Title: Welcome To Forever by Annie Rains
Series: Hero's Welcome #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2015
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.
In the coastal town of Seaside, North Caroline, Kat and Micah have experienced loss in different ways and both are reluctant to risk their hearts again.
Elementary school principal Kat has vowed not to get involved with another Marine and instead focuses all her attention on her job – one made all the more demanding because of those who feel she is too young and too inexperienced. Her best friend encourages her to put the past behind her and meet someone new, but Kat insists she’s not interested. But after meeting the father of one her students… maybe she’s interested after all.
Marine Sergeant Micah Peterson is a single dad whose top priority is his 8 year old son Ben. With an ex-wife who is more devoted to the Marines than her own son, and an ex-girlfriend who refused to accept Ben, Micah is determined to set aside romantic involvements and instead focus entirely on Ben and give him the stability he needs. Then he meets Kat, the principal at Ben’s new school, and he wonders if maybe there is room in his life for someone else.
Welcome to Forever was an unexpected surprise - emotional, heartwarming and completely engaging. I was pulled into Kat and Micah's story right away. Based on their personal histories, their mutual hesitancy to get involved was completely understandable and believable. They were both treading softly into the possibility of a new relationship and I loved that they acted like adults (and not like hormonal teenagers). I admit that I am not usually a fan of stories that feature a child so prominently, but I totally fell for Ben. This 8 year old charmer was sweet and funny and his devotion to his father and desire to have someone want and love them both just melted my heart. One of my favorite aspects of the story was Micah’s belief in Kat and his willingness to back her up and be there for her. Kat was able to fight her own battles - even though Micah was ready to jump in and go to battle for her.
My only quibble were some inconsistencies in the Marine/military aspects of the story. For a book with a strong military theme, taking place in a military town, these anomalies stood out to me. They will likely go unnoticed by many, but with a husband who is a 20-year veteran, they caught my attention and temporarily took me out of the narrative.
I was completely invested in Kat and Micha’s story and, as they faced conflict and unexpected circumstances, I found myself getting emotional even shed a few tears. I highly recommend this one to those looking for a contemporary romance that was realistic instead of angst-filled, with characters who are likable and so deserving of a happy ending.
Note: This title was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
You can pre-order your copy of Welcome to Forever by Annie Rains by using the Amazon link above!
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.
Have you ever read a romance with a military theme? Do you have a favorite?