Review: After Hours by Cara McKenna

 After Hours by Cara McKenna I have heard Cara McKenna’s name mentioned so many time, mostly in connection with Curio, but I have never had the privilege to read her books.  When After Hours was offered for review I thought this would be the perfect chance for me to start.  Let me tell you, after reading After Hours I went on a Cara McKenna glom and read seven books in a row.  This book is that good!

A dangerous infatuation with a rough and ready man…

Erin Coffey is starting a new job at Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital.  While she has been a nurse for years she has really only practiced on her mother.  Now her mother has passed away and she is left to look after her serious dysfunctional sister and nephew.  In order to stay close to them she accepts the job at the psychiatric hospital not knowing what she is getting into.

On her first day she notices a very large, rugged man dressed similarly to some of the patients.  When she asks about him she is told he is not a patient but the muscle.  He is around to help subdue people when things get out of control.  He a big and works a job that requires a level of violence which should immediately put Erin off.  She has had more than enough violence dealing with her crazy sister’s boyfriends.  Unfortunately, Kelly does anything but put her off.  Erin likes the way Kelly looks and she has a feeling it might get her into trouble.

After her first night at work Kelly takes her out for a drink.  Nothing crazy happens but she learns some things about him and finds out that he might be solid and stable.  She is still unwilling to take the chance.  She needs to keep things as even keel as possible so she can be there for her nephew, if needed.

After several more encounters Erin comes to the conclusion that maybe she won’t be able to stay away from Kelly.  When Kelly proposes one weekend, the way he wants it, she cannot resist the temptation.  She decides to give in to his one weekend request and then after that she will be able to put him behind her.  Of course, the one weekend turns into something more that neither of them count on.

Kelly and I had basically spent all of Thursday and Friday in one long, carnal conversation.  No wonder my body felt hoarse.

So what did I like about this book?  Well pretty much everything.  Kelly is my kind of hero.  He is no bullshit, take charge type of guy.  He says what he want and means and there is no grey area.  In their first meeting Kelly describes why he doesn’t usually have a girlfriend and it is quite hysterical.  He doesn’t have a woman because he likes things his way and sees no reason to compromise.  Of course, most relationships won’t work under those circumstances.

I didn’t love Erin as much as I did Kelly because she had a tendency to mother her sister to death.  At some point I think the umbilical cord just needs to be cut.  But what I did like is that once she realized she was developing feelings for Kelly she wasn’t so against exploring them.  She dislikes violence but she is smart enough to realize the difference in Kelly.

Ms. McKenna’s writing is what really sucked me into this book.  She has a way with words and phrases that make me laugh or think or sigh or…well you get the point.  Her writing evokes emotion in me.  She has a way with phrases, words and paragraphs that make me feel.  This story was about two average people but I was completely drawn into their HEA.  Kelly presents himself as an overwhelming dominant but slowly the tables are turned on him and we see something from a different side also.

The ending is a HEA but it also felt like a HFN.  I would love to see another book about this couple.  I have no idea what is planned but they could still have some story ahead of them if Ms. McKenna would write it (please???)

“Even if you are a wreck,” Kelly added, turning onto his street, “you crazy chicks are always fucking rabid in the sack.  So I’ll take my chances.”

Overall this was a really good book.  After my serious glom, I would also recommend Willing Victim (same type of hero) and Curio.  Final grade- A-

Favorite Quote:

“Come to my place, some weekend.”  His voice was low and deadly serious.

“What for?”


I snorted.  “Don’t be coy now, Kel.  Spell it out for me.”

“Come to my place and be mine.  For a weekend.”

“What?  Like a carpet shampooer”  You’ll have to put down a deposit.”

Rating: A-
After Hours by Cara McKenna
April 16th 2013 by Penguin / Intermix
Amazon || Barnes & Noble || ARe


  1. Amy says

    You know my love for Didier in Curio knows no bounds. Looking forward to reading this one. This quote nails it with regard to McKenna’s voice. So good.

    “She has a way with words and phrases that make me laugh or think or sigh or…well you get the point. Her writing evokes emotion in me. She has a way with phrases, words and paragraphs that make me feel.”

  2. Mandi says

    I loved this book too.

    And since you mentioned the HFN status – I really liked that it ended with Kelly saying

    Show Spoiler »

    “I can see myself falling in love with you one day”

    SO glad the love was not rushed. And yes – I could use another book!

    • says

      HFN makes me grumbly. Especially when there isn’t a promise of a next book. I am, unashamedly, a white picket fences and babies, epilogue lover.

  3. says

    Now I can’t wait to read this one. I had been seeing it on Goodreads but I hadn’t had the chance to read a review on it yet. I’m glad to learn you really enjoyed the story and that you were able to go on to read and enjoy many more books by this author.

    Thanks for the great review!

  4. says

    This one looks good! I’m especially intrigued since you mentioned immediately going on a glom of her work after reading this. It makes me curious to see what hooked you so much. :)


  1. […] After Hours by Cara McKenna ** [AMZ – BN – S – K] I’ve been a fan of Cara McKenna, and her alter ego Meg Maguire, for a while. This tale of two mental health workers romancing each other with a bit of dominance and dirty talking really worked for me. Erin and Kelly’s funny banter, their intense love scenes and even Kelly being a gruff, reliable, real life man all came together to be a must read contemporary romance. Jen’s review here. […]