…….battle of the wills but thank God the heart finally won.
The ending was amazing. During the whole story Lexi thought she knew who had attacked her, he had been sent to prison and was recently released but monitored in his home. There was no way that feeling of being watched, or things missing in her house was reality. She was sure she was just letting her imagination play games with her mind, till that one night when everything exploded. The truth was discovered and she was facing a new demon, one she didn’t even know existed. She found out how she was just a pawn in his evil game. She was going to have to live with the fact that her confusion and his lies changed the direction of an innocent man’s life forever.
What Noah found that night will forever change his life. His whole world was lying in a pool of blood, gasping for her last breath, while the monster who had invaded her life disappeared. Noah is going to have those images with him forever along with the guilt that he didn’t protect Lexi as he promised. Can they both learn to forgive themselves and let the monster take the blame for destroying so many lives?
This story isn’t over when you finish this book. It is a cliff hanger for sure and the next book Eye Of The Storm is in the process of being written and released. I know I can hardly wait. After the Storm starts out like a normal love story, man meets woman, they battle their feelings, give into them and just when you get ready to say they live happily ever after, the author pulls the rug out from under you and says “I don’t think so”. It is a heart racing, breath seeking ending to this book. I highly recommend this to you readers, be ready for Eye of the Storm, I know I WILL be reading and reviewing that one.
ABOUT M. STRATTON
M. Stratton is a wife and mother who grew up in a small town north of Chicago before moving to Arizona. She is currently working in accounting for a plumbing company.
M. Stratton has spent years telling herself stories to fall asleep at night before deciding it was time to get them down on paper for the world to see. She currently has eight different stories fighting to be told. Like everyone else she was afraid to put the stories down and send to publishing companies. With today’s Indie market she decided now is the time.
Things you don’t know about M. Stratton:
1. She loves the movie Twister… she can say all the lines along with the actors. She will also use those lines in real life as often as possible.
2. Halloween is her favorite holiday. She starts planning months in advance. She has more Halloween decorations than Christmas.
3. She once made up a monologue about her love of chocolate chip cookie dough for her high school drama class.
4. There are times she thinks she is so funny she has tears running down her face while laughing at herself.
5. She is a smart ass and very sarcastic.
6. Cary Grant is her favorite actor.
7. Reading has always been an escape for her. She can devour a book in hours. When she moved in with her husband she literally donated over 1,000 books and saved over 1,000 for herself. She can reread books over and over again if she loves them. There are some that she has reread about once a year for the past 20 years.
8. She eloped after knowing her husband for only two months in 2006. They are still married, almost seven years later.
5 fun facts
1. I have eight tattoos, and have plans for a sleeve.
2. I love horror movies and haunted houses.
3. I got my first grey hair when I was 13, and had so many streaks I had to start dying my hair when I was 21.
4. I love Reeces, Kit Kats and Snickers.
5. I love puns. I can drive people crazy with them.
Troublesome Trio songs:
Fever by Peggy Lee
Don’t Cha by The Pussycat Dolls *
Dirrty by Christina Aguilera
I Touch Myself by the Divinyls *
Slow Ride by Bonnie Raitt *
Landslide by Fleedwood Mac *
At Last by Etta James *
Finally Woken by Jem
Save Me by K.D. Lang
She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5
Sunday Morning by Maroon 5
Love Somebody by Maroon 5
The Chemicals Between Us by Bush
Everything Changes by Staind
Breakdown by Steether
Lexi and Noah songs:
Lonely In Your Nightmare by Duran Duran
A Long Walk by Jill Scott
Pale Shelter by Tears for Fears
Cross My Heart by George Strait *
Secret by Maroon 5
#1 Crush by Garbage
Never Tear Us Apart by Inxs
Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
Drifter by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Mad World by Michael Andrews
* Mentioned in book
Alexia “Lexi” Hanson played by: Melissa Claire Egan
Noah Matthews played by: Adam Levine
Anthony Maldono played by: David Gandy
Leigh Winslow played by: Julie Christie
Evelyne Sumner played by: Olympia Dukakis
Marie Holmes played by: Faye Dunaway