Welcome to Forever
A Hero's Welcome Novel
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USA TODAY BESTSELLER • “Don’t miss this sparkling debut full of heart and emotion!” raves Lori Wilde. The Hero’s Welcome military romance series introduces a small coastal town where America’s best and brightest risk everything for love.
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.
Praise for Welcome to Forever
“Welcome to Forever is a beautiful and touching story of love and loss that will grab you by the heart and hold on long after you’ve finished reading.”—USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry
“A wonderfully written debut novel that had me fighting back tears and rooting for the couple from the first page. Annie Rains is an author to watch. I can’t wait for more!”—USA Today bestselling author Sidney Halston
“Emotional, heartwarming and completely engaging . . . 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.”—Girl Plus Books
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
Rains has managed to create a story that will engage readers
A debut offering, Annie Rains tackles a ton of emotional triggers in her first in a new series, Welcome to Forever. A former Marine, a dead fiancé, a special needs child and a mother who isn’t going to be getting an award for her parenting anytime soon. To her credit, Rains uses skill and tact, with some well-placed moments with father and child to bring a story that is surprisingly low in the angst quotient despite the potential pitfalls.
Kat is an elementary school principal, still not really having dealt with the loss of her fiancé. She’s pouring all of her energy (and avoidance tactics) into her job, working long hours and worrying about staff and students. Even her friends are tiring of her fears about relationships, and have started to push her into dating again, an idea she is refusing.
Micah Peterson is a Marine second to being a single-parent caregiver to his son Ben. With his ex-wife more interested in her own life, and an ex-girlfriend who couldn’t deal with his son, he’s not interested in a relationship with yet another woman who will disappoint him or Ben.
These two are destined to meet, and Kat’s refusal to date another military man, in a military town is purely foolish. Fortunately, she recognizes something special in Micah, and can’t help but be intrigued. In the most basic way. Micah can’t help but wonder if perhaps there is room in his life for Kat and Ben, and we are off.
Slowly, and with many hiccups, these two start to build a friendship that is only hampered by their fears. Ben is completely adorable and the scenes with he and Micah are just precious. There are a few inconsistencies in the military facts, something that I would hope Rains researches before the next story, but these are minor and most likely will pass unnoticed by those not familiar with the rather convoluted rules, regulations and procedures of the military. I would have liked a touch more angst – both characters TELL us repeatedly that they are hurting and have issues (usually in interior dialogue) but we don’t always have the background that would connect us to them in a visceral way.
Most importantly, Rains has managed to create a story that will engage readers: we care about Ben, we want to see Kate and Micah get over their fears to grab onto something substantial and you can’t help but cheer them on. A good start to a new series that will please many readers.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
When I first picked this up, to be honest I decided to put it down because I didn’t really want to read a book which dealt with death. However when I finally picked it up, although it does deal with death, it does not overwhelm the story. Two years ago, Kat lost her fiancée in the war. She continues to deal with this loss by keeping to herself and not dating. Because he was a Marine she did not want to get involved with another Marine. She is afraid of losing her heart again only to have him killed. Kat is the principal at the Elementary school. On the first day of school she meets Ben, a handicapped child and his father, Micah. Micah is instantly drawn to Kat but when he sees the engagement ring he realizes she is off the market. But soon he learns the truth. Kat also learns the truth. While Micah is the school’s groundskeeper he is also a Marine. As Kat becomes more involved with Micah, she slowly begins to put her grief behind her and realize she can have a life again, even if it is with a Marine. Micah was definitely a caring loving father. Ben was very astute for his age. He picks up on his father’s loneliness so he pushed his father to go out with Kat. He believes they belonged together. There were a few errors in this book. While they usually don’t bother me for some reason they seemed to stand out. First the author refers to Sergeant Peterson as an officer. A Sergeant in the Marines is not an officer but an enlisted member. Also not being able to wear his uniform off base seemed inaccurate. While you can’t wear it to certain establishments, you can surely wear it to pick up your child from school. At one point, Kat had taken off her dress, they had sex, and then she put on a T-shirt. Then in the next page Micha was taking her dress off. When did she put it back on? Another instance she took her heels off in the car, yet then on the next page she is pulling them off to run to the house. Also says spent the night in the ER, when in fact spent the unit up on the pediatric ward. Overall, this is a clean book. There is not a lot of cursing, descriptive sex scenes or over the top drama and miscommunication that you find in other books. While seemed a little slow at times, it was evenly paced and had solid storyline. I would continue to read other books by this author.