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Annie’s Top Reasons Why Reading Romance is Better Than Sex:
1) Any fantasy, any time.
2) On the subway? No problem. Doctor’s office? Why not?
3) Mess? What mess?
4) Reading is very safe! (Unless you’re reading and walking. Don’t try that.)
5) It’s perfectly okay to fall asleep in the middle of reading. And resume where you left off when you wake up.
6) Leaving reviews afterwards is welcome. Write them all over the bathroom walls and Amazon. Tell the world how many stars you saw while reading.
7) Reading multiple times in one night isn’t unheard of.
8) Read alone. Read with someone. Read with a whole group of strangers. Perfectly acceptable!
9) And last, but certainly not least: there’s ALWAYS a happy ending in romance, for both the hero and the heroine.
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).Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
“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.
A sweet romance!
I really enjoyed Julie and Lawson’s story. They both had a lot of pain in their past to get over before they could get to their HEAs, and it wasn’t always an easy journey, especially with Lawson’s tendency to not talk about anything important. Argh. A frustrating quality, but unfortunately also totally believable, as I know all too well. He definitely gets bonus points for creative use of yoga in a grand gesture, at least 😉
(Plus, now I’m more determined than ever to break out my yoga mat again–Julie’s got me convinced, right along with Lawson and the entire town of Seaside! )
Welcome Home, Cowboy is the second in the series, but it worked well as a standalone. You see just enough of the hero and heroine of Welcome to Forever (Julie’s sister Kat and Lawson’s best friend Micah) to whet your appetite–seeing them here, you’ll most likely want to find out how they got together in the first place. And since book three in the series ( Welcoming the Bad Boy ) isn’t out yet, you’ve got plenty of time to find out 😉
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for and honest review.