Always the Hero by Anna J. Stewart

Posted April 7, 2021 by Marsha in Contemporary Romance, Harlequin, Harlequin Heartwarming, Owned or Purchased, Series, Small Town Romance / 0 Comments


He never relied on anyone but himself…

But he needs her now!

Butterfly Harbor deputy Matt Knight wants two things: to date Lori Bradley and the chance to adopt Kyle, a troubled teen.

Wounded in Afghanistan, Matt knows he can’t move forward anchored to the past.

But once he regains the guarded hotel manager’s trust, will his need to protect those he loves cost him a future with this extraordinary woman?

Titles in the Butterfly Harbor series include – The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor – Recipe for Redemption – A Dad for Charlie – Always the Hero – Holiday Kisses – Safe in His Arms – The Firefighter’s Thanksgiving Wish – A Match Made Perfect – Bride on the Run – Building a Surprise Family  – Worth the Risk – The Mayor’s Baby Surprise –


Title:  Always the Hero
Series:  Butterfly Harbor #4
Author:  Anna J. Stewart
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publication Date:  March 1, 2018
Rating:  4.5 stars

Returning to Butterfly Harbor for Matt and Lori’s romance was pure bliss.  Always the Hero describes Matt perfectly.  He made a sacrifice in Afghanistan yet he hasn’t let his new prosthetic leg hold him back from his instinctive need to serve and protect whether that is his country, his small town, or the woman he’s in love with.  The trouble is, well, Matt is sending mixed signals to Lori  — and in order to adopt Kyle, a troubled teen Matt may have stretched the truth just a bit.  Oh, he’d intended to tell Lori, to get her permission but events happened, for some reason, they started to drift apart (although that was the last thing he wanted) and he kept putting off that much-needed conversation.  Now, Matt’s really stuck his foot in it as Lori unexpectedly learns about what Matt’s been holding back, from another person.  She’s angry, she’s hurt, and worst of all, she’d given him her trust which, for Lori, is a precious gift to give and Matt has broken that trust.

Lori is intelligent, stubborn, and excellent at her job as manager for the hotel.  She’s also constantly self-image aware and always on a diet.  She’s not comfortable in her own skin, and she’s believed the cruel teasings about her weight her entire life.  It had seemed as if Matt didn’t notice, that he enjoyed being with her… just for herself.  That’s why it hurt so much when it seemed he was pulling away, sending mixed signals, and the final straw when he told a lie in order to be able to adopt Kyle.  Maybe Matt hadn’t seen it as a lie, just something that would be happening but no matter his intentions, everything went horribly wrong.  Now Lori has to decide if she can ever trust him again or possibly give in to the love she has for this man and forgive him in order to move on.  That’s a choice she’s yet to make, and a choice that has so much of his personal happiness riding on it for Matt.

I adored Lori and Matt, both individually and as a couple.  Matt I so often wanted to sit this man down for a stern conversation about getting his act together and paying attention to the truly important stuff.  Lori, well, I just wanted to pull her into a tight hug and tell her that she’s beautiful and loved exactly as she is.  There were times as a reader that I’d see both of them do or say something cringe-worthy and think… yeah, that’s going to come back and bite you later.  But the reality is that we humans often do cringe-worthy things, the difference is when we acknowledge that, correct it, and move on.  They both made mistakes, and admittedly Matt’s was a big one.  Yet at the core, they cared about each other, thought the other was their future and the time had come when they needed to decide to go for that future or let it fade away.

I loved Always the Hero, simply fell back into this world with all of its uniqueness, charm, and captivating characters.  If you love a really good small-town romance with believable characters then you’d love the Butterfly Harbor series.

I own a Kindle edition of this title.

Available in paperback or for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.


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