Welcome Home, Cowboy
A Hero’s Welcome #2
By: Annie Rains
Released April 26, 2016
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.
A story that made me smile, laugh out loud, shed a tear, and sigh so deeply, while telling a tale of love, and loss, and the aftermath of war, and the mark it leaves on the military personnel.
One thing I didn't expect from the story, was to learn so much about yoga, as an exercise, as stress relief, as a way to cope with life, and as in Lawson and Julie's case, even as flirting.
I really enjoyed Lawson and Julie together. They were making an effort, an effort to get to know each other better, and effort to ease and help each other in everyday life, as well as they could, an effort to make the relationship work and develop. They are both the kind of characters that are easy to like, and relate to. They didn't let their troubles to define them, but fought to get over the fumbles life gave them. The passion, adoration, and attraction they had for each other is not only sizzling, but charming, gentle and lovable as well.
The stress and impact of a war zone on the soldiers, the cold sweats, nightmares, fears, and angst were dealt with respect, honoring the military in their difficult task.
The supporting characters fit well into the tale, contributing more insight to the lives and history of Lawson and Julie.
A well thought out plot, with multiple layers of interests, in a story that flows off the pages, and touches the heart and mind of the reader, with characters that will linger in the thoughts long after, while being as entertaining as poignant deserves nothing less than
~ Five Spoons!
“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.
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.
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