Marie Rochelle is an accomplished IR author, and I have read and enjoyed almost all of her work, especially her Men of CCD and Alpha Male Incorporated series. For some reason, that is hard to describe, her latest work, After Hours, was difficult for me to read. The premise of the story, while a common one, was told in a unique way: Man is sent on assignment to befriend beautiful woman, to gain her trust to help capture a criminal, who happens to be her sole, beloved relative; woman discovers lies, and the story continues with man trying to win woman back.
It was predictable that the man’s dangerous job would create a danger for the woman and he would need to swoop in as the knight in shining armor to save her. With the predictability of the story line, the embedding of writing a story within a story, while adding the uniqueness, often made it difficult to follow. Often the story switched between parts sharply, making the reader lose sight of which story they were reading. For example, one chapter begins “Three months later”. Was that three months in the story within the story, or three months in the lives of the main story characters? Unlike Ms. Rochelle’s other works, this story did not flow smoothly. The addition of a third sub-plot, the romance (and set up for the next book) between Africa and Zane added another confusing dimension. While this book was an IR romance, the extreme ethnicity of the names did not add, and slightly detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Despite my difficulties with this book, I will continue to read Ms. Rochelle’s work.
-Reviewed by Selina