Apr 28, 2016

Welcome Home, Cowboy by Annie Rains Review

Welcome Home, Cowboy
A Hero’s Welcome #2
By: Annie Rains
Releasing 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.

After a bad breakup Julie Chandler decides she needs a fresh start. So after arriving in Seaside, she sets to work, developing a yoga program at the veterans center, using yoga to offset some the PTSD effects. But she runs in to some resistance with the center manager, whom doesn't believe in her program; but ends up doing the program for free to prove that it works. But free doesn't pay the bills, so now she is looking for a job that fits in with the program and the best job that she finds comes from the most unlikely person…Lawson Phillips.

Marine pilot Lawson Phillips is suffering from PTSD since he lost a crew member and hasn't been able to fly since. But when his psychologist sends him to a yoga class to help him combat his PTSD, Lawson wants to dismiss it out of hand…that is until he sees the teacher! Lawson has been attracted to Julie since the wedding between his best friend and her sister, but Julie has never seen interested in him…almost running at every encounter. Now Julie needs help and Lawson has the ability to help her, by supporting the program and getting her a job as a babysitter to his niece. But just when everything seems to be going great, a set back sends Lawson running for the hills and you are left wondering if this is it for Lawson and Julie.

This is such a sweet and funny story, that deals with the huge issue and struggles of PTSD. The story line was solid with not too many bumps in the road. The writing was smooth and descriptive and the characters were likable. The only part of the story that didn't fit for me was really the title, as in my mind Lawson was always a Marine, rather than a cowboy, but honestly that really was not a big deal.

I gave Welcome Home, Cowboy 4 stars and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series.

Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo
“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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