Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: "Cowboy Payback" by Donna Michaels


Brett's Story--Finn's twin brother from Cowboy-Sexy/Fiance!

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?

My 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

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About the Author:
It’s all my mother’s fault.

She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues that fed my imagination...and boy could I eat! As you no doubt figured out, this lead to my writing career. I’m a NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling Award winning author. Phew, that was a mouthful! Multi-published in e-book and print with several publishers, I certainly have a ton of voices in my head.

I’m happily married to a military man for 28 years.  We have four children and several rescued cats. Michael’s been in the Army National Guard since before he graduated. The Guard has been a part of our lives right from the start. It was only natural for the military to spill into my writing.  God bless the military and their families. Thank you all for your sacrifices. ♥

You already know my mom inspired my love of reading,but it was my dad who got me hooked on movies. Even now, if I had the time, I could happily go from one movie to another all day long. They are the reason I love mixed genre and why I can’t just stick to just one in my writing, although, as you can tell, I have a soft spot for cowboys and the military.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks for getting to know me a little better. Remember, keep reading to your children. The journey you’re igniting is precious. And the next time you’re at the movies, turn around. I just might be the person sitting behind you. No, not the one throwing popcorn (it’s too expensive to waste). I’m the one already imagining the sequel.


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