Welcome Home, Cowboy: Hero’s Welcome #2 by Annie Rains with Giveaway

Welcome Home, Cowboy: Hero's Welcome #2 by Annie Rains with Giveaway

The second in the Hero’s Welcome series from Annie Rains is on the blog today – a wonderful heartfelt story that uses fears, trauma, tragedies and hope in ways that is both unexpected and wonderful.  Please read on for my review and excerpt, check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the book and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 Amazon gift card.  But first …

Welcome Home, Cowboy

Returning to Seaside, we have Julie who has come home after a series of fails: failed relationship, failed confidence and an attempt to find her footing.  She really wants to make her mark as a yoga instructor, and offers her class and skills at the local Veteran’s center.

Lawson is a pilot, injured after a helo crash, and dealing with the associated guilt, fear and other lingering effects of deployment.  The yoga class is one of those opportunities that his treatment team believes he should take – and order him to participate with the thought that it will help him build techniques for lowering his stress levels.

There aren’t too many shortcuts in the ‘issue’ area here – Lawson has to do the work to get the benefits, and Julie also has her own history of the abusive relationship to put in the past.  Their connection is palpable with sexual tension, but these two do serve to help one another move through the minefield that is recovery.  While I found that Julie’s final moments leading to her letting go of the past were a bit ‘out there’ and didn’t feel as plausible as I had hoped, she is able to reframe her own expectations and learn to stand on her own two feet as she moves past the self-doubt and questions brought on by that relationship.

Lawson was more of an enigma – there were plenty of issues to work through, and I think that there were moments where the issues took the place of development of his character in demonstrable ways. He did grow and develop an understanding of the issues he was dealing with, and we did see him start to come to terms with his own guilt, I wanted a bit more of his journey TO those points. Yes – we see him struggling and later on in his recovery, and a low moment (as this trajectory is never always forward moving) worked to show that these aren’t quick fixes, but I did want to feel that his changes were actually incorporated, so I saw more of his growth rather than just be told about them in different perspectives.  This didn’t detract – in fact for a second published work this book continues to display the promise I saw from Rains’ first title, I just hoped for a bit more.

Annie Rains is an author to watch, and this series is a solid read for those who like a rather tortured and troubled hero, or military themes with heart, options and some truly honest perspectives on PTSD, Trauma recovery and coming to terms with the past.

Welcome Home, Cowboy: Hero’s Welcome #2 by Annie Rains with Giveaway

Title: Welcome Home Cowboy
Author: Annie Rains
Series: Hero's Welcome #2
Also in this series: Welcome to Forever, Welcoming the Bad Boy
Genre: Contemporary Military Romance
Published by: Loveswept
ISBN: 1101964782
Published on: 26 April, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 261
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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With its thriving military base, Seaside, North Carolina, is teeming with heroes of all stripes. But, as the Hero’s Welcome series from Annie Rains continues, it takes a cowboy to rescue the town’s newest resident from heartache.

After a bad breakup leaves Julie Chandler completely devastated, she comes to Seaside seeking a fresh start. A talented, compassionate yoga teacher, she has developed a program to help alleviate the effects of PTSD, but getting a bunch of bullheaded Marines into downward facing dog might be impossible. So Julie’s shocked when one of her first students dives in headfirst—and almost tempts her to take down her walls with his easy smile and electrifying touch.

Ever since Texas cowboy turned Marine pilot Lawson Phillips lost a crew member in a helicopter accident, he hasn’t been able to fly. When a psychologist orders him to attend, of all things, a yoga class, Lawson’s outraged—until he finds out Julie is the instructor. She’s beautiful, graceful, and completely guarded when it comes to his advances, but he’s determined to find out what makes her tick. Because underneath Julie’s hard shell is a woman Lawson knows he could fall for—and he’s not ready for the ride to end.

See the Hero’s Welcome series on Goodreads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Header - Excerpt - Tasty

“Come ride with me anytime,” he said, helping her dismount from the horse when they were back at the barn. He didn’t place his hands on her ass this time, which was both regrettable and a relief. Instead, he steadied her waist with his hands. She turned to face him after he helped her to the ground, and was surprised to find how close they were standing. Close enough that the brim of his hat on her head nearly touched his chin.

“This belongs to you.” She took off the hat and went up on her tiptoes to put it back where it belonged. Their eyes locked as the movement brought them even closer together. Her heart bucked again, like a wild horse ready to bolt.

Returning to flat feet, she started to step away. Needed to step away. Too bad Bon-Bon was still behind her, blocking her escape.

“Julie?” he said, making her feet pause and her heart stutter. She liked the sound of her name on his lips. Low, deep.

“Yes?” she asked breathlessly.

He reached out his hand to tame a strand of her hair brushing against her cheek. “You have what I call hat-hair.” He took his time smoothing the hair around her ear, awakening every nerve in her body. Then he slowly dipped, keeping his blue-as-the-ocean eyes on hers, and kissed her.

She melted into him instead of stepping away. The side of his cheek on hers was warm and inviting, intoxicating. His tongue tapped softly against hers, just once, as he swept his hand behind her neck, pulling her gently toward him.

A soft moan escaped her throat, betraying her. She parted her lips for him, inviting him in, begging him to stay, which he did for just a moment longer. Then he broke it off, keeping it sweet. The kiss had threatened to be more, though. It had threatened to take her inside that barn, lay her down on a blanket of hay, and be a whole hell of a lot more.

“See you later, Lawson,” she said, forcing herself to step away from him, away from the horse and the barn. She turned toward her car and didn’t look back. Otherwise, her hormones were going to win and drag this cowboy into the barn and slam the stall doors behind them.

“See you later, Julie,” he called after her.

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About Annie Rains

Annie Rains is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America's largest military communities, Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn't writing, she's spending time with her husband and 3 children, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors. Represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA).

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