Title: After All (Hanover Falls #3)
Author: Deborah Raney
Publisher: Howard Books
This third and final story in the Hanover Falls series focuses on Susan Marlowe and Peter Brennan. Susan lost her husband in the devastating fire at the homeless shelter that she ran that took place in book one. Peter Brennan was the fire station chief tasked with bringing her the news of her husband’s death. The story begins approximately 18 months after this event. Susan has started up another shelter, but is having trouble making ends meet financially at the shelter. She is also having trouble with some of her volunteers keeping their commitments to the shelter. She calls the fire chief of her husband’s old station to see if someone can stop by to check the new smoke detectors that have been installed at the shelter. The chief himself shows up to do the checking and then he and Susan go out for coffee. A friendship develops and soon Susan realizes she is ready to move on with her life after her husband’s untimely death, but is Pete the right man for her? She keeps running into the female fire investigator from the fire that killed her husband and something about her seems familiar to Susan. Susan begins to wonder if she really knew her husband. She seems to run into her whenever she is with Pete. Where has she seen this woman before?
Peter Brennan has been divorced for 2 years and isn’t sure whether he is ready for another serious commitment to a woman. One woman he meets is very attractive and makes him feel like he still can attract the opposite sex. The other woman stirs his heart and he enjoys being with her more and more. He has distanced himself from God since his relationship with his ex-wife soured. His time with Susan becomes more and more necessary to him. He has a choice to make, and he soon realizes it is no contest as to whom his heart belongs. Now, can he trust God to guide him? There is something strange going on with his fire inspector colleague, but he doesn’t know what. Is she stalking him?
This was a very enjoyable conclusion to the series. The book took a different turn that what I was expecting and I liked how the author took that path in the story. The characters had to wrestle with anger, guilt, shame, doubt, faith, love and forgiveness. It is so hard to forgive when we’ve been wronged so terribly as Susan. We can’t do it on our own; we must have the help of God. I look forward to reading more from this fine author.
My rating is 4 stars.