Review: Welcome Home, Cowboy by Annie Rains (A Hero's Welcome #2)

Note: This ARC was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome Home, Cowboy is the second novel in the A Hero's Welcome series written by author Annie Rains. Lawson Phillips and Julie Chandler were first introduced to readers in the series starter, Welcome to Forever, as one of Micah Peterson's best friends and a fellow Marine and as Kat Chandler's younger sister, respectively. In this sequel, Lawson is back from his last deployment and suffers from what is a suspected case of post-traumatic stress disorder after what he deems was his failure to rescue one member of his team while on a mission. On the other hand, Julie is trying to make a go at a career and decides to take her chances by coming up with a program that uses yoga to help members of the military lessen their stress levels. Neither one seems to be prepared for a committed relationship but love works on its own timeline.

Julie's last relationship was with a very controlling man who didn't really consider her needs or wants and belittled her capabilities. She's wary about men in general and while she can't deny that cowboy turned marine Lawson has her more than curious about him, she knows keeping her distance will spare her a broken heart. But circumstances throw them together more than once, and when Lawson is basically mandated to regularly attend an exercise class--which just happens to be the yoga class that Julie is teaching--avoiding each other doesn't seem to be an option any longer. Julie slowly lets down her guard, but Lawson still has his demons and sharing them with Julie is something he would rather not even consider. Can he trust in the love that they feel for one another to overcome each of his fears and doubts?

I admit that Julie wasn't exactly a favorite of mine in the first book and I wasn't a fan for a few chapters into this second one. She did, however, grow on me and I appreciated how she developed as a character throughout the story. I also liked how she handled her situation with her ex-boyfriend--who was quite a jackass--and how she truly came into her own. Lawson brought out the best in her, being supportive while ensuring that he was there for her whenever she needed him. Lawson was such a great character, though I do wish that there was a more definitive, if not continuing, resolution to his PTSD, because let's face it, that's what he was really going through. All in all, I enjoyed Lawson and Julie's story. Griffin Black and Val Hunt are in book three, but I hope Beth also gets her own HEA. Welcome Home, Cowboy gets four stars. ♥

Release Date: 26 April 2016

Date Read: 25 April 2016

Learn more about Annie Rains.

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