In After The Rain by Lilian Darcy (River Bend #4), Casey has not been back to Marietta, Montana since he was a teenager. After a prom night tragedy when his girlfriend Neve died, his parent's decided it was time to start fresh. Now all these years later, a successful architect, Casey is returning to Montana for a rare work opportunity at an artist's foundation. He knows there will be memories only Montana can provide...he does not expect one of the first people he meets at the foundation will be Kira, his former girlfriends younger sister.
There is a subtle attraction between Kira and Casey, and Casey is sure Kira is flirting with him. Kira has no clue who Casey is...he went by Jay in high school...and Casey struggles with the need to let her know who he is and the fact that it will irrevocably change how she feels about him. Casey is not wrong about that, and as Kira struggles to accept who he was and who he is today, the past that has never really been put to rest continues to haunt them both. Both of them hope to find answers, to ease their sorrows of the past. Will they be able to do this together, or is that shared part of their past to painful? Will either of them ever be able to let the past rest and finally stay in the past?
Lilian gives us a lot of emotional depth in After the Rain. I felt like I got to know Kira very well in After the Rain. Her experiences, her emotions, and how she faces life are all realistic and make her someone you feel like you can understand. I really liked how Lilian explores Kira's character and lets us see her falter and flourish. I really saw a lot of growth in Kira. Kira and Casey's interactions and the slowly growing heat between them made them seem like real people. I really liked how Lilian gives us Casey's POV from both the past and the present. It helped me to know him better, even though I feel that Kira is the more dominant character in After the Rain. I really liked the maturity of the main characters, and this shows in their thoughts and actions.
There are a few subplots, surprises and some great secondary characters in After the Rain that really help round out the story.
With a believable plot, After the Rain is about two people finding each other After the Rain. Lilian will draw you in with her characters and the hope of answers, the hope of love. After the Rain is part of the River Bend series and while I believe it can be read alone, I think it would be easier to understand some of what is going on if you read the rest of the series also.
I'd recommend After the Rain to contemporary romance readers.