After the Climb By Kristen Ashley
Book/Novel Author: Kristen Ashley
Book/Novel Title: After the Climb
NEW, EXTENDED VERSION!With many new chapters, and introducing a new series character, this re-released Special Edition version of After the Climb is the book you have, but it’s also so much more!They were the Three Amigos: Duncan Holloway, Imogen Swan and Corey Szabo. Two young boys with difficult lives at home banding together with a cool girl who didn’t mind mucking through the mud on their hikes.They grew up to be Duncan Holloway, activist, CEO and face of the popular River Rain outdoor stores, Imogen Swan, award-winning actress and America’s sweetheart, and Corey Szabo, ruthless tech billionaire.Rich and very famous, they would learn the devastating knowledge of how the selfish acts of one would affect all their lives.And the lives of those they loved.Start the River Rain series with After the Climb, the story of Duncan and Imogen navigating their way back to each other, decades after a fierce betrayal.And introduce yourself to their families, who will have their stories told when River Rain continues
I hesitate away from KA books due to their length also the endless descriptions about table setting, clothing, decor and any thing else that describes settings. I received a free copy so I felt I could skim to read about a certain character that I fully intend to read his book. KA does know how to convey a story.
This book does a great job of setting up what looks to be a long series involving many members of the River Run “family”. I found the emphasis on Corey’s experience to be interesting yet perplexing given the number of chapters devoted to him, and I’m now assuming that he’s going to leave his mark on many of the stories in the series so I’m intrigued. I’m also hoping that KA ventures to tropes that she hasn’t explored yet such as a stepsibling love story–I mean you, Sasha and Sully. So yeah, here’s hoping that a great writer like KA will explore different tropes and themes. This particular story is familiar territory foe long-time KA fans–a second chance love story. I loved the sexy 50 year-old MCs and the bittersweet quality of their story. As always, KA does a fabulous job of bringing a big cast of characters to life. This is going to be a great series. Can’t wait to read book 2.
When Genny and Duncan’s friend dies he leaves a box for them to open together. These two have not seen each other on over 20 years… Gunny was nervous when she walked up to Duncan’s big beautiful log home. Duncan could not believe than Genny was still as beautiful as when they were younger..really kore than before. Duncan reads the letter outloud and he and Genny can not believe what is written inside. Genny goes to the local spa hotel to think about what had happened. Duncan can not believe he trusted his best friend and to find he trusted and believed Corey..and it was all a LIE! So many emotions in this read but it shows how you never give up on true love and you can go back 20 plus years and find happiness and all become family.
I’ve read almost all of KAs books and this one is not as fun to read as the others. The setup of the story is good (couple destined to be together is reunited after 28 years apart), but that’s really all that happens the entire book. They reunite and then their families all hang out for the remaining 90% of the book… no climax. Usually KA books have some sort of action and drama, not this one so I think I was just let down because I was waiting for something/anything to happen and then the book just ended. It was sweet and ok, but not my favorite.
I actually really liked Duncan and Genny but for me the kids stole the show in this novel. When her daughters and his sons enter the story the pages were filled with color, humor, and fun. Chloe with her stylish take no prisoners personality is the complete opposite of Sasha’s hippie sunshine smile and yet they make that family work. Duncan’s sons were also fun, and this novel made the combined family as cool as the Brady Bunch, with Genny’s ex filling an extra seat at the table. This novel was written during the pandemic with the author polling her fans on Facebook for plot points, character names, etc. It was offered up free as a balm during the pandemic to those of us who are big Kristen Ashley fans. I think it did what it was meant to do, offer a light bandaid to a wounded world. It’s not the meatiest story but it did introduce some fun characters that will be used as the protagonists in some future novels. I’ve read better KA novels, but I’ve also read worse and enjoyed the few hours it took for me to read this novel. A job well done! ❤️❤️❤️❤️