Title: Welcome To Forever
Series: Hero’s Welcome #1
Author: Annie Rains
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Published: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Random House Publishing / Loveswept
My Rating: 5 stars
In Seaside, North Carolina, there are two kinds of people: Marines, and kids of Marines. Then there’s Kat Chandler. Recently hired as the principal of Seaside Elementary, Kat makes it her mission to turn the school into a place of peace and calm. That’s not going to be easy with hard-liner parents like Micah Peterson storming in, telling her how to do her job—and then kissing her with those gorgeous lips of his and turning her brain into mush.
As a Marine Sergeant and a single dad, Micah Peterson has just two priorities: doing his job better than anyone else, and getting the absolute best for his son, Ben. But when he meets Ben’s beautiful new principal, a different yearning shifts into focus. He wants her, sure, but he’s also moved by the connection Kat forges with her students. So after learning that she refuses to date Marines, Micah sets two more objectives: convincing Kat to give him a chance . . . and then holding on to her forever.
Read on for my thoughts on Welcome To Forever. No true spoilers, promise.
Sometimes a book comes along that simply pushes all the “Yes!” buttons for a reader. Welcome To Forever is that type of story for me. And to be honest that reaction is different for every reader. I certainly can’t explain why one book has it and another doesn’t.
Welcome To Forever is Annie Rains debut novel – and it certainly has earned her a spot on my follow the author’s work list.
I’m not going to go into much story detail in this review because I honestly feel that each reader needs to experience the reactions and feels that these two wounded people go through firsthand and not by listening to a reviewer’s opinion.
Micah is a strong willed, determined and yes stubborn single dad. It’s not only his personality, but necessity as he needs to draw a fine line in the care of his young son who has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair. Do too much for Ben and he loses his sense of accomplishment and learning how to function in his world – do too little and Ben will suffer. Any parent has a difficult time knowing when to step in and when to step back – that reality is increased when the little one you love has special needs. (In real life I am the parent of a young man with Spinal Muscular Atrophy – I know and understand this need firsthand, and it isn’t always easy to “get” where that line truly is)
Kat is the new principal at Ben’s school, and one of her first encounters with Micah the parent is over Ben. Kat is living and feeling in the past. A few years ago she lost the man she loved and was to marry to the ugly realities of the unrest in the Middle East. When he was killed while on deployment her life was shattered and in many ways still is to this day.
I call these characters wounded because they each have unique issues, needs and experiences that neither are dealing with in their individual lives. And together they will deal with even more as Kat is determined to never love another man who risks his life in the military – and Micah’s first priority will always be his son, any woman he loves will have to love and understand both he and Ben as a package deal.
I don’t think I can adequately express how much this story impressed me. Yes, I know it’s fiction and not real life… but still it really is in many ways. Other couples may not have these exact issues but love is rarely smooth and easy – it often hurts on a guts level until that easy lovin’ part comes along. That reality was captured in Welcome To Forever in my opinion.
I would highly recommend this story to any reader who loves romance, conflicts that reflect reality and simply enjoys a really good love story. You’ll find all of that and more in Annie Rains’ debut novel. Take a risk on a new to you author, I believe you’ll find that you’ll want to read her creations again and again. I’m looking forward to the next story in the Hero’s Welcome series.
*I received an e-ARC of Welcome To Forever from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available for eht Kindle