Cowboy SEAL Homecoming By Nicole Helm Release Date: January 2, 2018 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Book #1 in the Navy SEAL Cowboys series Number of pages: 354 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Romance/Western/Military M/F Rating: NC-17 Read 12/26/17 to 12/27/17
In my review of this author’s book Want You More I said something along the lines of when she’s hot she’s on fire, when she’s not she’s still luke-warm. Well ladies and gentlemen, with this book starting off this new series she is scorching! Alex and Becca have wonderful chemistry. I absolutely love this story and did not want it to end. I’m so glad there will be more to read with these Navy SEALs.
Alex is not necessarily an easy hero to love. The fact that he’s a Navy SEAL and his military buddies rib him about his personality quirks help the reader to be open to him. He’s quite the no-nonsense, by the book, not much humor type of guy at first. Other than when he’s being pushed in certain ways, he’s never a jerk though. He’s just not a big teddy bear. That’s not to say he isn’t sympathetic to others and aware of how his actions and words can feed into other people’s feelings.
Becca is like a mighty little mouse. She has a lot of courage but finds her nerves get the best of her even when she doesn’t want them to. She’s learning to live in a world outside of her mom and step-dad…all she’s really ever known other than the animals on the ranch. (You will fall in love with the animals, and their names, on this ranch.) She’s socially awkward only because she was so sheltered. Once she starts realizing that she can speak her mind when need be and she can contribute to the things Alex and friends are doing on the ranch, she’s like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
Most contemporary romance stories that deal with PTSD tend to have the veteran experience a lot of nightmares and/or flashbacks. While Alex does have nightmares, I appreciated Nicole Helm showing another aspect of PTSD (in my opinion one of the scariest) with Alex losing time and going into a sort of fugue state. It put a bit of a different spin on the issue.
Seeing Becca learn to not only stand up to her mom, who means well, but also stand up to Alex was heartening. Their relationship had so much joy while there was still so much pain. There was a point that I noted these words “my heart just cracked in half”. The story was truly breaking my heart.
I did have one issue with this story that I must address. I read a lot of contemporary romance with the military sub-genre and, if you follow my reviews, you may know this is a huge pet peeve of mine. Something I’ve addressed with other authors in the past. A SEAL is not a soldier. I have yet to meet anyone in the Navy who will call themselves a soldier. Because of other stories (again, by different authors) having this issue I’ve asked around and looked online. I cannot anything to contradict what I know…Navy = Sailor, no matter if it’s a SEAL or not. I can only hope this gets corrected in the next installment of this series. It is a very great testament to this author and the story she told that this book is getting a high rating from me as this is an issue that often will distract me from a story thereby annoying me to no end. This book was so engaging and spectacular that I am able to overlook the issue.
If you love contemporary romance, western romance, and/or military romance you will be blown away by this story. I am kind of bummed to realize the next installment won’t be out until the summer. I am anxious to see what happens with Gabe and Jack.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own and given freely. **