After She Falls

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Pub Date 02 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 23 Mar 2022
Bethany House, Bethany House Publishers

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"Schober delivers a knockout debut. After She Falls is refreshingly unique and well-written. While the journey of faith and healing is set against the backdrop of the MMA, Schober's story world and characterization are vivid and evocative."--RACHEL HAUCK, New York Times bestselling author

She's always had that fire in her. She just needs to find it again.

Strong-willed Adri Rivera nearly achieved her goal of being a professional mixed martial artist, but then she fell in love with a man who knocked all the fight out of her. When their abusive, tumultuous relationship finally comes to a head, Adri flees with their young daughter to her small hometown in the mountains of Pennsylvania. There, she must face the people she left behind and put her broken life back together again.

A hardened Max Lyons can't believe Adri is back in town after abruptly cutting him and everyone else off years ago. Despite the distance that grew between them, he feels compelled to help her regain her independence and offers her a job at his gym. But regaining each other's trust is another matter, made even more complicated by the lingering spark between them. As Adri dares to pursue her dream again, she trains for a big tournament with Max's help, but they'll both have to confront their own doubts in order to rise victorious.

"Anyone who has watched a sports movie knows that the underdog will prevail, romance readers know that love wins, and Christian fiction readers know that God is bigger than any problem; Schober's debut novel is unique for being blend of the three."--LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Schober delivers a knockout debut. After She Falls is refreshingly unique and well-written. While the journey of faith and healing is set against the backdrop of the MMA, Schober's story world and...

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Featured Reviews

AFTER SHE FALLS by CARMEN SCHOBER is a really great read, full of action, memorable characters, and a Christian message of redemption as we see how Jesus transforms those who look to Him and how reconciliation with Him “can lead to reconciliation with people”. I like the cage fighting theme and the loyalty between the fighters and their coaches. I also like the reference to broken people being put back together.
Adri Rivera and Max Lyons are two such people, meeting again after six years during which time Adri has had a daughter and married Owen Anders, who abused her physically and emotionally, and Max has opened a training gym in their home town of Sparta, taking over from his late father.
There are other interesting characters such as Roman Rivera, Adri’s uncle, who took her in when her mother abandoned her, saw her passion for the sport and trained her to fight from the age of eight. We also see, on the opposite side of the spectrum, bullies and manipulators amongst the fighters and coaches.
It is really a lovely read and I do not want to spoil it for you by telling you any more. I am looking forward to more novels from this author.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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Oh my. So very good. I enjoyed every last little page. I didn't want it to end though so that made me kinda sad. But I don't regret a minute of it. Definitely will be reading again.

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This sports novel celebrates mixed martial arts, redemption, and romance. Adri returns to her hometown with her daughter to flee an abusive spouse. She is lovingly welcomed back by her widowed Uncle Roman (refugee from Cuba and champion ex-boxer). Max, whom she had a “friends to romance” relationship with as a teen, is resentful of her return, but hires her on to be an instructor at his gym. The first half of the book shows Adri balancing single motherhood with work, as she begins to heal and grows stronger in her faith. Then her dormant desire to return to MMA competition is realized.

Faith is connected to the story in conversations, prayers, and times of extreme emotions. Adri and Max meet an ex-fighter/coach and christian nicknamed “Boom”. He adds humor and realness to the story. The author includes glimpses of Adri’s Cuban family traditions in mentions of food, decor, and language. The writing is in third person point of view and you are given access to the thoughts, deep feelings, and doubts of Max and Adri. As a romance, the physical side does not cross certain boundaries, while there are feelings between Max and Adri that resurface while she is waiting to legally end her marriage.

The writing mostly maintains a linear timeline with some significant flashbacks to the past. The action scenes of training and cage-fighting are some of the most compelling and agonizing. There are villains among the competitors and they add drama to the entertainment side of the professional fighting culture. This one-of-a-kind novel will appeal to romance lovers, sports fans, and those who love a “prodigal” story.

tw and cw: on page and flashbacks to physical, verbal, and mental abuse; mentions infidelity, physical and attempted SA (on page), due to the sport there are details of fight scenes and injuries

Thank you to Bethany House and NetGalley for the e-galley. My reviews and ratings are my own.

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4.5/5 -- Adri is a young mother with a background in MMA fighting. At the beginning of the book, she leaves an abusive relationship. She picks MMA fighting back up, and this is a wonderful way for her to heal relationships from her past and make a future for herself and her young daughter. I loved watching her gain independence and strength as she trained. She’s the underdog in the MMA world, but the story builds to a major fight in Las Vegas with the top-rated fighters in her category. I know next-to-nothing about boxing and fighting, but I felt invested in every move Adri made during her fights. As the book neared the end, my heart was beating faster and faster, hopeful for the outcome that I wanted. This is categorized as Christian romance but I would go further to call it sports romance because there is a subgroup of readers that enjoy sports-themed stories.

Another thing I loved about this book: one of the characters goes through this wonderful transformation from a non-believer to a churchgoer, then to someone who is actively growing his new faith. It is a beautiful representation of what gaining new life can be! I loved this character’s true development over the course of the story, and I loved that he asked a lot of questions and was vulnerable about his doubts as his faith began to grow. Felt very real.

There are great themes of forgiveness in here but I think the best thing about the story is watching Adri blossom into a woman with strength and self esteem. Once I started reading, I really didn't want to put this book down at all. Congratulations to the author on a wonderful debut!

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I wasn't required to write a positive review. Thank you, Bethany House!

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I loved this book! All Adri wanted to do since she was little is to fight in the ring. At 17 she left her small town for bigger and better things but ended up pregnant and married to a fighter. Owen becomes abusive. She decides to leave with Eva and go back to her hometown and her uncle who used to train with her. Max, her childhood friend, is a trainer. She would love to train with Max, but he is still getting over the fact that she left him for someone else. This book is about love of family, friends, and God. It is faith that carries Adri through and allows her to suffer all the punishment to her body to reach her goals. I loved her Uncle Roman, Max, and Eva. Each time she tried to give Owen the benefit of the doubt and allow her daughter to see her dad, I feared for her. As Max worked with Adri, trying to keep his distance, I hoped he would forgive her. The grueling training and boxing matches kept me glued to the pages. A very different book with wonderful characters and the will to power through to reach your goals.

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𝘼𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙎𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙨
Carmen Schober

(yes I did give it a six star because I couldn't help it!!)

𝙁𝙖𝙫𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙌𝙪𝙤𝙩𝙚-
When Max takes Adri’s hand and raises it a final time, she feels that soaring feeling again and gives God a silent thank-you, aware that it’s much more than just a win or her name filling the arena. It’s the sound of a broken dream being put back together.

Adri fell in love with Owen when she was an eighteen year old who was new to the world of ᴍɪxᴇᴅ ᴍᴀʀᴛɪᴀʟ ᴀʀᴛs what she didn't know was that he also liked hitting women and beating her was even more thrilling to him because she was capable of fighting back but chose to submit to him Every. Single. Time!!

It's been five years since she's been in her hometown at uncle Rowan's house but now she has nowhere else to go so she takes Eva and runs back home. Max her old friend and flame owns a mixed martial arts gym and has a position vacant but the way ahe left him still hurts so it's better not to talk to her or talk about her but Rowan and Yvonne have other plans....

Watch the tango of hearts and souls as spirituality hinders the joining of hearts but when it's God's timing everything fits perfectly ain't it😉

The author has written about serious issues that people often don't understand "the WHY?! " I mean it's a tough feat to accomplish and talking about spirituality and beliefs is hard but somehow she fit it all inside a neat masterpiece and made it a book!! The writing and plotline is so beautiful that it's hard to believe that this is the author's debut novel!! I mean where have you been my entire life!!!!! The characters are all in sync and the way she takes her characters through tough situations is mesmerizing!

So I really hope you don't miss out on an amazing Christian romance it comes out on 2nd November so don't miss it!!

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Adri Rivera finds herself in a church for the first time in years. Out of hope, out of the will to fight, and struggling with a mountain of regrets. A Bible verse reignites a spark of hope, lighting the way to her next step—leaving her abusive husband before he kills her.

Adri escapes to her hometown in rural Pennsylvania, where the uncle who raised her and taught her to fight welcomes her home. Adri’s dream of one day earning a championship title in mixed martial arts fighting gets reignited, too, despite her five-year leave of absence from the sport. She struggles with learning to live out her faith when dealing with her husband, the community she left behind, and especially her high-school sweetheart.

Max Lyons made a name for himself in the fight world, but after his father’s unexpected death he wants nothing more than to retreat from the glamour and glitz of the fight scene. He invests his money in rehabbing the old community center and turning it into a gym his hometown of Sparta, PA will take pride in.

When the only woman he’s ever loved shows up in town with her young daughter, Max offers her a job at the gym. After five years of silence, he doesn’t know how to pick up the friendship with Adri “La Tormenta” Rivera. If only she hadn’t rejected him, things wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable now.

But Adri’s back in town, and although clearly beaten down by life’s circumstances, Max can still see champion’s spark within her. Will she learn to believe in herself again?

What I Loved About This Book

I did love this book, even though I’m not a Rocky fan, and have never watched anyone fight (whether boxing, MMA, or wrestling) in my entire life. My previous knowledge of fighting comes from reading Louis L’Amour’s books where hardened outlaws and cowboys duke it out in the bar. Add glitz, glamour, and a fight cage, and you’ll have a fight scene from After She Falls.

But don’t let the fight scenes turn you off or turn you away. Schober builds a believable world where sin is strong, but grace is stronger. I grew up a sheltered Christian, but I loved seeing the saving power of Jesus working in people’s lives—even if they didn’t grow up just like I did.

A lot of inspirational fiction features middle-class white women like me, giving the illusion that Jesus is only for tidy, middle-class white people. Adri and Max remind me of my own sinful state (different sins, but equally sinful) and how true victory comes from surrender to the One who knows us best.

Trigger warnings: relationship abuse, near-rape, and a scene with cruelty towards an animal.

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After She Falls by Carmen Schober is not the type of book to which I would normally be drawn. I’m an equestrian, not a fighter. One of my coworkers trains in mixed martial arts, but I know nothing about it, beyond the fact that people punch each other. Tackling opponents to the hard surface of the ring is a very useful tactic when you are seeking victory. But…that’s about it (sorry, coworker Mason). I may have little understanding of MMA, but my parents raised me on sports—football and baseball especially. Maybe the romance aspect of After She Falls tugged at me, but a sports-themed novel? Sign me up.

Carmen Schober’s debut novel is a pleasant and easy read. She blends romance, redemption, and second chances in a way that flows like watercolors. Red, blue, and white to create a lavender. Adri Rivera gave up her dreams when she had her daughter, fathered by an abusive man. She takes her daughter and runs, returning to her hometown of Sparta. Max, an MMA fighter himself, was her best friend, training partner, and first love. When she shows up in Sparta, he struggles to trust her—and to overcome his anger—after Adri shattered their close relationship.

But Adri needs him, as a coach and as a friend. She may be unknown in the world of professional MMA, but no one should underestimate the underdog. Max is hard-hearted and critical of her being a Christian now, because what God could put her—and him—through their lives’ hardship and heartbreak.

In a way, After She Falls by Carmen Schober reminds me of David and Goliath. Adri faces doubt, taunts, and other barriers, both literal and figurative. Max’s soul is as impenetrable as stone. But they face their respective giants and take readers along on their journeys. With that explanation, you can correctly guess where the story goes and how the novel ends. Little in After She Falls is surprising. For me, anyway, it had no shocking moments. I knew its direction from the beginning to the final page.

The predictability, however, did not take away from the novel. After She Falls isn’t about the excitement, though of course the book features fights. Schober’s book centers around perseverance and forgiveness, salvation and victory. Each and every character is developed and believable, and they make me think of people in my own life. I loved After She Falls by Carmen Schober, and I can’t wait to read more of her work in the future.

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An exciting journey for this family tht encompassed so many things that we all experience in life. Such a reminder of God's grace and his hand on my life all the time.

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After She Falls is a fantastic debut novel by Carmen Schober! It is definitely not your typical sweet Christian fiction romance - not that there is anything wrong with that, but I loved the rawness and grittiness of Adri's story. As an MMA fighter, she is a strong female protagonist in every sense of the word. After fleeing from an abusive husband, she is struggling to get back on her feet in both her professional and personal life. Throughout the book, we see her regain her strength both as a woman standing up for herself and her daughter, and as a fighter with a second chance at her dream of becoming a strawweight champion.

Adri and Max were friends in high school before she broke his heart, and they struggle to find their footing when they first reconnect. As the story progresses, their friendship - and eventually romance - develop in a beautiful, authentic way. Adri’s uncle Roman and coach Boom both provide words of wisdom and give the story richness and depth. The faith elements are authentic and completely natural to the story, tackling real life challenges with grace. Adri is a uniquely compelling heroine - her journey as a fighter is a powerful story of perseverance, discipline, determination, and courage.

I highly recommend After She Falls, and I can’t wait to read whatever Carmen Schober writes next!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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When Adri Rivera flees her abusive husband to return to her hometown, the last thing she expects is to rediscover her dream of becoming a MMA fighter or rekindle an old flame.
Contemporary romance is not my wheelhouse. I requested this ARC because the cover looked good and I thought, "Hmm, MMA fighter chic. I'm down."
I am so surprised by how much I really, really enjoyed After She Falls.
Characters: After Adri left her husband, she was understandably unsure of what she wanted in life. She was a little timid, unconfident, and guilt-ridden about the choices that have endangered herself and her little girl. Her character was very, very real for me and I identified with her so easily. I also loved the natural progression of her character, how we watch her slowly rebuild confidence, grow her faith, and light up that fire again.
The other main character, Max, was swoon worthy at many points, but other times I felt so annoyed by his mood swings. I suspect that this was intentional on the author's part.
I loved the side characters. From Uncle Roman to jerk-face ex-husband Owen, the characters were so believable.
Plot: Overall, the plot was really good and the ups and downs keep you guessing. You're experiencing the confusing feelings of love and hate that stem from an abusive relationship. The nerves that come before a fight...I was completely immersed at many parts of the book.
I loved diving into the world of MMA fighting. I feel like Carmen completely infused her passion and culture into this book. Now, I know nothing about the sport in real life so I'm probably an easy audience, but I thought the fight scenes were exciting yet free of gore.
I lost a little momentum about midway through (roughly 40-60%) but once Adri started fighting things picked up.
And...boy, I don't know how I feel about the ending. On one hand, it was satisfying. On the other, I wish I could've had an epilogue or just something to give me a snapshot on how things turned out.
Writing: Fun fact, this is a third person perspective written in present tense. A very rare find! Honestly, I'm shocked that this is a debut author. Her writing is flawless.
Content: The book is clean, but there are some fighting scenes (obviously) and mentions of getting it on in bathrooms, hotel rooms, and even cars. I guess fighters live interesting lives ;) ! I didn't really have an issue with any of the content but this book probably isn't a great fit for teens.
Would I Recommend:
I loved it and I definitely recommend it if you love edgier Christian contemporary romances. As a mama and a girl from a rough background, I felt all the feels! Adri's journey definitely captures you!

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Carmen Schober’s debut novel is an excellent written and interesting book. If this is any indication of her future novels, I will say she will be rising to the top in Christian Fiction. This book is very descriptive with strong and well formed characters. The story had several different aspects; romance, Christian faith and also the lack thereof, wife abuse and mistrust, violence and other difficult emotions. There is Adri, the main female character who is in training as a professional mixed martial artist and fighting in cage fights. The author focused mainly on the fighting moves and strategies. It also describes the injuries that can occur. I did not know there was such a sport like this for women. Hitting, kicking, hair pulling and much more. All in all this book is one to hold your interest until the very last paragraph. I can’t wait for the next novel by Carmen Schober….Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an early ecopy. I am happy to leave a review.

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Oh my God!!!
I loved this book!

The story was amazing, touching and inspiring. The characters were so human and relatable. I didn't want to the book to end and at the same time I wanted it to so I could see what happened.

Max and Adri! Ths electric sizzling between then was palpable. I loved how they complimented each other. The bond between then was amazing.

I loved how they both evolved through the story. The support system they had was just the best.

The faith lessons to be gleaned from this story are life changing.

I received a copy of this book and this is my honest opinion.

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I've had my eye on this book for months, so thank you Netgalley for adding it. First off, this is a unique MC with a very unique skillset. I appreciated seeing this tough kind of woman, as (unfortunately) this kind of very real woman is under-represented in plenty of women's lit.

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This book was read thanks to NetGalley.

This book I would describe it as a begin again, the protagonist has to begin again and find herself again and this book shows how hard can it be to begin again, and the author does a nice job with Adri's arch because she begins again for herself, for her be better, for her be happy, for her.

This book tells the story of a woman who is trying to overcome an abusive relationship, so if you think that the topic can be a trigger warning, I recommend discretion.

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After She Falls is Carmen Schober’s debut novel and what a debut it is! I got completely sucked into this story from the first page! I was totally invested in the characters and I needed to find out how their story would turn out.

After She Falls has a storyline that is so different from the norm, our female main character is an MMA fighter, that is why I decided to give it a try. And while it is raw and gritty at times, there’s also a very realistic faith thread woven throughout and the redemption of both main characters was very realistic. There are also some great side characters that really added to the story. In fact, I’d love to read Boom’s book next!

I did have a couple of issues. First, it is written in present tense which is not my favorite. I think because I listened to about 75% of it on audiobook and read the rest, that it didn’t bother me as much. In fact, I highly recommend the audiobook. The narrator really gives personality to these characters. I also felt like the beginning of the story had some situations that were a little too much, and while it made sense for the redemption of the characters, I think it could’ve been toned down a little and still been effective.

I do highly recommend After She Falls and I will definitely be reading Carmen Schober’s next story. 4.5 stars!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I also purchased the audiobook. All opinions are my own.

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Bethany House turns edgy with Carmen Schober’s debut novel, After She Falls

When most people catch a glimpse of an MMA fight, they are shocked that someone would willingly spend their life training to be beaten up for sport; however, very few consider what goes on in the fighter’s heart behind the scenes and whether or not faith plays a role. In Carmen Schober’s debut novel, readers will find a refreshing narrative that respectfully tackles the heavy topic of domestic violence while also shining a light on people's passion for mixed martial arts. Wrestling the lines of faith and anger, After She Falls is an excellent novel with an important message to share!

Adri Rivera was a promising fighter with a successful career ahead of her until she left it all behind for what she believed to be her happily ever after. Falling blindly in love with a man who could silence a room with one look, she willingly walked away from everything she’d trained her whole life for to pursue a future with Owen; however, the fairytale is short-lived when Owen’s true colors come to the surface, but is it too late for Adri to leave?

Determined to protect her daughter from her husband's rage and violent outbursts, Adri takes the risk and flees, returning to the safest place she knows. Nevertheless, returning to her hometown will come at a cost. Will Adri be able to make amends with her childhood best friend and first love, Max Lyons, or will her betrayal be unforgivable? And, what of her fighting career? Does Adri have the chance to start over, or will the ghosts of her past prevent her from chasing the dream still blazing in her heart?

"She tried, but she hasn’t forgotten who she used to be—a local legend in mixed martial arts, a professional fighter in the making. She closes her eyes, trying to remember and forget at the same time." ~ Carmen Schober

After She Falls is an action-packed novel that will not only surprise you but leave you wanting more. One of Bethany House’s edgiest books; I loved how real and honest the characters and storyline were. With an underlying faith theme that shines brighter as the plot unravels, the author doesn't shy away from showcasing her characters' lifestyles and choices as each of them navigates success, love, pain, faith, anger, forgiveness, and brokenness.

I thoroughly enjoyed Carmen Schober’s debut novel! While I have never been interested in MMA fighting, I have to admit that reading this book made me see the sport beyond the blood, sweat, and tears. Whenever Adri prepared to get into the ring, I felt my anticipation rise like I was gearing up to watch the match on TV rather than read the scenes on my Kindle.

Another thing that I really liked was that it wasn’t a “love at first sight” or quick transformation kind of book. Adri had a lot of healing to do after leaving her abusive marriage, and while it was clear there would be romance, the author spanned the book over a year rather than a couple of weeks or months — though the time jumps could be abrupt and often occur right when I wanted to know what was going to happen next. After She Falls was realistic and plainly showed the progression of a relationship built on faith and trust; however, there was still lots of room for growth and mistakes, making this book not feel preachy or perfect. I also LOVED Boom and thought his entrance into the storyline was fabulous!

Carmen Schober is an author to keep an eye on! She’s an underdog who delivered a knock-out debut novel that is sure to excite and surprise many!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a pre-release copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!*

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When Adri finds herself back in the hometown town she left behind the pursue her dreams of becoming a professional mixed marital artist after fleeing from a relationship she couldn't be in any more she comes face to face with someone from her past that had meant a lot to her. Her former best friend and training partner, Max. Who is the exact person who gives her a spark of hope when he offers her a job at a local gym.

In this the mountain town of Pennsylvania Adri is forced to face the people she left behind and put her broken life back together as a single mother. Second chances don't always come around, but if they do it's always important to grab ahold of them.

I loved the romance between former friends that meet again and have a second chance to have something special, and throughout the story Adri grows and heals from the things she has endured when she had been with her ex.

Thank you NetGalley for an arc of this novel.

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An engaging novel full of real characters, an endearing story line and redemptive qualities. Savor this novel. I look forward to reading more of Carmen Schober's work. Five stars.

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"After She Falls" is a Christian romance. Though I liked many things about this story, it's written in present tense, which detracted from the story in my opinion. I simply find it easier to read a novel written in the usual past tense. Since the focus of the story was on Adri training as a professional mixed martial artist and fighting in cage fights, there was violence. The author focused mainly on the fighting moves and strategies (at a level that anyone can follow) but didn't shy away from the injuries that can occur. The author also didn't make the characters perfect. It's implied that Max had casual sexual flings, and Adri wasn't married when she got pregnant. However, there were no sex scenes. There wasn't printed out bad language beyond a few uses of cr*p.

The author explored how difficult it is to leave an abusive husband. Max was still attracted to Adri. He was jealous and doubted she'd truly leave her husband since her own mother never left her abusive husband. This created a realistic tension to their relationship where attraction kept getting shattered by this lack of trust. It took advice from people who'd been there before and the influence of God (which happened slowly) to shift their relationship into healthy territory. Though nothing was left hanging, the story ended with the results of a big championship fight rather than the usual romance novel epilogue (which is fine by me). Anyway, realistic, complex characters struggling with real problems. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting novel.

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2021 has been the year I branch out to new genres. After She Falls is the first Christian Contemporary Fiction I’ve read, and it happens to be the author, Carmen Schober’s debut novel. I’m so glad I got a chance to read it, thanks to the publisher, Bethany House Publishers (on Netgalley). This book has made me realize I need to read more of this genre.

Storyline/My Thoughts: First, I will get this out of the way and mention that this book was a tearjerker for me. I was in tears several times in this book due to the female protagonist, Adri Rivera, and what she endured and overcame in this book. After so many years of dealing with her abusive husband, Adri Rivera decides to leave him and return to where she grew up in Pennsylvania with her daughter. She knows it’s not going to be easy, especially after she left everyone behind that cared for her. Her Uncle welcomes her back and helps her get back on her feet. He’s the one that helped raise her and brought her into something she loved when she was younger. Adri wanted to become a professional mixed martial artist years ago, but she put it on the back-burner when she met her husband, Owen. Now is her chance to make her dreams come true. She knows it will be challenging, but she will prove to herself and everyone she can do it.

When Adri left years ago, she left behind her best friend and training partner, Max, who had feelings for her. Their friendship has never been the same, but there may be a second chance of them together. It will take some time since Max is not over Adri, leaving him for Owen. I could understand his frustration and why he was hesitant to be around Adir. They eventually work together since Max hires Adri as an instructor at his gym and then assists her with her MMA training. I was rooting for these two to realize how much they cared for each other. They were meant to be together.

I love stories that involve second chances at love or even life, and Carmen Schober did a fantastic job with her debut novel. I loved Adri and reading how she not only was conquering her dream of becoming a professional MMA fighter but growing her faith, too. This was my first Christian contemporary book, and it will not be my last. I loved how the author had scripture in the book and how it aligned with Adri’s story. I also loved all the secondary characters, especially Roman (her Uncle) and Boom, who were there to help with Adri’s faith.

The ending almost did me in with the crying. I’m so glad my husband was not around when I finished the book. After completing the book, I had to take a deep breath because of what happened to Adri at the end. Don’t worry; it was happy tears.
Overall, this book has become my favorite of 2021, and I give it five stars. I look forward to reading more books from this author.

Standalone or Part of Series: Standalone.

Trope: Second Chances

Trigger Warnings: Domestic Violence; Violence from Fights; Animal Abuse (in the very beginning of the book)

Would I recommend this book? Yes, most definitely. If you love reading Christian Contemporary Fiction books that include second chances (at love and life), then this book is for you. This book has become my favorite book of 2021, and I plan to buy a physical copy to add to my home library.

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After She Falls
by Carmen Schober
Pub Date: November 2, 2021
Bethany House Publishers
* Christian * Romance * Contemporary
+18 for violence and domestic abuse

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC. This is not my typical read but I found myself drawn to this book and I loved the characters. This is a good book! Note: Due to the nature of this story, there is a certain level of violent behavior within several scenes. Alcohol also flows freely, it would be more surprising if it didn't.


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This is a new author for me which I enjoyed from beginning to end. This is a story that is written with alot of heart and the author's use of details made it realistic. This is a well written story about Adri and her dreams of becoming a mixed martial artist. As she is faced with comfronting her past and her weaknesses will she find her future? This is a really great story that I enjoyed. The characters pulled me into the story from the beginning. They are connectable and made the story engaging. The author's writing skills brought the story to life on each page. I also enjoyed Adri's growth throughout the story. This is a story that I highly recommend. It is worth the pic up.

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This book was inspiring, thoughtful, and very well written. I was drawn in right away and didn't want to put it down.
I really enjoyed these characters. They felt real and the kind of people I would love to know in real life.

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First and foremost, I must start by saying that this is not an easy book to read by any means... for any one. I believe it is going to be especially difficult for anyone who has personally dealt with abuse, and could potentially be triggering for them. The opening scene of the book I think really draws us into that. I think it's an important story to tell... just one that might not be one that is easy for every person to read.

Now, I must admit this isn't a book that I would typically pick up. I'm not really into MMA and fighting, or really sports of any type... so sports stories of any kind aren't going to be my first choice but I was drawn in by the description nonetheless. While it was certainly different for me in that regard, I thought the author did a great job of drawing the reader into the story regardless of whether they are into that or not with the compelling story at hand. It was a very good debut novel, and I look forward to seeing more from this author in the future.

**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

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After She Falls was a challenging story to read as it dealt with some hard topics. Adri was an upcoming mixed-martial arts fighter before she fell in love with Owen. Their relationship was physically abusive and there wasn't any room for her dreams so she gave it up.

When she walked away from him, she had to face all the people she had left behind and that had a lot of angst. There were some persons who were welcoming but in a lot of cases she had disappointed people or broken their hearts.

I liked watching Adri grow in her faith and in her confidence as she trained to become a fighter again. Yet there were times when she annoyed me because she didn't seem to know her own mind. She wanted both Max and Owen and sent Max a lot of mixed signals. I also did not like that there was an element of cheating since her relationship with Max progressed beyond the borders of friendship while she was still married to Owen.

Max also grew in his faith and his character matured over the course of this book. He went from "God doesn't exist" to "Jesus is my Savior" and it was done in a way that was realistic. He explored the idea of God, took the time to read the Bible and ask questions.

The fights were described in gruesome detail which may be not be to everyone's taste, but gave the book a realistic feel. After She Falls was well-written and compelling. Readers will be reminded that God is real. He exists and we can trust Him even when bad things happen.

I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.

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This is a great book. Adri is running from her abusive husband and goes back to the small town where she grew up. She gave up fighting (MMA) for her abusive husband. She had trained for a lifetime to be a professional MMA Fighter and gave it all up because he career imploded. Can she make a new life with her daughter and regain herself worth and find a new/old love?

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Title: After She Falls
Author: Carmen Schober
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four
"After She Falls" by Carmen Schober

My Opinion:

"After She Falls" was a heartfelt and emotional story that keeps one turning the pages. Adri Rivera had been a martial artist, but her life changed after several incidents in her life. Being married to an abusive ex-fighter, Adri decides to return to her hometown of Sparta with her daughter, Eva, and their dog Rocky. Will Adri be able to pick up the life that she had left? Well, as the story continues, we find that MMA Fighting is still in Adri's blood, and so it seems like she is set for fighting again but will it be an easy road for her? Especially now that it looks like her life with her ex appears to rear its head back into her life. Yes, we know she was a Christian and all, but sometimes common sense wasn't when she dealt with some of the issues with her friend Max Lyons and her reason for breaking up with him six years ago in the first place was rather strange. Yes, maybe Adri thought her ex-husband [Owen Anders] had changed for his daughter stake, but really, with everyone telling her differently and for her to be careful. Oh, well, sometimes people have to learn the hard way! The characters, especially Uncle Roman, Aunt Yvonne, Eva, Max, Boom, and others, added so much to this good story.

By the end of the story, it looks like Adri has finally found her way but will it be with...this is where I say pick up "After She Falls" to see how this author will bring it all out to you, the reader.

Thank you, NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers, with this review being entirely my own opinion.

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