Review: After the Storm by Laura Pavlov (Cottonwood Cove #5)


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

"I love you."
"That's never been our problem." I let you a long breath. "I love you, too. Always have. Always will. And I love you enough to let you fly the way you were meant to, Raven."

I'm all up in my bittersweet feels because After the Storm is the fifth and final novel in the Cottonwood Cove series, but Laura Pavlov has ended things on such an emotional high. This second-chance, single-parent, small-town romance is about the eldest Reynolds sibling, Cage, who I'm guessing is in his early thirties--but don't quote me on that--and his first love and the one who got away, Presley Duncan, who's the same age as Cage. These two met at fifteen, and over the summers she spent on her family's ranch, she and Cage forged a friendship that quickly became more. He was her Cowboy, and she was his Raven. But circumstances challenged their love, and heartbreak led them in different directions. He's now got his own veterinary practice and his five-year-old daughter, Gracie, is his world; she's about to make partner at her law firm in New York and is ready to end her disaster of a marriage. But Presley is be back in Cottonwood Cove  temporarily and her presence is a distraction and temptation that Cage--and his heart--cannot afford.

I admit it: I'm a sucker for the single parent romance trope. Add to that the fact that Cage Reynolds has been such a grump throughout the series, and welp, suffice it to say that I'd been looking forward to reading his story for a while. I loved seeing Cage as a doting dad to Gracie, and goodness but how he set such a high bar for himself when it came to fatherhood--as it should be. Presley had always been that missing piece, and she was such a great female main character. She was independent and knew when to listen and when to speak up. She was amazing with Gracie, and their relationship was definitely one of my top three favorite things about this book. As for her second chance with Cage, these two deserve kudos because they communicated and owned up to their parts in the demise of their original relationship. And Gracie? Well, she was just sweet and smart and had the right amount of sass, and when she shared her thoughts, gah! After the Storm was such a wonderful way to close out the Cottonwood Cove series. I'm giving it five-plus stars.

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Read my reviews for the Cottonwood Cove series:


Into the Tide (book one) - 4.5 stars - My Review

Under the Stars (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review

On the Shore (book three) - five stars - My Review

Before the Sunset (book four) - 4.5 stars - My Review

After the Storm (book five) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)

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Release Date: 15 November 2023

Date Read: 16 November 2023

Learn more about Laura Pavlov.

Purchase Before the Sunset on Amazon.

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