Title: After the Sunset
Author: Lilah Suzanne
Publisher: Interlude Press
Length: 94 Pages
At a Glance: After the Sunset was a good little book. Just not quite as advertised.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Caleb Harris and Ty Smith-Santos are struggling actors who have never crossed paths until their lives take a turn for the bizarre when they learn that a farm in Sunset Hollow, Washington has been bequeathed to both of them. Intent on selling the property, Caleb and Ty clear out the cluttered farmhouse, but soon find themselves falling for the charming farm nestled between two misty-topped mountains, the lonely man who left it to them, and each other. When a real estate developer offers them a hefty payout, will they take the money and run or keep the farm and their budding relationship?
Review: Even though I did end up thinking this was a sweet story, I was ultimately still somewhat disappointed. Not by the writing, or even the storyline, per se—I thought the premise was quite unique and cute—but, because that adorable, eye-catching cover lied to me! One of the reasons I snapped this book up was because on the cover, under the title, it says “a little romcom.” This book was in no way a romcom. It was much more a poignant look at lost love and loneliness, with another little love story built in.
When we meet Caleb and Ty, they are both struggling a bit. Caleb wants to keep fighting the good fight, but he’s growing weary of working his tail off only to keep getting gigs as the background guy in random commercials. And, Ty wants more than bouncing from soap opera to soap opera and questioning every new potential friend and relationship. So, when that letter comes in, saying they’ve inherited a farm in rural Washington from an unknown benefactor, they both jump at the opportunity to check it out.
Ty is a cranky bastard most of the time. His parents are producers, so he’s suspicious of basically everyone he meets, wondering if they just want to use his connections to get a leg up. His trust issues have led to the construction of a pretty big wall around himself. But, after just a few days on the farm, he feels the stones in that wall start to loosen up a bit. I loved this line:
He can see it: a life in this place, those beautiful misty mountains his everyday view, milking goats and collecting eggs his normal morning, Caleb’s dimpled smile his to keep.
Caleb was much more likeable. He’s fun, and sweet, very tenderhearted. Whereas it took most of the story for Ty to win me over, I connected with Caleb right away. And, how quickly he took to the farm was so heartwarming. At the farm, Caleb feels necessary. He loves the hard work, tending to the gardens, and taking care of the animals. He clearly felt an almost immediate connection to the place.
I enjoyed when the guys started working together to solve the mystery of Ezra, the man who left them the farm, and why he chose them, two strangers, to leave everything to. His story was beautiful yet heartbreaking. And, the way the author wove it into Caleb and Ty’s story was nice, creating a sort of love story within a love story. But, honestly, for me, the story just wasn’t long enough for me to really get invested in their relationship.
Like I said, After the Sunset was a good little book. Just not quite as advertised. I’ll probably read it again at some point; I think I didn’t get as much out of it as I could have, because I was looking for something else the whole time. Reading it without that filter of expectation I’m sure would give a different reading experience.
You can buy After the Sunset here: