Love After All by Jaci Burton

Love After All

In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hope Burns, a woman discovers that the man she least expects is exactly what she needs…High school math teacher Chelsea Gardner has the perfect plan. She’s tired of dating all the wrong men, and after years of frustration, she’s developed a foolproof list of requirements for finding “The One.”Bar owner Sebas...

Title:Love After All
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:304 pages

Love After All Reviews

  • Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    Oct 02, 2014

    "Burton injects the story with realism that hits the heart of readers."

  • Jonetta
    Jan 01, 2015

    Chelsea Gardner is a pretty, single high school math teacher who's frustrated in her search for the perfect man. So, she created "The List" to outline all the attributes a man must have before she'll go out on a date. Sebastian (Bash) Palmer owns a bar, is commitment shy and doesn't even come close to Chelsea's list but yet the two of them can't avoid their strong attraction. And, their personalities seem to connect, too.

    As Bash a

    Chelsea Gardner is a pretty, single high school math teacher who's frustrated in her search for the perfect man. So, she created "The List" to outline all the attributes a man must have before she'll go out on a date. Sebastian (Bash) Palmer owns a bar, is commitment shy and doesn't even come close to Chelsea's list but yet the two of them can't avoid their strong attraction. And, their personalities seem to connect, too.

    As Bash and Chelsea have danced around each other for some time, their pairing was inevitable. I liked how their relationship sort of came together organically through conversations at the bar and other encounters. The physical attraction just simmers as they get to know each other better, challenging what they believe about each other. It's a nice, intelligent romance.

    I also loved the narration, which distinguished the characters really well. Saskia Maarleveld's tone seemed perfect for the story and certainly helped make the romance even more enjoyable.

    I had high expectations for Chelsea and Bash's story and this met them. Having earlier characters appear in meaningful roles just put a bow on a really nice reading experience. And, the next book was teed up perfectly.

    (I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

  • Sophia
    Feb 20, 2015

    This series has been enjoyable as a nice change up from fast and furious and lots of drama. It's so laid back and easy going with its small town setting, group of friends, the dog characters, and their personal barriers to romance.

    In this story, Bash and Chelsea get their story. Both characters are very familiar secondary characters from the beginning of the series. While I liked this story, I wasn't nearly as taken with it as others in the series.

    As to being part of a series that is based on a

    This series has been enjoyable as a nice change up from fast and furious and lots of drama. It's so laid back and easy going with its small town setting, group of friends, the dog characters, and their personal barriers to romance.

    In this story, Bash and Chelsea get their story. Both characters are very familiar secondary characters from the beginning of the series. While I liked this story, I wasn't nearly as taken with it as others in the series.

    As to being part of a series that is based on a core group of friends and their extended relations and acquaintances, I would suggest getting it in order. There are secondary story lines continuing from the other books (which I love the follow up on the other characters) and characters' situations that are laced through the story a great deal. The reader would definitely get the idea that they were missing out.

    The story opens with Chelsea determined to do something about her difficulty finding the right guy and getting on with having her own lasting relationship and family. People have told her that she's too picky, but she will not settle just for the sake of settling and be miserable like her mom. Nope, her solution is to put together a list that will lead her to the perfect man. Unfortunately, Bash Palmer, bartender and so way far from being her ideal of the perfect guy, is the one who catches her eye. As hard as she tries to ignore chemistry and stick to going out with guys who meet the list requirements, it is Bash who is on her mind and makes her heart race.

    Bash decided never again after his ex divorced him and left because he couldn't be the guy she wanted him to be. He focused on his business goals and kept it casual where women are concerned. He's happy for his friends finding love, but doesn't think it's for him. While he has a crazy ex-girlfriend who dumps a little dog on him and the fiery Chelsea Gardner letting him know that he doesn't even hit one item on her list of the perfect guy. It's a good thing he doesn't think much of her silly list and decides not to fight the attraction they share.

    As I said, this is an easy going story and I felt I already knew the characters well. This one didn't quite have the impact of others in the series. It was cozy and sleepy with only a few blips on the scanner. I confess that I wanted to love it more, but ended up with just like. The device of the List wasn't interesting enough a conflict for me and actually was the reason I didn't like this one as much.

    I've never given it much thought before and I've read other books that use a list as a device, but for some reason- and maybe its because of the stuff she put on it- I was actually angry at the presumption and immediate exclusivity of such a list. I know the author cunningly made sure that Bash missed every single point on that list, but was still as delicious a guy as they come. However, I wonder if the author also made it so that while Chelsea was on the hunt for Mr. Perfect that the list also served to accentuate her own flaws at the same time. It was painful to read how someone who is genuinely interested, like Bash, would feel if they were rejected because of something like 'doesn't wear suits', 'hasn't always been single', 'doesn't have a 9-5 job', 'doesn't eat at fancy restaurants or like wine', and so on.

    The characters rated somewhat higher with me particularly Bash. He truly did have a reason to be reserved about getting into anything serious. His dad and he didn't have a relationship so he was alone other than friends and his ex made it clear that he wasn't good enough as he was. He's not super ambitious or flashy so he knows he can't compete. Bash, his bar, his cute little dog and his enjoyment of simple pleasures and being with his friends is a great guy. I was rooting for him as his good qualities made Chelsea's perfect men seem stale by comparison because he was her match and he could create some sizzling heat between them with just a direct look or a sensual kiss. It didn't hurt that he protected her, showed her how to let her hair down and have fun, and loved on a little orphaned dog that he never wanted.

    pp. 23-26 Bash from Love After All

    Chelsea is on the high-strung side. She's a girly girl with decided opinions and she can't see a good thing even when he plants a perfect kiss right on her ready lips. Her Perfect Man list was amusing to her friends in the 'oh isn't the silly girl so cute with her little unrealistic list' sort of way. Honestly, that list drove me a bit nuts because it really was silly. I get her motives for writing it- she's frustrated, scared of getting with the wrong guy and she wants something good. And personally, I think its a very good idea to have standards like sharing the same values, having a strong moral compass, loyal, etc. but that wasn't what this was.

    I wasn't enamored with Chelsea and I wanted to like her. She's a high school math teacher, with good taste in food and clothes, she's a good friend, and she's goal-oriented, but since this story was focused not so much on those things as a list that pretty much set up every guy's faults based on exterior packaging, she lost respect points. She earned them back as she set her list aside to give something real a chance.

    I enjoyed catching up with all the other couples including the long scenes that were Logan and Des' wedding and the South Padre Island trip with Molly and Carter. With each book, I was never quite ready to let go of the couple in the story so its great that I don't have to as they are prominently show-cased in each new book. I look forward to Reid and Samantha's story.

    All in all, it was pleasant and good for a lazy afternoon cozy read. The setting, the cute animals, the circle of friends, and the low amount of drama are a hit Contemporary Romance fans who enjoy gently paced stories with some spicy romance scenes should give this small town romance series a try.

    My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jacqueline's Reads
    Mar 26, 2015

    Love After All is a standalone novel and is the 4th book in the Hope Series. Lately I have been reading books out of order. I’ve read a few Jaci Burton books and she’s known for the Play by Play series. You would think Love After All is milder than the Play by Play series, but it’s not.

    Chelsea is tired of dating

    Love After All is a standalone novel and is the 4th book in the Hope Series. Lately I have been reading books out of order. I’ve read a few Jaci Burton books and she’s known for the Play by Play series. You would think Love After All is milder than the Play by Play series, but it’s not.

    Chelsea is tired of dating losers. She wants a husband and her plan is to date guys, but these guys must follow her list. If they don’t then she isn’t going to waste her time on them.

    1. Never married

    2. Has to be a suit and tie kind of guy

    3. Has to work a 9-5 job

    4. No crazy ex-girlfriends

    5. Likes fine dinning and good wine

    6. Hates sports

    7. Must want at least two kids

    8. Must love animals

    9. Doesn’t spend all his time at the bar

    10. Perfect vacation is somewhere warm and tropical

    Bash is a bar owner. He’s a divorced single guy and doesn’t follow Chelsea’s list. Being burned in the past, he isn’t going to jump into a serious relationship any time soon. Bash thinks Chelsea’s list is a bit silly so he plans to find the perfect guy for her.

    Chelsea is a bit quirky. She has spunk and her list is kind of ballsy. I get it, when you are at a certain age, it’s time to settle down. I find her list more comical than anything else. The List isn’t the whole focal point of the book, it’s there to add a little tension.

    The interaction between Chelsea and Bash is really cute. They act more buddy buddy and the chemistry is adorable. He teases her and she’s really firm on what she wants in a man. Of course the attraction is apparent and they start to cross boundaries they set up between themselves.

    I like the overall storyline. I like the small town setting. The dog is even cute! Bash’s ex adopted a dog to impress Bash and since Bash and her are no longer together, she dropped the dog on Bash and left. It was really funny.

  • Stephanie  G
    May 11, 2015

    Chelsea is in search of the perfect man. She’s made her list and she checks it twice -or more- against every guy she meets. The one thing she knows for sure is Bash does not meet the list requirements, at all. Which is fine by Bash. Because, despite the chemistry, Chelsea doesn’t exactly cut it on his “list” either. He is willing to help Chelsea out with finding her “perfect” man though; after all, what are friends for.

    The premise for this book is fairly cliche. Girl is in search of the “perfect

    Chelsea is in search of the perfect man. She’s made her list and she checks it twice -or more- against every guy she meets. The one thing she knows for sure is Bash does not meet the list requirements, at all. Which is fine by Bash. Because, despite the chemistry, Chelsea doesn’t exactly cut it on his “list” either. He is willing to help Chelsea out with finding her “perfect” man though; after all, what are friends for.

    The premise for this book is fairly cliche. Girl is in search of the “perfect” man and has compiled a list to define that man. The man who has all of her attention though is the antithesis of what her list has defined. He in turn is interested in her but has to figure out how to get around the list. I already have several books with this same plot on my shelves and found myself disappointed with encountering it again. There are pros to this book however. The characters are very well developed since they have evolved across the Hope series and the story is consistent with the overall theme or the series ( think “Friends” except everyone gets an HEA). Chelsea, however, is high maintenance to read and annoyingly indecisive if not whiny. Half of the book concerns her endless loop of Bash “not being compatible with her list, but he’s hot”. The utterly sexy Bash finally takes matters into his own hands and pretty much owns the remainder of the book. If he hadn’t, there would have been no HEA and I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish the book.

    For those who enjoy this particular storyline the book will be fairly easy to read with its moderate pace and length. Fans of Jaci Burton will probably be happy revisiting their old favorites from the series. I found it not to be one of her better endeavors and would be hard-pressed to read it again.

    - Leila

  • Auntee
    Jun 23, 2015

    No big review here...

    I loved "Bash"--he was funny, sexy, and perceptive.

    I thought Chelsea's insistence on her "list" for the perfect man was crazy. Couldn't she see that Bash was perfect for her?

    This was a quick, one day read, and very enjoyable. That fact that Chelsea and Bash were long time friends made the romance more believable. Just wished that Chelsea would've wised up sooner.:)

    I'm loving this series!

    4 stars

  • Layeshia
    Dec 06, 2016

    So you would think writing a list of what you want in a man and what you don't want in a man would work. Yeah it didn't. At least not for these two. It DIDNT work. Beautiful high school teacher Chelsea loves her Life very orderly she's a high school math teacher so everything always adds up. You know 1+1 is 2. 2×2 is four and so on. Her dating life sucks so she decides to write a list of things she would prefer in her man. Sounds simple enough

    So you would think writing a list of what you want in a man and what you don't want in a man would work. Yeah it didn't. At least not for these two. It DIDNT work. Beautiful high school teacher Chelsea loves her Life very orderly she's a high school math teacher so everything always adds up. You know 1+1 is 2. 2×2 is four and so on. Her dating life sucks so she decides to write a list of things she would prefer in her man. Sounds simple enough. Well enter stage right Sebastian. Hey gorgeous bar owner who happens to be all man 24 /7 However he has a phobia when it comes to relationships. You know bad marriage bad divorce he wants no parts of it ever again. Now imagine having a less that you're checking twice and your high school friend that you've known all of your life. and that would be Sebastian of course he decides to help her out and finding a man and of course he striking out left and right. The great thing about their friendship is that they realize slowly but surely that what they've been looking for can be found in the other person. I have to say I really love Jaci Burton and her style of writing and I'm sure you will too I definitely recommend this five-star book to you.

  • Dark Faerie Tales
    Sep 25, 2016

    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

    Quick & Dirty: A teacher and a bar owner looking for love in all the wrong places.

    Opening Sentence: “Chelsea Gardner sat at the No Hope at All Bar, waiting for her friends.”

    The Review:

    Chelsea is a math teacher who has just made her list of the perfect guy, too bad Bash doesn’t fit any of the qualifications. Despite the massive spark between them, Chelsea is determined to date the right guy for a change. Bash is determined to help despite the fact that he r

    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

    Quick & Dirty: A teacher and a bar owner looking for love in all the wrong places.

    Opening Sentence: “Chelsea Gardner sat at the No Hope at All Bar, waiting for her friends.”

    The Review:

    Chelsea is a math teacher who has just made her list of the perfect guy, too bad Bash doesn’t fit any of the qualifications. Despite the massive spark between them, Chelsea is determined to date the right guy for a change. Bash is determined to help despite the fact that he really doesn’t want too, he would rather be igniting the fire between them. Failed dates after failed dates, finally pushes Chelsea to ask Bash for a no strings attached relationship.

    As they fall into bed, will Bash be able to move past his past and embrace a real relationship? Chelsea thinks nothing of it at first, but as he continues to pull out all the stops while wooing her, she begins to realize she is falling for him. Bash knows he is in deep, but he can’t seem to make himself walk away. Until that moment she confesses how she feels and he freezes. Will he be able to convince Chelsea he made a mistake?

    This is a solid series, and the best part is you really don’t have to read the others to follow along. It does help as Emma, Molly, and Dez are all in this book. However, you won’t be lost if this is the first one you pick up. I really enjoyed this one, although for the most part the series does seem to focus on main characters that don’t necessarily fit together. The chemistry was undeniable between Chelsea and Bash, and it was so sweet to see them first fight it and then give in. I wasn’t that shocked when he messed it up, that is kind of standard in most romance novels. However, without spoiling it, it was super cute how he reached out to her to try and fix his mistakes.

    This might just have been my favorite of the series. I loved Chelsea, she was so down to earth and straight forward. And Bash was a total character, totally flirting with her while setting her up on dates. I think I also kind of love the town of Hope, it is such a cute small town, complete with the gossips, hot ranchers, and a major love of animals! So if you are looking for a series with some serious appeal not just in characters, but with everything, then look no further!

    Notable Scene:

    “He didn’t know what was wrong with him. He knew he was in love with her, but her saying the words to him first had caused a knee-jerk reaction of fear and flight. Knowing you’re in love with someone and actually saying the words out loud were obviously two different things. He’d reacted badly. More than badly. He’d hurt her, and that’s the last goddam thing he’d ever wanted to do Chelsea. This was why he never got involved. He wasn’t good with relationships. Hasn’t he learned that with Cathy? He should have kept his distance from Chelsea, should have kept dating the same women he’d dated before.”

    FTC Advisory: Jove/Penguin provided me with a copy of Love After All. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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