One Lucky Hero is the first full-length novel and the second release, after the prequel novella I Need a Hero, in the Codi Gary-penned Men in Uniform contemporary romance series, which is about the military men who are part of the Alpha Dog Training Program and the women who they fall in love with. Here, readers are re-introduced to Sergeant Dean Sparks, assigned as the head of Alpha Dog, and someone who's been waiting for months to be given the green light to return to the field. He meets twenty-four-year-old Violet Douglas, a college student and a suicide hotline counselor, at a musical event. Dean takes one look at her and immediately pegs her as the kind of woman who needs a committed relationship. Violet corrects Dean's assumptions and in spite of their attraction, they try to keep things between them strictly platonic. But the more entrenched they become in each other's lives, the deeper their feelings grow. Can either of them let go of their pasts so as to have a future, or are they destined for heartbreak?
I make no secret of how much of a sucker I am when it comes to books that have dogs as part of the story, so a series like Men in Uniform was a no-brainer. Fortunately, Codi Gary's storytelling makes the time I put into reading the books worth it, as showcased in this tale of finding love when you aren't looking for it and how far you're willing to go for family. Dean Sparks is itching to return to the battlefield but his work with the Alpha Dog Training Program turns out to be surprisingly satisfying. He's dealing with survivor's guilt but refuses to even contemplate that he suffers from post-traumatic stress. He never intended to form any close ties while stateside but that's exactly what he ends up doing with the brotherhood he has with his fellow officers in Alpha Dog, his dog Dilbert, the boys under his care, as well as with Violet Douglas and her two siblings. He's a good guy and the evolution his character goes through in the story was inspiring as he journeys through an ongoing transition in his life and embraces his newfound purpose.
As stubborn as she was at times, I liked Violet, especially when it came to how dedicated she was to her younger siblings, Daisy and Casey. She lost her parents in very different ways, forcing her to become the parent in her family. She doesn't deal well with asking for help or even it being offered freely and without any strings attached. We're used to reading about how its the girl who often gets that jolt of awareness when she comes in contact with the guy the first time around and I loved that the author decided to switch things up her and not just in that one instance. Dean was exactly what Violet needed even though she didn't want to admit it, thinking it would be a sign of weakness on her part. He earned quite a few bonus points with everything he did to earn not just Violet's trust but those of her sister and brother as well. The prequel novella had me curious as to the stories of the three other men in the Alpha Dog program and with One Lucky Hero, I found myself emotionally invested and eager for even more from this series. 4.5 stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Men in Uniform series:
I Need a Hero (prequel novella) - 4.5 stars - My Review
One Lucky Hero (book one) - 4.5 stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 17 August 2016
Learn more about Codi Gary.