I received this book via Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham
Series: A Heart of a Hero #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2020-02-04
Length: 336 pages
Reviewing eARC from Publisher
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2020, 2020 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2020 New Release Challenge
From award-winning author Laura Trentham comes 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 heart was not prepared for this book. An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham is the second book in her series A Heart of a Hero that follows the lives of soldiers and those closest to them. In this installment, we meet Greer Hadley, Emmett Lawson, and Ally Martinez when they are at their lowest point. Dealing with grief, depression, and a glimpse of PTSD, An Everyday Hero shows what a little persistence and a lot of love can do.
Greer Hadley has officially hit bottom. Arrested for being drunk and disorderly at a bar in her hometown, Greer thinks it can’t get any worse. Then her uncle (who is also the judge) sentences her to community service at a local agency that provides music therapy to veterans and their families. After selling her guitar to make rent money, bombing her last performance, finding her boyfriend sleeping with another woman, and moving back in with her parents (in her thirties!), the absolute last thing Greer wants is to pick up a guitar again. Now she has no choice but to confront her newfound stagefright all while helping two people that do not want her help.
Ally Martinez is a fifteen year old who has just lost her father, killed in action. To say she’s acting out is an understatement. Yet Greer sees past her anger and attitude. She sees a girl who is hurting, and all she wants to do is help. The relationship between these two builds naturally. I wanted to reach through the pages and give Ally a hug. She’s a strong young woman that stole my heart as she stole Greer’s.
Then there’s Emmett Lawson, the golden boy that starred in many of Greer’s high school fantasies. Emmett is not the boy she remembers. Haunted and drowning his memories in Jack, everyone has written him off as a lost cause. But not Greer. Like with Ally, Greer sees what Emmett’s anger really is: a front for his insecurities. He lost a leg and friends, and he blames himself for not preventing it. A little tough love is in order.
I absolutely love Greer and Emmett. She doesn’t put up with his bull, and it’s exactly what he needs. Where he pushes, she bucks back. And it isn’t one-sided. Emmett pushes Greer, getting to the root of her anxiety and stagefright. It starts as friendship, and I love the progression the author shows in the book. It felt real and right.
Overall, An Everyday Hero will tug at your heartstrings and may even have you shedding a tear or two. If you enjoy contemporary romance, I highly recommend it.