Monday, April 25, 2016

Blog tour: Welcome Home Cowboy by Annie Rains

A Hero's Welcome Book Two
Annie Rains
Releasing April 26th, 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.

I loved Welcome To Forever so much I wasn't sure I'd ever manage to like another book half as much. Annie Rains didn't disappoint with this new story, and pulled me right into the book, making me fall in love once again with her characters, the small town setting and an emotional story that made my heart soar. I think I'll never get enough of this series!

Lawson and Julie were secondary characters in book one: Lawson was Micah's best friend, while Julie was Kat's little sister. I liked Lawson's funny and a little cocky attitude in book one, and Julie's personality, and I greedily waited to get my hands on their book. I was glad I haven't had to wait too long!

Just like the previous book, this story is set in a small, military community in North Carolina but what makes it even more intriguing than Welcome To Forever is that Lawson is not only a marine but also a cowboy. Two of my favorite types of heroes mixed into one. . . Wham! You've got the right ingredient for an ultra-hot hero that will sweep you off your feet from the moment he enters the story. And what an entrance! I was mortified and laughing at the same time. Julie and Lawson's is definitely a great meet-cute.

Julie is getting over a heartbreak, and now that she's back in her hometown and living in her sister's house, she needs to get back on her feet, find a job and recover from the blow she took only months before. Yoga helped her a lot, and she wants to use her knowledge and passion for the discipline to help the soldiers on the base, especially those who suffer from PTSD. If only she could convince the old, tough owner of the veteran center to give her a chance, she knows she could make a difference.

Lawson is recovering from a war injury and fighting PTSD even though he insists he's okay. He's determined to go back to active duty, but he can't step near a helicopter without panicking. He knows if he can't get his head back in the game, he'll be moved to another base, leaving his sister and little niece behind. He's a tortured soul with a huge heart, who's hiding behind a tough marine and cocky cowboy fa├žade. He's an utterly adorable book boyfriend!

I loved reading Lawson and Julie's interactions. His first yoga class was hilarious, even though I wanted to swat the back of his head, and wished Julie would kick him out. When they started getting closer, my heart swelled at the sweet, romantic and funny scenes. What I liked about these two was that they never failed to bring a smile to my face. Their banter was sweet, sometimes sexy and sometimes downright romantic. Page after page I felt a little closer to them, felt Lawson's pain and fear of failure, of failing his sister, his niece and even Julie. I felt Julie's insecurities, her struggle to stay away from Lawson even as he was all she could think about. I loved the building of the romance between them, and was pained when they reached their dark moment and everything seemed lost.

Just like in book one, Annie Rains has a way of pulling the reader into the story; with every story I feel like she's wrapping a warm, fuzzy blanket of emotion around me and taking me on a beautiful journey toward a happily ever after that won't fail to leave me with a contented smile and a heart full of emotions. 

I laughed, and suffered and then swooned all along with them, and when I reached the last page, I considered writing an e-mail to the author, begging her to write a few more chapters, because I just didn't want to let go yet. I needed more Lawson and Julie! As well as more Micah and Kat - which I partially got, with her free short story (by the way, thank you, Annie!)

I truly loved this book. I could go on and on about the many reasons why I loved this book, but sometimes words just aren't enough (which, coming from a writer sounds a little weird). Just trust me when I say all you really need to do is read this book asap!

If you've read Welcome To Forever, I have no doubt you'll enjoy this book just as much. If you still have to discover Annie Rains book, Welcome Home Cowboy works perfectly as a standalone, but I recommend reading book one, too once you've finished this, just because it's a wonderful story! (read my review). 

Amazon | B& N | iTunes | Kobo |

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).

Hi Annie, welcome to Roberta's Dreamworld! First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.

I have always loved romance, books, and rain! Mix them all together (reading a romance book while it’s raining) and I am blissfully happy!  (note by Roberta: I love reading when it's raining outside!)

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

I started writing stories when I was around 6 years old. I’ve always wanted to write!

Can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?

WELCOME HOME, COWBOY is book 2 in my Hero’s Welcome series. This one follows Lawson Phillips, who was introduced in book 1. Lawson is showing symptoms of PTSD and he’s been ordered to take a yoga class from the heroine (Julie Chandler) to help with his stress. He’s not happy about taking a yoga class until he gets a good look at the instructor. 

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?

Lawson came to life in my book 1, WELCOME TO FOREVER. I knew I wanted him to have his own book. He’s charming and easygoing in book 1 as Micah’s friend. I wanted to turn his world upside down a bit and see how he handled it—thus, I put him in a fiery helicopter crash. Julie is the sister of my book 1’s heroine. She is introduced in book 1 as well. I believe I was pregnant with my 3rd child at the time, and I couldn’t wait to start exercising and get back into shape. So I made Julie a health-conscious yoga instructor that I could live vicariously through!

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?

Heartfelt. Sweet. Emotional.  (note by Roberta: I agree with Annie on all three)

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing?

As I said earlier, I have 3 young children. When I’m not writing, I enjoy doing things with them! We love to play board games and watch superhero movies together!

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

When I pick up a book, I want it to make me laugh and cry in equal proportion. I want to feel something, whether it be love or joy or sadness! That’s what I strive to give my readers when I’m writing, too. I’m my own first reader after all. If I’m not laughing or crying while I’m reading my own book, I revise. And revise again. If these are the kinds of books you’re looking for as a reader, then I urge you to give mine a shot (preferably cozied up somewhere listening to the rain :) )

Thank you so much for the interview, Roberta! (It was my pleasure, Annie!)

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