Alex Maguire never thought he’d go home again. The perfect soldier, the perfect leader, he’s spent his whole life running away from Blue Valley, Montana―but when a tragic accident bounces him and two of his men out of the SEALs, there’s nowhere left to turn but the ranch he used to call his own…and the confusing, innocently beguiling woman who now lives there.

Becca Denton’s like nothing he could have imagined. She’s far too tempting for her own good, but when she offers to help turn the ranch into a haven for injured veterans, he can’t exactly say no. He’ll just need to keep his distance. But something in her big green eyes makes Alex want to set aside the mantle of the perfect soldier and discover the man he could have been…safe and whole within the shelter of her arms.

The Prodigal SEAL has come home

Titles in the Navy SEAL Cowboys series includes:  Cowboy SEAL Homecoming – Cowboy SEAL Redemption – Cowboy SEAL Christmas

Title:  Cowboy SEAL Homecoming
Series:  Navy SEAL Cowboys #1
Author:  Nicole Helm
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  January 2, 2018
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Often times life changes and you have to make another, different life plan.  Alex knows this firsthand as a Navy SEAL who has been injured in the line of duty and now discharged he’s returning home to a ranch he left years ago and only rarely visited.  He and his step-sister Becca now co-own that ranch and while he may have some detailed plans for their ranch so does Becca.  Becca lived her early life as a child with what was considered a life threatening condition… and an overprotective mother.  She’s developed the attitude over the years that life is for living now, plans are empty promises that may never come true.  So she and Alex, who plans every single moment of his life down to the millisecond, have very differing attitudes about, well, just about everything that makes them who they are.  They do agree about one thing – the ranch would be a perfect safe haven for returning wounded vets to spend time at while they accumulate to returning to the civilian world.   Becca’s dream for the ranch is a working therapy horse ranch which in theory meshes well with Alex’s idea of a wounded vet re-acclamation ranch… on paper at least, their ways of going abut putting that plan in action are far different.

Cowboy SEAL Homecoming has a lot of what I enjoy in a romance involving military personnel.  While PTSD is a very real condition we aren’t usually given all of the possible symptoms in most romances, I was impressed when Ms Helm brought another side to a serious condition to the table in this story.  As the mother of a son with physical challenges it was easy for me to “get” Becca’s attitude.  While I also think her mother was out of the park overprotective, Becca eventually found the courage to stand up for her own dreams and become her own independent person.  Living in the moment because that’s the only moment you can depend on is a way of life for my family, so I also understood Becca on that level as well.  That doesn’t mean I thought Becca was perfect, she wasn’t, but she was totally human.  The only thing that I would have wished for this story is to have not spent so much time in Alex and Becca’s heads.  Yes, seeing life and reactions from their perspective adds to the story – but I also would have learned about them from more dialogue and interaction played out between them.  It’s a small thing, but I believe it would have made a difference.

In all, I enjoyed getting to know Alex and Becca, as well as Gabe and Jake.  Since this series is spread out over the coming year I’ll have to wait til summer then winter to completely know what’s happening at the ranch.  But I also think it’s a wait well worth the effort.  I would definitely recommend Cowboy SEAL Homecoming to any reader who enjoys complicated people, facing down fears and the challenge of facing an uncertain future with the right person at your side.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

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