The Patriot by Jennifer Millikin _ Book Review

Amazon | Goodreads

I’m a soldier.
A cattle rancher.
A Hayden.

My family’s legacy is spread out in front of me, just waiting for me to seize it. If it weren’t for one outdated rule, I’d be the owner of the Hayden Cattle Company and my aging father could retire.

When Dakota Wright shows up to buy and develop twenty acres of Hayden land, I see more than a pretty mouth and strawberry blonde hair. I see a way around the decree keeping me from getting what I want.

And, as luck would have it, Dakota has a big problem of her own. We strike two deals: one for the land, and a second that’ll make both our problems a distant memory.

It isn’t too long before I realize I’m in over my head. I’ve convinced myself the ends should justify the means, but everything begins to fall apart when my birthright is no longer all that I’m after.

I never thought there’d be anything I could love more than my ranch and my country.
I was wrong.

Turns out, I want it all.
Including her. 

[ I received a physical copy for an honest review]

The Patriot
 is the start of a new romance series by Jennifer Millikin. The series will follow each of the Hayden siblings and if they are anything like this first book it will be a series full of emotion.

After three tours in the military Wes returns home to his family’s ranch a different man than he was. When his father decides to sell part of the land he finds himself face to face with Dakota. RTE woman he spent one night with five years ago and impacted him more than she’ll ever know. The connection is still there, so he decides to use it to his advantage and hers. He offers her a deal that would guarantee him to inherit his family’s ranch and a way for her to wipe her debt clean. When buried feelings rise to the surface their the arrangement is more complicated than it started as.

“I want to reach out. Hold her. Touch her, Kiss her the way I did that evening in the lake.”

The Patriot
packs more than a few tropes into its pages. We have the fake fiancé/ marriage of convenience trope, tortured war hero, somewhat second chance situation going on and it’s all set to a nice slow burn. Wes is quality book boyfriend material. With his love for his family, care for his ranch, his vulnerability and his protectiveness. I loved Dakota she is such a strong female lead. She doesn’t take crap or skirt around the issues when it comes to Wes and their one night encounter. She definitely doesn’t let him get away with his actions easily. At the same time she knows when to be supportive and just be there for him when he needs it. The relationship between is a perfectly paced slow burn as they get to know each other better and their “fake” relationship grows into something real.

“I’ll go anywhere with you.” To your cabin. To your favorite place in the world. To the place inside where you hide your pain.

I think The Patriot was a fantastic start to a new series. I think Jennifer Millikin did a great job at introducing the other Hayden siblings and leaving us wanting for them each to find their own happily ever afters.

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