The Patriot


This is the first book of the Hayden family series and the first book by author Jennifer Millikin that I have read.  I picked this book up last year at Book Bonanza when I visited her table and looking at her backlist, I think she has some of the best book covers I have seen!  Living in a small town, with cattle and horses, I’m always a sucker for a good cowboy romance and this one was perfect.  I really liked Wes from the beginning and his story tugged at my heart. He was waging an internal battle of finding his way from fighting for his country, to fighting to have his life back to a new normal at home. Exposing your vulnerabilities leads to healing, but it’s not always an easy road.  Dakota was in a similar battle.  She was finding her strength and becoming the person her family knew was there all along, while letting go of past mistakes. I think this is why Wes and Dakota has a connection from the beginning.   While they did meet previously years before, I still feel that is a case of slight insta love with a slow burn build up; perfect if that is something you love in a romance!  Wes had two brothers that worked beside him on the family ranch.  Each brother’s stories were sprinkled in sparingly, paving the way for their books in the series. There is a small twist at the end of the story that definitely gave this cowboy romance a feel of the old west where justice is always served, but not always by the law.