Title: The Hero
Series: Sons of Texas #1
Author: Donna Grant
Format: Kindle, 333 Pages
Published: St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 6, 2016)
ISBN: ASIN: B01FQQMNIY
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
THE HERO’S HOMECOMING
Owen Loughman is a highly-decorated Navy SEAL who has a thirst for action. But there’s one thing he hasn’t been able to forget – his high school sweetheart, Natalie. After over a decade away, Owen is returned home to the ranch in Texas for a dangerous new mission that puts him face-to-face with Natalie and an outside menace that threatens everything he holds dear. He’ll risk it all to keep Natalie safe – and win her heart. . . .
Natalie Dixon has had a lifetime of heartache since Owen was deployed. Fourteen years and one bad marriage later, she finds herself mixed up with the Loughman’s again. With her life on the line against an enemy she can’t fight alone, it’s Owen’s strong shoulders, smoldering eyes, and sensuous smile that she turns to. When danger closes in, she holds close to the only man she’s ever loved…
How different her life would be if Orrin hadn’t contacted her in July. She wouldn’t be embroiled in kidnapping, espionage, and murder.
The Hero is the first book in Donna Grant’s new military romantic suspense series. Each book is set in the heart of Texas and features one of the hot Loughman brothers. I’m a huge fan of Donna’s paranormal romances, so there was no doubt that I’d be on board for her inaugural foray into contemporary romance. The Hero sets up the series’ premise and delivers the second-chance-at-love story of teenage sweethearts Owen Loughman and Natalie Dixon.
There are three Loughman brothers and all serve in the military: Delta Force operator Wyatt is the elder; Navy SEAL Owen is the middle son; and Force Recon Marine Cullen is the youngest. Each will have his own book in this planned trilogy.
Natalie Dixon received a surprise summons from Orrin Loughman in late July. Besides surprisingly sharing with her that he thought his son had made a big mistake by cruelly walking away from her fourteen years ago, he also needed a huge favor that could endanger her life. Orrin needed to know if she had heard anything about Russia’s ‘Ragnarok’ in her high security job with the Russian embassy. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok referred to the downfall of the cosmos. Orrin feared that a modern-day hush-hush Russian biochemical threat nicknamed “Ragnarok’ would have the same effect spelling mankind’s doom.
Fast forward to the fall of the same year… The three Loughman brothers converge on their family home after each was pulled from a critical military mission without an explanation. “It was quiet. Too quiet.” They arrive to find that their Uncle Virgil and Aunt Charlotte have been brutally murdered. The brothers task themselves with finding the assailants responsible and with finding their father as he has gone missing from his last mission. Orrin is assumed to have been kidnapped by the Russians. The ‘curse of the Loughans’ is alive and well as the brothers, Natalie and Callie Reed, who has been assisting Orrin, embark on a dangerous and thrilling game of cat-and-mouse to decipher clues and protect their own.
The mission is made more difficult by Owen’s and Natalie’s prior history. Natalie thought she was over him, but being around him again, reignites the flame that was never snuffed out between them.
Their attraction burns smokin’ hot and steamy, but trust is not an easy thing to give a second time.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from The Hero:
It was right that she was now staying at the ranch. She belonged there.
She belonged with him.
Always had. Always would.
“You can’t change the past. It’s already done. Looking back only keeps you there.”
“Look at me, Nat. I won’t bite.”
There was a long pause before he said, “Hard.”
I wanted to love this book; I ended up liking it. Unfortunately, I had issues connecting with Owen. I liked Natalie, but just couldn’t get vested in their story. The way he broke Natalie’s heart was an insurmountable hurdle for me. I really tried to forgive him… but couldn’t. If you enjoy military romances, you may very well feel differently about Owen and relate to his mindset – so I would still recommend checking out The Hero. In addition, be forewarned that there is a cliffhanger ending with a direct setup for the next book. That said, the series shows a lot of promise. Knowing Donna, I’m definitely thinking this series will get stronger for me and I’m looking forward to seeing that happen. I’ve already pre-ordered the next book, The Protector, hitting bookstores 3 January 2017.
Suggested Reading Order:
THE HERO (book 1) featuring Owen Loughman
THE PROTECTOR (book 2) featuring Cullen Loughman - Coming Jan 3rd, 2017
THE GUARDIAN (book 3) featuring Wyatt Loughman