Review: Welcome Home for Christmas by Annie Rains

Welcome Home for Christmas by Annie Rains

Genres: Hero's Welcome #4

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 8, 2016

Format: Kindle

Source: NetGalley

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


The bestselling Hero’s Welcome series continues with a juicy Christmas romance, a short novel set in Seaside, North Carolina, where the bustling military base keeps this small town stocked with dedicated, lovable heroes.

Three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year, Allison Carmichael doesn’t mind being single. It sure beats dating another loser, and it keeps her heart safe. Then there’s that three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth day: Christmas Eve, the traditional time her entire family gathers together—and gangs up on her, demanding to know when she’s going to get married. This year, she swears, is going be different. And that’s why, at a charity auction she’s throwing on-base, she buys herself a man.

Sergeant Troy Matthews insists that he’s not for sale. His time is, though, and he’s happy to donate it. Happier still when he learns the identity of the winning bidder: the redhead with the killer good looks and smart mouth who runs the veteran’s center. Allison needs Troy’s help to fool her family into believing they’re an item, and he’s all too happy to indulge her. But by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, their little charade is working a little too well . . . because Troy’s falling head over heels.
My Thoughts

Allison is dreading the family Christmas gathering since it's just another opportunity to be hounded about her single-and-no-prospects status. On a whim she bids on Troy during a charity auction with the thought of having him pose as her boyfriend. Problem solved, right?

Troy is a military police officer and is anti-Christmas. Ever since a big argument with his brother he hasn't gone home for Christmas and tries to avoid anything to do with it. But when a buddy tricks him into a holiday bachelor auction he finds himself going along with it since it benefits an orphanage. And he has no complaints when the attractive Allison "buys" him. He's willing to go along with her ruse on one condition: they spend some time together before Christmas so they'll be believable as a couple.

As always, Rains has written totally likable characters that are so easy to pull for. Her main characters are always good people with great chemistry and Allison and Troy are no exception. Troy is truly a stand-out guy. Warm and charming and funny, he helps out when and where he's needed and really goes above and beyond. Allison is dedicated to her work at the veteran's center where she is a director and, like Troy, is civic-minded and always willing to lend a hand where needed. Their "fake" relationship felt real from the very start because it was so apparent they belonged together - they just wouldn't allow themselves to accept it so easily.

My only quibble lies with Allison's constant deference to her mother's opinion. It rankled that an independent, professional woman like Allison would give such credence to her mother's feelings about her romantic relationships. And not just be swayed by them but basically turn them into self-fulfilling prophecies. It seemed odd to me that a grown woman would allow her mother's opinion to matter so much. Because of this I sometimes got a little frustrated with Allison and was antsy for her to show more backbone and make her own choices, regardless of anyone else's opinion.

Even with that one issue, Troy and Allison's story is still completely enjoyable. I liked how they each approached their pretend relationship and what their expectations were. There was plenty of humor and seeing some familiar faces from previous books was an added bonus.

Welcome Home for Christmas is the fourth book in the Hero's Welcome series but can easily be read as a stand alone. Those who like their romance on the sweeter side without a lot of angst will find plenty to enjoy here.

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.

3.5/5 Stars
Do you enjoy novels with a holiday theme?


  1. You gotta love those frustrating heroines lol Great review!~Aleen

    1. LOL Allison could be that but she was still a great character. Thanks Aleen!

  2. I read a couple holiday themed books last year, but nothing this year yet. I do have one or two to check out though - they can be fun!

    Glad you enjoyed this read. The premise sounds fun; like a holiday Hallmark film. I do think Allison listening too much to her mom about her relationships would annoy me a bit too though.


    1. I hadn't thought of it before but you are so right, Lauren! This actually would make a perfect Hallmark holiday movie! :)

  3. I can totally understand where your irritations lie with this story and Allison's need to live up to her mother's expectations. You would think that at some point people would grow out of this phase and realize they are free to make their own choices. I will say though, it is easier said than done, not even just where moms are concerned. I can totally see where Allison is coming from because I'm going through similar experiences right now and ESPECIALLY when it comes to dating and being hounded about things of that nature and it is so frustrating! But I feel like there's a part of us that wants to live up to our families's expectations, as much as we say we don't care.
    Is it weird if I say the cover of this book has me wishing Hallmark christmas movies were out? It reminds me of the book version of a Hallmark romance movie around the holidays! my favorite!
    great review Tanya!
    Emily @

    1. I totally agree that, to a certain extent, many of us want to live up to family expectations. Within reason. I feel like that's just part of the growing up process as we mature and work our way into adulthood and real independence. But I did feel that it was kind of overdone in Allison's case. It seemed she was far beyond the age where those expectations would carry so much weight. Maybe there's a small part that will always want that parental approval but this but even so, this seemed to go above and beyond that. Just my take on it. :) Then again, I always tended to go my own way even as a teen/young adult. Never defiant or disrespectful (ever!) but I knew my own mind and what I wanted and what was best for me. I guess I kind of quietly did my own thing. :)

  4. I don't mind a holiday theme but it has to be right--because I am a huge Christmas person so, you gotta do Christmas right, ya know?! I don't know that this book is for me but it does sound fairly decent, just maybe not enough.

    1. I don't typically seek out holiday-themed books but I've been reading this series since the first book so it was kind of a no-brainer. :)

  5. Sounds cute. I always mean to read some sweet Christmas romances every year and fail because my TBR is killing me. So maybe this year I'll actually read some!

    1. I don't usually seek out holiday reads but this one happened to pop up. And since I enjoyed the rest of the series it made sense. :)