Tuesday, January 12, 2021

ARC Review: Trusting a Warrior by Melanie Hansen

From the blurb:

Heartbroken after her fiancé falls in love with another woman, Lani Abuel seeks comfort in the arms of a stranger, only to find herself
alone…and pregnant. Fiercely determined to be a good mother, she’ll do whatever it takes, which means finally facing the trauma in her past. The last thing she needs is a warrior with wounds all too similar to her own finding his way into her heart.

George Monteverdi always had one goal—become a navy SEAL. Now both a SEAL and a K-9 handler, saving lives is his priority. Although he’s experienced the unspeakable, he handles it. SEALs are built tough—until they’re not. Lani understands him, and in her quiet strength, he finds a soft place to land.

As their worlds entwine, Lani and Geo find the redemption they’ve been seeking. But despite the sanctuary they’ve discovered with one another, a relationship seems impossible. A SEAL who spends most of his time deployed is far from what Lani—or her baby—needs, and Geo can’t imagine a future doing anything else.

Heather's rating:  

Melanie Hansen should be very proud of Trusting a Warrior, which is another stellar book in the Loving a Warrior series. Though it is a very serious book about suicide and grieving, it also had a stand-out romance and an emotionally-packed plotline.

Right off the bat, I was supremely impressed that we got a bisexual male MC in a M/F romance. when I say that is rare, I mean it is rare. I can count on one hand the number of times I've read bi-men out of the context of a M/M romance. I was extremely excited, and I loved how Melanie Hansen portrayed Geo's sexuality without any bi-erasure. Geo is a bi man, and proud of that fact, and it wasn't glossed over. Beautifully done.
If you've read the other books in the series, you'll remember Lani. I don't think you need to have read the previous books, but it helps you know the side characters' backstories. I really liked how Lani was portrayed in this book, and I enjoyed seeing all of her relationships evolve though the course of this story. Lani is hurting from both the loss of her brother and the loss of her long-time relationship, plus an unplanned pregnancy, and the author unpacked her trauma with grace. I felt like I got to know Lani very well, and I loved how her relationship with Geo grew organically.

Geo was going through an equal amount of trauma. His backstory was no less difficult, and I liked how he also got the page-time to unravel his web of emotions. Parts of his story were difficult to read, and I'll admit that I cried at times, but it's not truly a Melanie Hansen book if my emotions aren't put through the ringer.

My only criticism would be that the romance took a slight backseat to the emotional journey that both characters were going through, but I still think that Melanie Hansen did a remarkable job juggling everything. If I'm being perfectly frank, nothing will ever hold a candle to Point of Contact for me from Melanie Hansen, but I think this book was pretty outstanding. It felt personal, to me, like Melanie Hansen had a deep connection to this storyline.

A very moving story in the Loving a Warrior series, Trusting a Warrior was another win for Melanie Hansen.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Enjoy, everyone! 

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