Saturday, January 29, 2022

Book Review: After She Falls, by Carmen Schober

Okay, stay with me - this is going to be a different one:

Today, I'm reviewing After She Falls -
a mixed martial arts (MMA) romance by Carmen Schober.

You heard that right: an MMA Christian Romance!

Let's start by going back a bit:

When Gerald and I were first married, we decided we would each subject invite the other to watch one of our favourite TV shows, in the interest of sharing our hobbies and interests. 

I chose American Idol - a fairly safe bet given our love of singing. Gerald chose The Ultimate Fighter - an MMA reality show about fighters trying to make it in the big leagues.

At first, I was horrified! I'm not a fighter, and I hated watching these young men (and eventually, women!) smash each other's faces into the canvas. But my new husband had a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Ishinryu Karate, and an extensive history in martial arts. Where I saw only violence, he saw skill and technique. Over time, I came to appreciate the true sport in the fights, and the incredible spirit of these talented athletes. 

So, when I saw that a new author had written an MMA Christian fiction romance,
I knew I had to review it!

Our heroine -  Adri Rivera - was raised in an MMA family. Her talent and passion had her on the fast track to success, until an abusive husband and unplanned pregnancy set her on a very different path. As our story opens, Adri has returned home to find a new life for herself and her daughter. But you can't escape old dreams and old flames in a small town.

I read After She Falls really quickly. The plot has a great pace, the characters are really clear, and the story comes to a very satisfying conclusion. 

But full disclosure with no spoilers - this book isn't going to be for everyone. 

There are detailed descriptions of MMA fights. They're really well done, but I did read some reviews where readers struggled with the violence. There are also descriptions of domestic abuse. These scenes are never gratuitous, and are completely necessary to the plot, but they're definitely difficult to read.

I'm not sharing this to be negative, but I know that scenes like this aren't typical for Christian fiction. I just think it's fair to warn you, just in case you're sensitive to such things.

Ultimately, After She Falls is a story of redemption, rebuilding, and returning to your dreams, 
and we all need more stories like that! 

Carmen regularly blogs about faith, writing, and fighting at: 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

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