Cover Image: Before. After. Always.

Before. After. Always.

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Member Reviews

Well written, realistic portrayal of how loss shapes our lives.

Eliza is a young surgical resident and she loves her job.  It's pretty much her whole life - she has one friend, is estranged from her parents, riddled by anxiety and PTSD from an accident that happened when she graduated from high school.  Eliza does not take chances.  She is prepared for the worst.

Blake is the consummate chef in her Uncle's restaurant.  She goes through life at 110 miles an hour, intent on living life to it's fullest. Until the day she is the victim of a hit and run car accident.

Eliza looks at Blake in her hospital bed and begins to feel things she thought long buried.

Blake looks at Eliza and sees her future.

The plot line realistically presents how grief can impact, immobilize and motivate people.  The authors writes of how no matter how hard you work, your grief can  inappropriately mold your life.

Good read.
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Despite not being the most well-traveled reader of romance in general, I have read other books by this author before and decided to pick this one up based on the fact that I did enjoy those two. However, those were distinctly young adult/new adult whereas this one is very much adult.

In this book, you’re following Eliza Walsh, a woman in her early thirties doing her medical recency at a hospital. Enter Blake Navarro, who ends up in Eliza’s care at the hospital. Sparks immediately happen, and when Eliza happens to meet Blake at the family restaurant where Blake works, it’s pretty clear that the two of them are meant to be.

What follows is your typical, true-to-script romance. It is very cute, not very surprising (but romance very rarely is) but very readable and easy to enjoy. What sets this book apart is how this book deals with grief – Eliza lost her lover, Tess, to a car accident when they were teens, whereas Blake grieves her brother Adrian, who was killed in Iraq. In fact, this book contained several very moving scenes which I really enjoyed because they worked to ‘break up’ the slight cheesiness of the romance. 

Drama in general has a tendency to annoy me; it definitely didn’t in this case, rather it seems like something that’s normal for people my age (I’m roughly the same age as the characters) to go through. 

My only slight complaint was that for a romance, this book was very long. Or at least, it felt like it. If you’re otherwise into lesbian romances, I recommend you pick this up because I did enjoy it.
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This was such a beautiful story. GOD I cried at least three times and I loved it. Such emotion...good and bad! It was one of the better love stories I have read and it definitely one I will read multiple times.
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Two women dealing with grief. Eliza Walsh, talented, chief resident, and dedicated surgeon. Eliza has spent many years attempting to work through the pain associated with losing the love of her life. Blake Navarro, talented chef living life to the fullest as she deals with the loss of her brother. Eliza has issues with her family. Blake has a caring and loving family. As Blake and Eliza interact with each other, it is not hard to see that they can benefit from each other. 

As I read, I thought about the emotional, physical, and mental rollercoaster of dealing with the death of a love one. I also thought about how we all deal with loss differently. It can be so hard to let go and move on.
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4 Stars

“Before.After.Always.” by Morgan Lee Miller is a book on moving on after loss. It’s not a fun, easy book to read as it tackles some heavy topics such as grief and homophobia. Even so, I found that I really enjoyed it. 

Eliza Walsh is the chief resident at the hospital where she meets Blake Navarro. Blake requires surgery after a motorcycle accident and afterwards they hit it off. 

I really liked Eliza and Blake together. Eliza lives with anxiety and panic attacks from a past trauma that includes the death of her girlfriend. Blake is patient, kind, and understanding about Eliza’s trauma as she too understands loss after losing her brother in war. 

This isn’t an easy book to read at times. Eliza hasn’t been in a serious relationship since her girlfriend died when they were 18 and she has quite a few triggers. Not only did she lose her girlfriend, she hasn’t spoken to her parents in almost 10 years because of reasons relating to her girlfriend’s death. She’s at a point in her life where she does want to move on and love again but it isn’t a walk in the park getting there. Blake doesn’t let these triggers and panic attacks get in the way of their blossoming relationship. She just wants to be there for Eliza to help her heal and move on. 

Blake is more on the light-hearted side. She has a bit of a reputation for being a player and a flirt. She was hurt in a previous relationship and has spent the last few years just having fun. She’s now at a point in her life where she’s wants to settle down and start a family.  I loved her attitude and personality and thought it was exactly what Eliza needed to help with her healing process. 

The one main thing I had an issue with is the main conflict. (I don’t want to spoil things so this will be a bit vague.) Blake had been so patient and understanding until she wasn’t. I felt the lack of understanding on her part was very out of character for how she’d been the rest of the story. I did feel like her fears from her previous relationship had a lot to do with it and I could understand it to that point. However, with her knowing how Eliza was slow to change, especially in their relationship, it was hard for me to grasp her attitude around the whole situation. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this, even with the lack of understanding and miscommunication. It pulled on my heartstrings and left me happy in the end. This is my first book by Miller and I’m looking forward to reading more from her. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books in exchange for an honest review.
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3.5 stars. I find this book very hard to rate. It was up and down, there were some issues that didn’t make sense to me and/or annoyed me, but at the same time the story engaged me and I enjoyed reading it, this is really one of those books for which I would like half star rating, but I’ll rate it up for the overall feeling I got. 

After losing a loved one Eliza blocked herself off from connecting to anyone on a deeper level and she mainly focused on becoming a surgeon. Now, in her last year before taking her boards she meets Blake (a patient) and she has to confront her grief in order to open up. Blake is also no stranger to grief herself and is therefore the perfect person to understand and help Eliza and I liked them as a couple. Blake is the head chef in a Mexican restaurant owned by her uncle and I enjoyed the moments with Blake’s family, it instantly feels good.

My biggest issue with this book was the mis/non-communication, and not only between Blake and Eliza, but also between Eliza and her family. There were several things that seemed blown out of proportion and could have easily been avoided with only a little bit of communication (and not only from the main characters). There were also a couple of inconsistencies including some repetition and dropped threads (like Eliza’s sister who seems to almost disappear towards the end of the book). 

This was the first book I read by Miller and I liked the writing style and the way this book evoked emotions in me. There were some bumps, miscommunication being the biggest one, but overall, I enjoyed it. This is not a light read as the main topic is about loss and grief, so it was emotional and sad at times (yep I needed a tissue once or twice), but some warm, happy moments also lighten things up.
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I really like the way Morgan Miller writes, and I also really like that her books are so different and non-tropey or formulaic. I always know that the story will be amazing, and full of angst. Each of the MCs here have lived through some really bad times, and neither are looking for a relationship. But neither can deny their chemistry, and decide to take a chance. It's an up and down ride, and there's lots of help from each of their families. I highly recommend this book when you're in the mood for something out of the ordinary that's really fulfilling.
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This is a sweet romance and it is a nice story but I struggled a little bit with this one.

I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and how they met at the hospital after Blake’s accident but after that and until they met Eliza’s parents I couldn’t engage well with the story. Both main characters suffer from close death in the past and that’s why they are brought together and fall for each other which is a topic I usually like but for some reason I couldn’t relate with either of the main characters.  

Didn’t understand the mandatory conflict and it felt a bit overboard reaction in both fronts, especially Blake’s I get that she had a bad experience with an ex but I would also be scared if somoene ask me to move in so quickly when I’m drunk and celebrating my biggest working achievement, so thought she was a selfish child.  

Overall is an ok read
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Likes: Eliza and Blake's relationship and how cute they were together, Eliza's backstory and reading about her mental health. This was an overall heartwarming book. 

Dislikes: That the main conflict of the story was being gay and having unaccepting parents. I feel like that has been done to death and books need to shift from that mindset. I also thought the steam wasn't as authentic as it could have been and that this was like a lot of other lesbian romances that don't accurately portray intimacy in relationships that aren't heterosexual.
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This book tackled a couple of sensitive and pertinent issues. They were handled absolutely wonderfully. I loved the background especially on Eliza. Being forced “out” and dealing with the negative fallout is an all too common thing with LGBT youth. I enjoyed how Morgan incorporated those flashbacks of Elizas life with her current mental health struggle. It was very relatable on a personal level. 

Blake is a wonderful character as well. I like how although Blake had her own issues in which prevented her from settling down in the past, it didn’t hinder her in pursuit of Eliza. She is more sure than Eliza in many aspects, but the author allowed vulnerabilities to come through towards the end that gave an extra layer of depth to Blake. Blake’s family was by far my favorite part of the book! They are the family that you shake your head at thinking “they are too much!” but in reality their over the top friendliness and coddling is what makes them exceptional. 

The only complaint I have about the book, and it is very minor, is I wish Elizas past relationship with Tess didn’t have such a strong hold on her current life. It was definitely heartbreaking to witness and very understandable. It caused some unnecessary bumps with the couple. With that being said, Morgan rounded it off well. Things were resolved and healing was made. The epilogue was perfect. Without giving it away, it made perfect sense for Eliza!! Her life came full circle.
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This was one of my most anticipated 2021 releases and thankfully it did not disappoint. The best thing about Morgan Lee Miller's books is the chemistry between the main characters and she maintained that in Before. After. Always. While the plot was nothing unique, I loved it's execution. and while it could be little frustrating at times it was overall a entertaining read.
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Eliza who is a doctor meets Blake when she ends up in under her care after crashing her motorcycle. Blake is immediately taken with Elize and leaves her an iopen invitation to visit the Mexican family resturant where Blake is a chef.

Elize is still traumatized by the death of her girlfriend in a car crash when they were 18. Elize left her home and her seemingly homophobic parents behind and never went back. While Blake and Elize form a relationship and Elize reconnects with her parent's trouble is ahead.

Blake is looking to start her own business with her best friend but this can take her away to another city and Elize who worked hard for 10 years is applying for an attending position at different hospitals. The two don't communicate about this and it creates a break. 

I thought Blake was very childish and am disappointed this wasn't pointed out. She basically threw a tantrum and broke up with Eliza because she wouldn't say yes immediately when asked to move in together. Both dreams are valid, but to compare opening a food court to getting a good attending position after grueling shedule as intern and resident for 10 years is not to be compared. 

Then Blake proceeds to put herself in danger again and end up in intensive care even tho she promised her family and Eliza to never again do something dangerous. 

It's a good romance story, but Blake could have done with more growing up and showing she actually is more mature and serious.
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Eliza Walsh’s a doctor who doesn’t take the death of a young patient well. Understandable. Now she’s tending Blake Navarro, a woman who crashed her motorcycle. Needless to say Eliza doesn’t approve but she finds Blake some one that she’d like to know better. 
    Blake works as head chef at her family’s restaurant. She dates but now she’s becoming a bit more serious about her choices in finding a mate. Now the romantic dance starts. 
    Made it through the first half but just couldn’t continue. Story had the potential of being a really good read but for some reason Ms Miller chose not to. The reason I’m saying this is the fact that Ms Miller knows how to write a story. Was disappointed but look forward to reading her next book.
ARC via NetGalley/Bold Stroke Books
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I really loved this book. I was surprised to read other people say it was juvenile. Maybe it is but i have definitely been in relationships with miscommunication and the needing to take risks after a loss is normal. I got the characters a lot and really enjoyed their stories. 

I liked both main characters, though I preferred Blake. I really loved Blake’s family. The only issue I had was Jordan because I was unsure how old she was- I think older but she came Did come across as immature ! 

I was rooting for both girls. I totally got the disagreement- been there, done that! And the repercussions. 

Quick read but that’s because I enjoyed it so much
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As I start writing this review, I had to look back at the blurb on this to remember what it was about. I actually didn't read it that long ago and just could not remember. I think that is a clue on how I will review this book. It was for sure just average. There are reasons why. First being I could not remember what it was about. Yeah I mentioned that already. Second...for someone as smart as Eliza Walsh, she sure is stupid when it comes to anything outside of books. She seems like a reasonable person, but after 13 years you still have an issue with moving on. She has been to counseling and still struggles. I understand the PTSD but not the other issues with dating. Also, why hasn't she spoken to her parents? She talks to her sister and has encouraged Eliza to talk to them but just didn't. Seems odd. I wish that part of the story was smoother or not as complex. It seemed complex for no reason. Now lets talk about Blake, she sure is stupid for continuing to take the risks she does on recreational vehicles. Just dumb. Overall I liked Blake much better she just doesn't make very good decisions. I did like her family and other supporting characters. IDK, I just hated that Eliza and Blake seems juvenile in their actions. They really could be okay people if written slightly different. Now I do know this sounds like a lot of dislikes, but It still was an okay read. 3 stars

This arc was provided by netgalley and the publisher for an honest review.
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“Death does not discriminate indeed.”

Grief is a journey. A life changing journey that can cause individuals to sink or fight to come up tops. 

Before. After. Always. is a book about 2 ladies who met after suffering loss. Eliza Walsh met Blake Navarro while treating her from her motorbike accident. Although Eliza is drawn to Blake, she is fearful of losing someone all over again. On different processing speeds and methods to overcome grief, the pair has to learn to meet in the middle and fight to live again. 

4 stars. The book was solid in describing the characters’ experiences and handling of grief. While Eliza is crippled with fear, the dare-devil in Blake stirred something in her. Regardless if you are cheering for someone to walk out of grief or has experienced it in any form, the book makes you hope again. Death is no doubt brutal but love always saves the day. 

I just reviewed Before. After. Always by Morgan Lee Miller. Thank you NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for the ARC.
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𝗔 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲-𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿-𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆.

I think it's ironic that the first person who makes Eliza want to pursue a relationship with after years of being inactive in that department is her patient. It feels somewhat like fate is at play, to lose a fiancée in a vehicular accident and to find love again in a similar fashion. 

I think timing plays a part in making this storyline work. While Eliza still holds on to the memories of her first love and has occasional PTSD triggers, she is at the point where she is ready to move forward with the right person. And I was convinced early on that Blake is the right person. Blake understands grief like Eliza does, having also lost a loved one before. And despite having a penchant for taking risks, Blake is also patient and considerate when it comes to Eliza and she does try to stay away from high-risk activities for Eliza's sake. So that scored some points in my book and sealed the fact that I like Blake very much. And I immersed in their relationship which I thought was pretty rock solid so I was blindsided by the black moment that seemed to undo everything I thought was good. That tore me up when it happened. 

Family plays a huge role in this book. I love how tight and welcoming Blake's family is. And this is important because it encouraged Eliza to try to mend her own family relations, which is a step towards her own healing. 

I enjoyed this quite a bit overall. First book I've read by Miller and it definitely won't be the last.
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Wonderful, heart-warming story of loss and how it can lead you to something incredible.
Eliza a surgeon and Blake a chef meet in the hospital and after some coaxing begin dating.  As they learn about each other and their romance Eliza begins to heal after years of being alone. 
This is a fast easy read that you’ll enjoy.
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I just couldn’t connect with this book. I really enjoyed this author’s last two books but this one didn’t shine like those. I found a lot of repetition between the two POVs and it made it seem like the plot was constantly stalling. I thought the major conflict could have been completely avoided with a page or two of legitimate communication between the main characters. I didn’t pick up on a whole lot of chemistry between the two main characters but I liked the characters as their own entities. Overall, I did enjoy some aspects, like the growth of the characters. I thought the dialogue was good and the story flowed well, besides the repetition.
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I really enjoyed the book. Yes, it dealt with heavy topics but ultimately Eliza and Blake were able to walk away from the past and start thinking about the future. My heart broke for Eliza when I read how her girlfriend died at 18. That’s got to be hard to break out from but Morgan did a great job with the topics and the dialogue.
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