Tuesday, January 28, 2020

ARC Review: An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham

An Everyday Hero
Author: Laura Trentham
Series: Heart of a Hero (Book 2)
Publication: St. Martin's Griffin (February 4, 2020)

Description: From award-winning author Laura Trentham comes An Everyday Hero, an emotionally layered novel about redemption, second chances and discovering that life is worth fighting for.

At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.

When Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, her plans to stay detached and do as little as possible get thrown away. New to town and dealing with the death of her father in action, she hides her emotions behind a mask of bitterness and sarcasm, but Greer is able to see past it and recognizes pieces of who she once was in Ally. The raw and obvious talent she possesses could take her to the top and Greer vows to make sure life’s negativities don’t derail Ally’s potential.

After Greer is assigned a veteran to help, she’s not surprised Emmett Lawson, the town’s golden boy, followed his family’s legacy. What leaves her shocked is the shell of a man who believes he doesn’t deserve anyone’s help. A breakthrough with Ally reminds Greer that no one is worth giving up on. So she shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her―and along the way they might just save themselves too.

My Thoughts: Greer Hadley feels like she's hit rock bottom. Her career as a singer-songwriter in Nashville implodes when she suffers from a freeze up when performing for someone who could jump start her career. She comes back home to walk in on her fiance in bed with another woman. When she drinks too much and attacks a jukebox for playing the wrong song, she's arrested and has to go to court with her Uncle Bill presiding. He sentences her to community service at a music therapy charity. Greer would rather clean up ditches than face her fears about her music but she has no choice.

Greer's first client is a teen named Ally who has gone off the rails a bit when her father is killed in combat and her mother uproots her and brings her to Nashville. Her mother is not doing well in her grief and Ally is only fifteen and not ready to be her mother's emotional support. Greer's tough love and their shared love of music helps her forge a relationship with the young girl.

Greer's second client is not so easy. Emmett Lawson was in her class at school. He went to West Point and was serving in the Army until his unit ran into insurgents killing his sergeant and causing Emmett to lose his lower leg. Emmett has turned himself into a hermit in the guest house on his parents' horse farm. When Greer climbs a fence to confront him, he greets her with a shotgun shot over her head. But Greer's stubbornness, tough love, and the feeling that she owes him a favor for something he did for her in high school, keeps her coming back until she manages to help him out.

I really liked this story. The characters were all interesting people. I did think that the coincidence that Ally's dad was Emmett's sergeant was a little far-fetched but otherwise the plot was realistic and well designed. Fans of feel good romances with intriguing characters will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
Disappointment was inevitable, but Greer was too far down the road to do a U-turn now. "I'm not a therapist or even a good example of a successful, functioning member of society. Keep your expectations low."

Mrs. Lawson's laugh was weak but natural. "Will you let me know how you make out?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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