Rating : 4 out of 5 Stars
This book is the second in Alexis Morgan’ Sergeant Joe’s Boys series about three adopted brothers who recently lost their beloved foster father. Two of them, Jack and Tino have left the army and returned to their hometown, to be close to their foster mother. The hero of this second stand-alone in the series is Tino Gianelli. He is a decent and genuine character, deeply attached to his foster mother. He has spent the last 10 years of his life serving in the Army, and is trying to adapt to civilian life. Looking for a new purpose in his life, he volunteers for a renovation project at a local community center.
Natalie Kennigan is running the Foundation financing the community center works. She comes from money, but doesn’t want her wealth to define her. She is a doer and loves the hands-on part of the renovation job. Throwing money is simply not good enough for her. There is an instant connection between Tino and Natalie, they enjoy being together. Natalie is at a crossroad in her life, she recently broke off her engagement. She refuses to follow her parents’ expectations and marry the man they chose for her. With Tino, she can be herself, he doesn’t see her as a wealthy heiress.
Overall, I enjoyed this sweet and heartwarming story, with a wonderful family spirit. The characters were well-developed and full of positive energy. Their connection felt real. I loved Tino, he is tender, loyal to his foster father’s last wishes and deeply attached to his close-knit family. This book is a light, entertaining read that takes you on a journey to Tino and Natalie’s happily ever after. I can’t wait to read more about Tino’s younger brother Mikhail in the next book in the series.
An advanced copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.
When Sergeant Joe and his wife, Marlene, adopted Tino Gianelli as a teenager, the foster kid began to heal from his deep insecurities. Now, with a successful military career behind him and a good job as a contractor in the family construction business, Tino shouldn’t have any reason to doubt himself. He’s fallen hard for a beautiful heiress, and she seems to be crazy about him too. So why does he keep trying to hide his working-class roots?
Natalie Kennigan’s ideal guy is someone who will consider her an equal and his best friend, not merely a box to check on the road to success. Tino—with his down-to-earth personality, generous heart, and passionate embrace—might just be the one, at least until he finds out about Natalie’s family money and starts treating her like the typical rich girl who needs to be wined and dined. Natalie will have none of it. She won’t be happy until he accepts her for who she truly is—just as she wants to love the real Tino.
About the author
Alexis Morgan grew up near St. Louis and received a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She and her husband have made the Pacific Northwest their home for more than thirty years, where she launched her career as a writer. She is published in paranormal romance, fantasy romance, American West historicals, and most recently, contemporary romances with her new Snowberry Creek series.