Always the Hero

Always the Hero

by Anna J. Stewart

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Always the Hero by Anna J. Stewart

He never relied on anyone but himself…

But he needs her now!

Butterfly Harbor deputy Matt Knight wants two things: to date Lori Bradley and the chance to adopt Kyle, a troubled teen. Wounded in Afghanistan, Matt knows he can’t move forward anchored to the past. But once he regains the guarded hotel manager’s trust, will his need to protect those he loves cost him a future with this extraordinary woman?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488084980
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/01/2018
Series: Butterfly Harbor Stories , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 712,142
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating sweet to sexy pulse-pounding romances for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural addiction and an overly affectionate cat named Snickers.

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Always the Hero 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
Can I just say first of all – three cheers for a plus-size heroine!!! Oh goodness how I relate to Lori and her body image issues. Her body image issues are in great part due to past hurts, and my heart broke for her. I also loved that, while her size is an issue for Lori, it’s completely a non-issue for Matt. Only once does he address it in his inner thoughts and only as it relates to his acknowledgment of her insecurities. To him, she’s absolutely beautiful no matter what her clothing size. We never feel that Matt is attracted to Lori in spite of her size (I hate it when books take this approach); rather we know he loves her for who she is as a complete package – personality, dreams, heart, and looks. Now… lest we think Matt is the good-to-be-true perfect romance hero … he has several faults. Don’t get me wrong – he’s hot. And swoony. But I spent a large chunk of the book wanting to purse whomp him. As much as his heart is in the right place, he doesn’t always execute those good intentions very well. And because those poorly executed good intentions usually hit right in the most sensitive parts of Lori’s heart (remember those past hurts i mentioned?), she is the one who ends up getting wounded all over again. Nevertheless, let’s not write Matt off just yet – there’s still quite a bit of the hero in him... Bottom Line: Anna J. Stewart delivers a sweet romance with well-developed characters and a layered plot. Butterfly Harbor is definitely a place you’ll want to visit and thankfully you are instantly taken there through the pages of this book. Swoony romance, a tender theme, and a community working together equal a plot that gives you full engaged from start to finish! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Phyllis_H More than 1 year ago
My review is 4.5 Stars The characters in Always the Hero are so real! Matt is such a great guy and makes such stupid mistakes! The very fact that he is so in love with Lori for what an amazing woman she is and then keeps withholding important things from here makes him very endearing. Not because he is withholding, but because he doesn’t know how to tell her and then spends too much time agonizing over the process until it is too late! He does have such a hero’s heart and is always rescuing others. My heart melts that he wants to adopt a very troubled teenager. . . Lori is one of the kindest women and is always serving others with little thought for herself. Yet she has been crushed, by her parents and those she went to school with. She is large and has a very hard time moving beyond her own terrible self-image. She has to learn to see herself as others do so she has the confidence to trust. The story is touching. There are some references to events that most likely happened in the previous books in the series, but this book does stand alone. The other stories do sound intriguing from the mentions here, so it might be worthwhile to read the entire series from the beginning. This review was originally posted on I would like to thank for giving me this item. My opinion and review were not influenced by this gift.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Always The Hero is a tender contemporary romance story of overcoming past emotional baggage, insecurities, and personal trust issues in order to get a chance at finding true love. From the day that Army Veteran/ Sheriff Deputy Matt Knight and Assistant Hotel Manager Lori Bradley meet there is a strong connection and mutual attraction between them. But Matt and Lori both have past emotional baggage along with trust and insecurity issues that stand in the way of the development of their budding romantic relationship.When Matt and Lori team together in the planning of the annual Monarch Festival held in their small coastal town of Butterfly Harbor, their relationship is put to the test, but a sense of community spirit from their families, friends, and neighbors help this couple overcome the obstacles in their way in order to get a chance at finding love. Author Anna J. Stewart weaves a wonderful tale full of pain, angst, drama, humor, and tender romantic moments that easily draws the reader into Matt and Lori's story. The slow building development of their relationship makes this heartwarming story worth the read, as their connection is put to the test by serious personal issues in their lives. You can't help but feel for both Matt and Lori as they struggle with their past emotional baggage and personal issues, and cheer them on as they embark on a personal journey of discovering love. Always The Hero has an intriguing cast of characters who are realistic, flawed, and easy to relate to; witty dialogue and engaging interactions; a small coastal town setting rich in description that makes you want to visit; and a compelling storyline that will take you on a hauntingly beautiful journey where you will experience the full gamut of emotions. If you are looking for a hopeful and heartwarming love story that follows the unexpected journey of two people who learn to let go of their pasts and open themselves up to a healing and loving relationship, then Always The Hero is the story for you! Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Amigagal More than 1 year ago
What an emotional, sweet, tender book this was! I was so drawn into this book and felt like I was reading a book about the lives of real people! I was truly invested! Of course, these characters could BE real people because they faced real feelings and real situations and real problems. Matthew Knight is a deputy with the Butterfly Harbor police dept. He's former military who served in Afghanistan and lost part of his leg but gets around pretty well on his prosthesis. He has the opportunity to adopt a young man coming out of a juvenile detention center and really wants to do this because he grew up in a very bad environment and wants to provide this young man with a more stable home. It seems that so many things happened to Matt that weren't his fault but caused problems! I felt so badly for him! Lori Bradley also grew up in a very bad environment and still carries many emotional scars because of it. She has some huge physical issues but I don't want to give away a spoiler! It is the main part of the story! Matt and Lori's story is so touching as they overcome so many obstacles! They are both not only trying to figure out if they belong together but also working on a huge project for the town. I LOVED THIS STORY!!!! There are a lot of people from the previous books which I loved also. So fun to catch up with them. However, if you haven't read the other books, you'll catch on! READ this book for a triumph of the human spirit and a definite smile on your face at the end of the book! You'll be glad you did!
gdsnv More than 1 year ago
Always the Hero is about two people who have such high standards for themselves that they forget that they need – and the word ‘need’ really covers their whole reason for being – in order to move forward in the world and with their lives. Both Matt Knight and Lori Bradley are vulnerable while strong characters that truly need to learn to open themselves up before they can move on from their pasts. There were times when I felt that both of ‘em needed a slap upside the head but at their very basics, they are the most kind, and loving, and vulnerable people. Matt is a Sheriff’s deputy – and we met him in the previous stories – but he is also a returning veteran who was wounded during his service. Believe it or not, he truly has accepted his missing limb but still has residual “issues” that are in his current life. He’s a good soul, someone who will keep his word and promises to the exclusion of all else but mostly you always know you can count on him. And Lori…she has had a difficult childhood and carries the scars of her growing up years with her every single day. She truly doesn’t believe in herself and she lets the world walk all over her but we get to watch and read all about her, let’s call it metamorphosis, and how she changes throughout the story. I loved her relationship with Matt – when it was on course – but the ups and downs are what made it loving and touching and special. And Matt’s determination to take Kyle into his life and under his wing? Gah, it will touch your heart. I’ve been reading the entire Butterfly Harbor series and really do love knowing the other characters (from previous stories) and how they interact with “current” characters but the book is a standalone. You should read the others, though, because they are all good, and different, in their own way. I read this book straight thru in one evening because it caught my attention and held on until I finished. I recommend it as it will truly warm your heart.
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 STARS! It's always a joy to visit Butterfly Harbor! A close-knit community where neighbors help each other and life is idyllic is everyone's dream ... but even ones as kind and good-hearted as Butterfly Harbor have their drama. Lots of familiar faces fill the pages of the next installment in this series. We get to join in the fun of planning the big Monarch Festival to benefit the town while we follow along in Matt & Lori's fledgling relationship to see if it's cut out to last or flounder. Great story! Deputy Matt Knight is interested in two things ... a relationship with Lori Bradley and adopting troubled teen Kyle Winters. In order to be in the right mind-set to offer Lori the person that she deserves by her side, he backed away and internalized some problems he needed to figure out. She assumed he no longer wanted to date her when he stopped calling and returning texts. Now Matt has to scramble to make it up to her and hope she'll give him another chance! Lori Bradley knows she has her own issues in life, but she didn't just imagine that Matt was pulling away from her. When he explains the details, she has to decide if she's willing to start fresh with him again, and makes it clear she can't tolerate secrets. Things are going well ... until another secret arises that makes her doubt Matt ... and herself ... even more!
RachaelBrown More than 1 year ago
After being hurt in the past, and most recently by Matt, Lori doesn't trust his motives when he suddenly wants to start dating again. Matt definitely messes up several times and has to start at square one to earn her trust all over again. I love that through the ups and downs, Matt's feelings for Lori never waver. He truly loves her for the wonderful person that she is. I really enjoyed their sweet love story, especially the ending. As always, it was fun catching up with the residents of Butterfly Harbor. I can't wait for Kendall's story! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary Advance Reader Copy.