After the Rain by Brandy Bruce – Book Review, Preview

Posted February 11, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways /

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After the Rain by Brandy Bruce - Book Review, Preview

After the Rain by Brandy Bruce – Book Review, Preview

After the Rain

by Brandy Bruce

Published by Bling! Romance
Publication Date February 4, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Colorado Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 234


Debra Hart is moving on. Maybe. Hopefully. One day.

As a radio show host, Debra spends her mornings as Miss Lonely Heart on air, empathizing with all the broken hearts in the Denver metro area. She spends her evenings watching old musicals and trying not to think about the guy who broke up with her and subsequently fell in love with one of her best friends. Alone in a new city, Debra questions where she belongs and who she is now.

When she stumbles into the indie music scene, Debra meets singer Ben Price. Rock star appeal, with a day job as a worship pastor, Ben is everything Debra wants to avoid. But he’s determined to be her friend, and it so happens she could really use one. Because try as she might, nothing seems to erase the anger and betrayal she feels.

It’s time for a new dream. But how does she start over when she doesn’t even know what she wants anymore?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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No more Miss Lonely Heart!

From the first page, my heart cried out and I was invested in this story! Not because I had read and loved the first book – this one is a treasure on its own.

It isn’t often I think about the girl who is dumped so the heroine can get her guy when I read books like The Last Summer. Most of the time, the author is having you feel for the heroine and details all the reasons the other girl is wrong for “him”. Well, After the Rain is about the other girl. The one who was left behind. Rejected. Not good enough.

At least that is what Debra feels. Her devastation over losing Luke (on Christmas Eve!) led her to move away from Texas to Colorado so she can start over. And her grief has her family concerned enough she finally ends up going to a counselor.

In Debra’s poignant story, she has to learn to live again. To hope again. To trust again. To love again. Prepare for a heart-wrenching journey as she struggles to get her life together and see that life can look different and that not everyone’s faith looks the same.

Ben was great! His deep love for the Lord, his heart for worship. Wow! I loved the way he was able to see into Debra’s heart and wasn’t afraid of her rejection. He seemed to know intuitively how to work his way past her defenses to provide what she really needed. It was amazing how he didn’t give up on her after the many ways she continued to reject him.

Don’t think this book was all heartache and tears, though! It was full of hope and had many touching moments as Debra’s heart began to open up. The fun non-dates that Ben took her on were great.

After the Rain results from the events in The Last Summer. Both are such compelling stories, though this stands alone, be prepared to want to re-read the other once you’ve finished this one.

Brandy's After the Rain Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest) [gs_pinterest user="brandybruce" board="after-the-rain-book-launch"]

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

  1. I love all the connections to rain throughout this book. As a girl from Texas who lived in Colorado for years, I know well the sense of missing the rain, needing the rain. I missed the thunderstorms in Texas while I lived in Colorado. I wanted to share that with Debra, especially for the season of life she’s in—this sense of missing what we don’t have.
  2. One of the best sources of inspiration when I was working on this book was the song Never Gonna Love Again by Lykke Li. Find it on Spotify or Pandora or Amazon music and turn it up loud. If After the Rain had a soundtrack, this song would be number one.
  3. I tend to set my books in places that I’m familiar with. Several of the places mentioned in After the Rain are places I have connections to/memories of. The Sixteenth Street Mall in Denver, the rock at Castle Rock, the Denver Zoo, Breckenridge—these are all great Colorado locations where I’ve spent time.
  4. Debra’s love for theater stems from my own experience of watching musicals with my grandmother. She introduced me to movies with Fred Astaire. A few years ago, I went to the theater district in Denver to see Wicked with my sister, and it was so fun that I knew I wanted to include that setting into a book somehow. Including the quotes for every chapter was one of the most fun aspects of writing this book!
  5. There’s a crossover character in this book from another series! He’s not actually in the book, but he’s mentioned. Readers of the Romano Family Collection will recognize the name Leonardo Romano. (If you haven’t read that series, I hope you’ll check it out too!)
  6. I love music so much, but honestly, I’m not very musical. (I think I might be tone deaf. Sad!) I definitely needed help with the musical terms/pieces in this story. A friend of mine, Kollette Decker of Renegade Road, is an amazing singer and the lead singer of a band that’s making a name for itself in the Denver area, and her help with reviewing and offering advice for After the Rain was invaluable.
  7. One cool thing about writing is drawing from our own life experiences and then creating scenes and even dialog from moments you’ve lived. My own experiences are weaved throughout all my books. Even something as small as a dish I tried at a café. There are too many cases of this to share them all, but one example from After the Rain is the name of the bar/café called Percival’s Island. There was a Percival’s Island bar/café in the town where I went to college, and in my mind, I was recreating that same kind of fun, hipster-but-still-gritty, raucous kind of place, perfect for live music.
  8. I knew I wanted Debra to see a counselor, and I also knew I wanted that to be as authentic as possible to what that might have looked like. Lucky for me, I’ve got several friends who are amazing counselors! One of them reviewed the book for me early on, specifically looking at the counseling sessions. I didn’t want to move forward until I had her ‘okay’ on the material. I think counseling can make such a difference in people’s lives.
  9. When I first saw the cover of After the Rain, I had this huge sigh of relief. Because it was perfect. Maybe more perfect than the designer realized! I love the fact that the girl on the cover is dressed all in black. I love that she’s running, because I think of Debra as someone who’s running from life disappointment and also someone who’s started literally running in her life as a good outlet for stress. And I love that the umbrella is off to the side. It’s this sense that she’s already soaked, the umbrella can’t help her now. And it also captures the idea of a woman wanting to feel the rain, needing to feel something.
  10. The name “Logan Fox” is mentioned in the book. That’s the name of the grandson of some special friends of ours. I remember when I saw that name posted in the baby announcement on Facebook, I loved it and knew I’d use it at some point!


Giveaway includes the following:

  • Print copy (or e-copy if they want)
  • Umbrella
  • After the Rain guitar-pick necklace
  • DVD of Grease
  • Beatles quote mug
  • Coffee warmer
  • Earbuds
  • After the Rain bookmark
  • Notepad
  • Candy

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

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Tour Schedule

February 11
Mindy Houng
Among the Reads
Cover Lover Book Review

February 12
Library Lady’s Kid Lit
Reading Is My SuperPower
The Power of Words

February 13
Book by Book
Paulette’s Papers
The Green Mockingbird

February 14
Jorie Loves A Story
Pause for Tales
Maiden of the Pages

February 15
Wishful Endings
Life is What It’s Called


About Brandy Bruce

So what do you need to know about me? Well, I graduated from Liberty University and then spent ten years working as a nonfiction book editor for a traditional publishing house. I’m so very thankful to have spent so much time working in an industry that I love. I’m also a writer. I’m seriously passionate about writing. I’m one of those people who was scribbling stories in spiral notebooks in her bed at night when she was in the sixth grade. Writing has been a part of who I am since I was very young. I published my first novel, Looks Like Love, in 2010 and still look at it and feel amazed that it’s mine. Hop over to my Looks Like Love page and check it out. And I was super blessed to receive a 3-book contract from Heartsong Presents. Jump over to the Books page to read all about those three novels. It’s hard to put into words how thrilled I am about that series. Just picture a grown woman jumping up and down and screaming with happiness and you’ll get an accurate visual. My novel The Last Summer won the Bookvana Award for Chick Lit/Women’s Lit (more jumping up and down and screaming!).

What else? I’m married to a sweet, wonderful guy named Jeff. I’m really, really lucky to be married to him. He makes me so happy. We’re both believers and feel very thankful for our faith. We have three beautiful children, Ashtyn and Lincoln and Lillian. They are sunlight and chocolate and Christmas music and cheesecake and Jane Austen movies–they are everything that’s right about this world. Ash and Linc and Lily–my little blessings from heaven. I love to read (everything from historical fiction to books about time travel) and I blog about books and write reviews over at Thinking in Words: An Open-Book Kind of Life. I love to write and watch movies and bake cheesecake and talk on the phone to my sisters and hear my parents tell me they love me and hold hands with Jeff and hear the sound of my children’s laughter and see them smile.

That’s me.

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