New Release Review and Giveaway! WELCOME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Annie Rains (A Hero’s Welcome novel)

Their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.

WELCOME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
A Hero’s Welcome #4
Annie Rains
Releasing Nov 8th, 2016
The bestselling Hero’s Welcomes series continues with a juicy Christmas romance set in Seaside, North Carolina, where a bustling military base keeps this small town stocked with dedicated, lovable heroes.
 
Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.
Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s center. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.

tastytoursexcerpt

 “So there’s one thing I now know about you. You’re a good liar.” Allison folded her arms at her chest.

“Good, maybe. But I value honesty. Sometimes lying to someone is for their own good, though. A little white lie never really hurt anyone. Here’s one for you,” he leaned in closer and lowered his voice, “I have absolutely no interest in dating you, either.”

Her cheeks flushed.

“And I don’t think you’re the most beautiful woman in this room, and the thought of taking you out does not appeal to me whatsoever.” He shook his head. “Nope, not one little bit.”

She smiled. “Now I know two things about you. You lie well and you’re a smooth talker. So, do you agree to my proposal?”

Troy could just say yes, but he was enjoying engaging her in a conversation. “You know, when I was kid, Christmas was always magical. I’d sit with the toy catalog and create this huge, mile-long list of the things I wanted. I never got so excited about a pencil and paper.”

“Did you get everything on the list?” she asked.

“Usually.”

“So your family had money?”

He nodded. His family practically owned the town he’d grown up in. He didn’t know what it felt like to want for something until his cousin Dale had died in 9-11, the deciding factor in him joining the military. “I figure the more money raised for those kids, the better their Christmas will be.”

“That’s my goal. I want this to be the best Christmas Mercy’s kids have ever had.”

“So, if I have to take you out . . .” He trailed off, smiling at her.

“We’re just going to talk. Have a meal or something together. No kissing, no handholding.”

Troy held up his hands. “I’m an honorable guy. I don’t force myself on women. Truth is, I usually have to fight them off.” He winked again.

“And you can’t act like that when you meet my mother.”

“Like what?” he asked.

“All flirty and charming. She’ll never believe that I’d fall for someone like that.”

He tried not to take offense because no matter what she was saying, she was attracted to him. He could see it in her dilated pupils and the way her chest rose just slightly under her racing pulse. “No? What kind of guy exactly would you fall for?”

Allison looked around the room. There was still a nice-sized crowd laughing and mingling. Christmas music filled the merry air. “I wouldn’t fall for any kind of guy right now. That’s why I’m pretending with you.”

tastytoursreview
A sweet holiday story with a fake romance with an expiration date, Welcome Home for Christmas made a nice addition to the Hero’s Welcome series. It would work fine as a standalone, though, if you’re just looking for a holiday-themed story; characters from the other series books make an appearance, but there’s nothing from their stories that you have to have read to enjoy this one.

I really liked Allison and Troy together; the whole buying-a-guy-to-be-your-fake-date-for-a-family-gathering is becoming a bit of a troupe, but it still works for me. Plenty of room for chemistry and denying feelings and all that good stuff that just works when it’s done well. Throw in the fact that an anti-Christmas Marine manages to get his Christmas mojo back and yeah, it’s going to be a win all around. Throw in orphans, and I’m a goner.

I was a little bummed that we didn’t really see Troy working with his K-9 partner much (or at all, really–he spends time with him towards the end, and that was about it) but we don’t really see either of them at work all that much throughout. All the more couple time, then, which it’s hard to argue with 😉

The one aspect of the story that made me a little nuts, though, was Allison’s tendency to overreact to…things. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there’s two times where something happens and she goes completely around the bend over them. Like, her brand-new-relationship’s-finished kind of over the bend. That part had me gripping my ereader a bit more firmly than usual and giving her a squinty-eyed glare, but since it’s a romance I knew she’d come to her senses…eventually.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 
USA Today
Bestselling Author, 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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99-Cent Sale Blitz! WELCOME HOME, COWBOY by Annie Rains (A Hero’s Welcome #2)

 I reviewed this here when it first came out 🙂
It takes a cowboy to rescue the town’s newest resident from heartache.
 
WELCOME HOME, COWBOY
A Hero’s Welcome Book Two
Annie Rains
Released April 26th, 2016
Loveswept
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.
ONLY .99 CENTS
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Excerpt-Banner

“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.

 

Don’t Miss any of the Hero’s Welcome Series!
WELCOME TO FOREVER (Available Now)


WELCOMING THE BAD BOY (Releasing 8/2)

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).