REVIEW: After All by Karina Halle

After All is a funny, super sexy STANDALONE lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance from the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact and Before I Ever Met You. 



Emmett Hill is the perfect gentleman.

At least that’s what his PR team wants the world to think.

Tall, handsome, and wickedly charming, Emmett is in the midst of a career comeback, having landed the role of a villain in a popular TV show. The only problem is, Emmett has come a long way from the “nice guy” characters he used to play and his old squeaky clean image is quickly being tarnished by bar fights, womanizing and bad boy behaviour. Considering he’s two years shy of forty, it’s an act he needs to drop. And fast.

Enter Alyssa Martin.

At twenty-eight, Alyssa is tired and ready for a change. Her job as office manager has grown stagnant and unfulfilling, while she’s become continuously frustrated with Vancouver’s lackluster dating scene, always searching for Mr. Right in a city of Mr. Wrongs.

When Emmett and Alyssa’s paths cross at a mutual friend’s wedding, their chemistry is off-the-charts hot, culminating in a steamy one-night stand.

What neither expected was for the media catch wind of their coupling – and run with it.

Now Emmett has to convince Alyssa to date him for the sake of his image. Her curvy, cute and “normal” persona is just the ticket to smoothing out his reputation, while Emmett provides Alyssa with the excitement and change her life has been lacking.

The only problem is, the two fight like cats and dogs outside of the bedroom.

And considering their arrangement is just for show, they shouldn’t be in the bedroom with each other anyway.


Try telling them that.

AFTER ALL features characters from Before I Ever Met You, however it is not part of any series and can be read as a standalone 🎀


The Bruiser and the Blonde…

That title has the making of a reality tv show or a half hour romantic comedy…

It in no way, though, sounds like an actual couple – a pairing of two people who have feelings for one another and are willing to work together to make a go at a solid relationship…unless they want social media to believe certain ideas about them – ones that are bound to complicate their lives in significant ways. 

AND that’s what Emmett Hill and his publicist want the media and the public to believe when it comes to his one night stand with Alyssa Martin; in fact, it’s what Emmett’s banking on to shine a positive light on both his personal and professional life instead of his bad boy behavior and manwhore ways.

I’ve read quite a few books where the story line consists of a fake relationship, and there’s always that moment where both parties question if it’s more than pretend…if the feelings they have for one another could possibly lead to a real connection – one that goes beyond what each of them seems to be getting out of the contracted relationship, and contrary to what both Emmett and Alyssa say to one another and their friends, they can’t fake the kind of passion they share or the sexual chemistry that’s between them. There’s a primal need for one another that’s about more than sex…they seem to “get” each other in ways that no one else does. Alyssa sees beneath Emmett’s cocky and suave facade and understands that he’s battling himself as much as the bad press he receives every time he acts out in a negative way. Emmett likes Alyssa’s prickly side and the fact that she may not like him as much as she loves to fight with him and have extraordinary sex, and he accepts her cynical and honest attitude; in fact, it helps him to not think so highly of himself and vow to be better and be happier, doing what he loves not what’s expected of him. 

The dynamics of Emmett and Alyssa’s relationship seem to be in a constant state of flux…they had one night together, which both accepted, but now that they’ve become tabloid fodder, everything about what they mean to one another is manipulated and distorted in a way that blurs the line between fake and real, forcing both of them to figure out what exactly they want from each other, perhaps even determining if the passion between them is a part of their performance or a way to prove to themselves that what started as a relationship to keep up appearances has turned into something real and worthwhile.

In After All, Karina Halle humanizes who a celebrity is and the shadows that exist beyond the fame and perks of being in the limelight. Emmett Hill may be a successful actor striving for a comeback, proving to himself and to the public that he’s not the washed up asshole he frequently portrays, but he’s so much more than a set of perceptions and misconceptions; he’s a human being with flaws, fears, and a past that has shaped him in ways that the media can’t even begin to understand, which is why having Emmett’s perspective tied in with Alyssa’s views allows readers to see both of them as the unique individuals they are – a sum of all of their personality traits and actions, not just those that are caught on video.

Respect or fame?

Real or fake?

Passion or performance?

These are the questions that Emmett and Alyssa struggle with throughout the story, and their answers will not only decide how Emmett’s career moves forward but they will also determine who Emmett and Alyssa end up meaning to each other when Alyssa’s contract expires.

4 Poison Apples

About the Author

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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