Title: Last True Hero
Series: Battle Scars #1
Author: Diana Gardin
Release Date: November 10, 2015
For seven years he’s fought for his country. Now he’ll fight for her.
Army Ranger Dare Conners has been through hell. He’s left combat behind, yet the memories that refuse to fade are proving just as dangerous. Ordered to take R&R, he joins his buddy for beaches, beers, and babes—if that can’t cure him, nothing will. But when he meets Berkeley, a woman who affects him like no one else, a new kind of battle begins . . .
An Admiral’s daughter, Berkeley knows her life has been planned since birth. The right school, the right boyfriend—and now that she’s graduated—the right marriage. But after years of being right, Berkley is ready to be a little wrong. And Dare Conners has wrong written all over him. The sexy soldier has a body built for sin and secrets he won’t share. What starts as a fling quickly grows into something more. But summer can’t last forever, and when the truth comes out, both Berkeley and Dare could be in for quite a fall.
Ex-Army Ranger Dare Connors has experienced more trauma and violence than one person should ever know in a lifetime. Freshly discharged from the Army, he’s taking things slowly as he adjusts to his new civilian life, living with his best friend and working as an auto mechanic. But nothing could have prepared him for how Berkeley Holtz would bring him to life. He’s drawn to her immediately—and is immediately shot down.
Berkeley is no shrinking violet. She’s grown up in a military household, surrounded by the rigid military expectations and she has no interest in keeping military part of her life long term. So when Dare appears at her restaurant looking the look and talking the talk, she puts him immediately in his place. Only…it’s not that easy. Dare is not easily dissuaded and not easily resisted. When they keep turning up in each other’s paths, eventually Berkeley takes a chance on this sensitive, sexy hero and their relationship takes off.
I really liked Berkeley and Dare. They were adorable together and completely likeable people separately. I appreciate a strong heroine, and Berkeley—though she was being pulled in several different directions by the people she loved—never let herself be bullied or walked over. Dare is all alpha protective without ever being controlling or overbearing. I was impressed by how Diana Gardin pulled that off—it was one of my favorite things about him. He wanted Berkeley to be her own person, but God help anyone who looked at her sideways. That right there? That’s the formula for sex on a stick.
There were some times when the pace moved a little slowly for me. I felt like Dare’s Ranger experiences maybe deserved more attention, and may have added a lot more to the tension between Dare and Berkeley. I was a little doubtful about how the conflict was going to play out, but in the end it was emotional and suspenseful with a resolution that made my heart happy.
Overall, I really enjoyed the whole package here. There’s a little bit of suspense, some hot and heavy scenes, and a surprising number of banter-y moments that gave me a chuckle or left me with a huge smile on my face. Last True Hero is a great foundation for this exciting new series, and I’m completely invested in finding out what comes next!
~ Review by Shelly
Diana Gardin is a wife of one and a mom of two. Writing is her second full time job to that, and she loves it! Diana writes contemporary romance in the Young Adult and New Adult categories. She's also a former Elementary school teacher. She loves steak, sugar cookies, and Coke and hates working out.