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Lucy and The Lieutenant (The Cedar River Cowboys, Book 2) Paperback – 2 Jun 2016
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About the Author
Helen Lacey grew up reading Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on The Prairie. These childhood classics inspired her to write her first book when she was seven years old, a story about a girl and her horse. She continued to write with the dream of one day being a published author and writing for Harlequin Special Edition is the realization of that dream. She loves creating stories about cowboys and horses and heroine's who get their happily ever after.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Virgin and The Veteran perfectly describe this love story. Dr. Lucy Monero thought she was the world’s oldest virgin in the world. She had a crush on a neighbor back in high school. She still had it through college, through medical school and now as a doctor. Brant Parker had barely noticed her through high school and then went off to the army and now was out and returned to his home town, which was Lucy’s hometown too.
They both had something in common. Lucy lost her father at an early age, then her mom was killed in a car accident and then her friend in college had been sexually assaulted and she was determined to stay away from guys. Brant had been through several tours in Afghanistan and part of his group had died and it should have been him. He had PTSD and was someone who was more for the one night stands and never saw himself as the marrying kind.
Brant had purchased a burnt out bar and was going to make it usable again and do the work mostly himself. He was a loner. He was carrying his own demons.
Lucy had already worked through most of hers and was throwing herself into work also. Her friend felt it time for her to find love. But she only had eyes for Brant.
Helen Lacey had a fantastic way of showing us how 2 people with their sides of issues could come together. They may have to have their feelings sometimes pointed out by others and yet they did find love. They found it with each other.
Enter the man she has had a crush on since she was 15.
Brant Parker was a cowboy in the small town they grew up in who joined the army and survived three tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Or did he?
Brant is cold and distant since his return from his last tour of duty. He wants nothing more than to forget the war and lose himself in renovating the burnt out Loose Moose Tavern in South Dakota. However, Lucy, being a doctor and trying to give her own self permission to forgive and forget, realizes that Brant may be suffering from PTSD.
*Personal note* I admire ANYONE who fights for our country. God bless you all!
Lacey does an excellent job of layering this story with a desire for permission to forgive and forget. The details come alive, as does the love between the two main characters. The reader’s heart goes out to both characters as Lucy helps Brant see that the only way to have a future is to let go of the past. Brant comes to realize that bravery is shown in facing your fears and believing in the help of others. Like all good romances, Brant finally gives himself permission to love another—Lucy.
Brant is back, but he's floundering a bit. He is spending all his time renovating the tavern he bought and avoiding spending much time with anyone. He's haunted by something that happened during his last tour, and determined to put it behind him, but ignoring it doesn't seem to be working. It doesn't help that he keeps running into Lucy, who makes it obvious that she's interested, but he feels too broken to be the man that she needs.
I felt a little sorry for Lucy at the beginning because, even though she's twenty-seven, her inner awkward teenager seems to come out whenever she is around Brant. But because of the things she's been through herself, she recognizes the pain that he is in and is determined to help him however she can. I loved seeing the way that she would stand up to him when he was being rude or a jerk. Brant tries hard to push her away and makes it clear to her that he doesn't do relationships. But being around Lucy seems to quiet his demons a little.
I liked seeing the relationship develop. Brant was really fighting what he felt for her, sometimes pushing her away and other times wanting to be with her. Because he feels he can't give her what she needs, he offers her friendship instead, and she accepts thinking that something is better than nothing. That friendship changes and grows almost from the start. Lucy knows she's in trouble, because what she felt as a teen pales in comparison to what she feels now. At the same time, Brant refuses to believe that what he feels for Lucy is more than friendship with some lust added in. When the attraction overcomes the friendship, Lucy gets part of what she wanted and begins to dream. Brant is still fighting the inevitable, and quite honestly treats her pretty badly. I loved seeing Lucy finally stand up for her own needs in an incredibly emotional scene where she tells him he has to decide if what they have is worth fighting for. It still takes awhile, plus some straight talk from his mother, before he's ready to take a chance. I loved his big moment at the end, it was so sweet and romantic.
I really liked the realism of Brant's struggles. Seeing him try to cope on his own was hard. I loved the way that Lucy used her own experiences to show him that there is nothing wrong with getting the help that you need. There was no miraculous fix at the end, just the knowledge that it is an ongoing process and that doing it together makes them stronger.