Published by Avon Impulse on August 16th 2016
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The men of Alpha Dog, a second chance program for at-risk teens, work hard and play hard. And when it comes to protecting the women they love . . . nothing stands in their way.
Danielle Hill used to live on the wild side, until a surprise pregnancy forced her to get her act together. Now her whole life revolves around her young son, and she will do anything to keep Noah’s heart protected, even if it means avoiding the Marine who makes her want to be oh so bad . . .
Tyler Best loves his family, his friends, and his life, and he plans on living it to the fullest after nearly losing it. But Tyler didn’t bank on running into a beautiful blond with blazing green eyes and temper to match his. Tyler always thought he wasn’t ready to settle down, but Dani and Noah make him rethink his playboy ways . . .
Only just as these two start to build something, a shadow from Dani’s past comes back to haunt them. But Tyler will do anything to keep her and Noah safe . . . anything.
Before picking up Hero of Mine, I’ve actually never read a book by Codi Gary. Though Gary might not be the most notable romance author out there, she still has some interesting looking titles that I definitely want to read sometime soon. I really enjoyed the concept of this, a romance between a single mom and a manwhore veteran who’s involved in an alternative to juvie program for at-risk teens. The whole concept of the Alpha Dog, which is also explored in the two previous books in the series. I thought the program was incredibly awesome, and I’ve never really seen anything like that in other romance books. Though I did have some minor issues with the story as a whole, I still found it to be a quick and fun read.
Dani is a single mom to a sweet and (naturally) adorable little boy. I love how responsible and dedicated she is baby Noah. You would think that this is to be expected out of any parent, but sadly that isn’t always the case. Anyway, Dani was one of the good ones who had him young, but still managed to make a life for him the best way she can. The father is out of the picture, he was a bad boy who told her that she should have an abortion. Though she’s lucky enough to have her mom around to keep him while she works, Dani is still mostly raising him totally on her own. I had a lot of respect for how mature and loving she was throughout the book. Every decision she made, she made out of her unconditional love and need to protect Noah. On top of all that, she’s also a feisty girl with an awesome personality. I really adored her character all around!
Tyler has a strong reputation for being a manwhore. He’s one of those guys who simply steers clear of any relationships whatsoever. Things start to change for him when he meets Dani and her son Noah. Tyler is a guy who has been through so much, he was shot while serving his time in the military, and unfortunately suffered the loss of his dog at the same time. After he leaves the military, that’s when he becomes involved with the Alpha Dog. As I already mentioned, this is where at-risk teens who committed some sort of crime go instead of a juvenile detention center. The kids get the chance to work with different dogs. The program demonstrates discipline and also gives the kids a different kind of outlet for their frustration. I thought the program was brilliant, and I loved how Tyler in particular interacted with the teens. He always treated them with respect, but also enforced the rules at the same time. He’s a fabulous character, and I liked seeing him become more mature as the book progressed.
The romance between Tyler and Dani was fairly well done. I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite by any means, but it wasn’t badly written either. Some parts weren’t believable, like how quickly Tyler changed from being a manwhore to suddenly so dedicated to Dani and instantly bringing her around his friends and family. I get that he has to settle down at some point, but I still think there would be more of a fight and hesitance instead of jumping in pretty much right away. It just seemed a bit out of character, in my opinion. Besides that, I liked the relationship, it was super heartwarming to see. It had some steam, but not too much either. Despite how quickly everything moved, there still was a good amount of development for them as a couple. I also liked that the drama that happened in the book had nothing to do with them, it was all outside forces. I like seeing that because I feel like so many romance books have the central conflict be secrets and lies that one of them is keeping, and I was relived that it didn’t happen here. Tyler and Dani made a sweet couple overall!
This was an interesting and fairly unique story that I’m happy that I read. I totally plan on getting the other books revolving around the Alpha Dog because I feel like it’s such a cool program, and I’d love to see more romance books that feature similar programs for youth who desperately need it. Another issue that I had was with one of the final chapters in the story. We never found out what happened to the villain in the story and that really bothered me. Aside from that and the other details I mentioned, I really liked this book. I look forward to reading Tyler’s friend and co-worker Blake Kline’s story next. I recommend this if you’re looking for something a little on the angsty side, but still filled with a memorable romance, plot, and characters.