Cowboy Paybackby Donna Michaels
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Former Marine Captain Brett Brennan loves a good practical joke--when he's the prankster not the prankee. Unfortunately, his twin brother has learned a lesson or two from the master and springs Operation Payback on him, thrusting Brett into a fake engagement to his former corporal, Trisha Jennings, in front of her matchmaking, District Attorney father.
Relationships are so not his thing, but realizing Trisha is struggling to come to terms with a horrific incident from their recent deployment, Brett takes matters into his own hands, using their fake relationship to keep her on his family's resort ranch, the perfect place for her to find peace and heal. After all, he would never let one of his own men down.
Except, Trisha is no longer a corporal under his command. Out of uniform, she is all woman, and his unexpected attraction to her soon has him forgetting their prank relationship is only for show. Who knew payback could be so sweet?
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I was originally taken in by the cover, after all the dog tags and a title promised me a double threat - military and cowboy. Plus the blurb sounded pretty good. So I was so disappointed when I just couldn't get into the book. I put it down and picked it up multiple times, thinking maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind, but nothing seemed to work. Finally at 56% I called it quits and DNF'ed the book. My biggest beef with the book is that there was very little dialogue between anyone else besides Trisha and Brett. Anytime they interacted with anyone else besides just each other, the scene was sharply condensed and summarized. And they really don't spend enough time together to carry us when they weren't together. Over all I was totally bummed that this book didn't capture my attention the way I had hoped. Netgalley and The Wild Rose Press provided me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Cowboy Payback is the first book I have read by Donna Michaels and I had a lot of fun reading this creative, funny romance! The story begins with Captain Brett Brennan learning his twin brother has faked an engagement to a member of his unit Corporal Trisha Jennings. But the joke is really on Brett because his brother pretended to be him and so he is engaged! Brett has to decide whether or not he will continue the pretense and give his former soldier time to heal from her PTSD... How will their relationship play out? Read and find out! I must confess I am a sucker for a good military romance and I am excited to discover a new author that writes realistic romances with a steamy twist. I liked the pacing, characters, and plot. I would recommend this book to fans of Jessica Scott! I was given a free copy for an honest review.
I can't say enough good things about Cowboy Payback. This is the story of two former military members, dealing with re-entry from their most recent deployment, leaving the military, and on top of everything else, a fake engagement started by Trisha and kicked into high gear by Finn, Brett's twin brother who is looking for an opportunity for payback for his brother's recent prank. The author includes an underlying storyline about PTSD. The reader sees aspects of PTSD in Trisha early, and I found it interesting and refreshing that it is the heroine who is experiencing PTSD. The author provides an accurate and sensitive depiction of PTSD, from the nightmares, to the triggers, to zoning out. I love how Brett recognizes the PTSD and immediately sees that as an opportunity to help her. To help her heal. He's not shy about expressing his own needs, saying to her that the ranch and his special place is where he goes to heal. I especially like when Brett brings the therapist to the house to confront Trisha, he explains to Trisha that she's been going to therapy on Wednesdays - that on Wednesdays, "I take care of me". I think that is a great, positive, constructive way to convey therapy to a skeptic. Brett is a very sensitive character. You wouldn't expect a former Marine to show a sensitive side. His leadership skills in the military come through in his dealings with everyone he encounters. He's just a wonderfully delightful character and a good man. He's caring, sensitive, and considerate, and he figures out early on what he wants and is confident in his pursuit of that - and the object of that pursuit is Trisha. Trisha is also a great character. Also a former Marine, it's fun to watch her try to change the nature of her relationship with Brett, and her inability to stop calling him "Sir". She is a strong but feminine character, who is also has a take-charge personality and cares about the feelings of those around her. That's why the PTSD hit her so hard - the deep feelings she had been feeling for the people she met during her deployment and their ultimate death. The fog of war causes guilt that is typical of soldiers with PTSD. A wonderful follow-up to Cowboy-Fiance and a great read from author Donna Michaels. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review