After reading Nicole Helm’s Cowboy SEAL Homecoming’s blurb I had certain expectations and impressions of what it would be like. I expected a romance in a country setting. Maybe some awkward interactions between characters, and maybe a few ‘fish out of water’ scenes. Overall I thought it would be a light romantic read, perhaps even bordering on a bit of enjoyable fluff.
What I read instead was so much better. Cowboy SEAL Homecoming describes the effects of PTSD on three SEAL veterans who have come to the ranch to fully recover from their injuries. This first book in the series concentrates on Alex McGuire the former leader of the trio and it is his family’s farm to which they return.
PTSD has become quite a common theme of late with many books looking at the mental condition and how it affects behaviour and thought processes. Cowboy SEAL Homecoming takes it one step further where the reader is shown the physical side effects. In this book we have violent flashbacks and nightmares. Aggressive interactions where one of the characters is chanced upon whilst in the middle of a flashback. It is a raw portrayal of PTSD and how, left untreated, can come to rule a person’s entire life with the ramifications not just felt by the sufferer but everyone around them.
Cowboy SEAL Homecoming was sympathetically written, the characterisations were amazing. You couldn’t help feel for Alex and the boys. The portrayal of Becca was particularly well done. The author was able to capture the effects of life long social isolation and watching Becca’s personal growth and her evolution into a confident young woman was beautiful to read.
I loved this author’s writing style. It captured me from almost the first page and never let go. I read this book within a day, I just couldn’t put it down and kept wanting to return to it when called away for other things.
This is book not what I expected. Instead of a light, dare I say it, flufy romance, I read a gritty depiction of the full range of symptoms associated with PTSD. This was a romance, yes definitely, but it was also a story of survival and hope, themes that were applicable to both Becca and Alex.
I’d highly recommend this book and I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
Cowboy SEAL Homecoming is released 2 January 2018