A SEAL ForeverSeries: West Coast Navy SEALs #3
by Anne Elizabeth
Published by Sourcebooks, Casablanca on December 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Special Operator Declan Smith was a dedicated U.S. Navy SEAL, a known player, and daredevil who loved pushing the limits. But on his last mission, an IED leaves him injured and angry as hell—and it changes everything.
When a loud crash disturbs his neighbor, Maura Maxwell, she assumes the sailor next door is up to his usual bad behavior. But the man she finds covered in glass is far from the cocky ladies' man she'd grown to tolerate. Lying before her is a man fighting to rediscover his place in the world—and he can't do it alone.
Well, this is a new one for me! A NICE slow romance built around a strong central protagonist – and it ain’t the girl in the relationship! I so enjoyed this deep look into our military men and the challenges our bravest face in all facets of their lives. Toss in a totally kick-ass heroine who ∗gasp∗ never whined over her struggles and I could not stop reading! And I got to visit my beloved San Diego again… right on.
Thank God for my Navy veteran husband (he was a Navy diver and some of his training was with the SEALs on Coronado Island, CA). I asked him all sorts of military questions while I was reading this story. The first one I asked him was, “What is a Master Chief?” To that my husband replied, “Untouchable.” And that is what rank Declan Swifton is. He is a career Navy SEAL stationed on Coronado Island, CA and is part of SEAL Team Five. He and his teammates have completed many missions together and as “brothers” on the team, they are Declan’s family.
Living on Imperial Beach (last beach before you’re in Mexico, in case you’re curious), Declan can enjoy swimming daily right outside his apartment. He can also enjoy the scenery next door in the form of Maura Maxwell, the shy new neighbor who doesn’t really say much to him. But he mostly unwinds with his ladies of the month – no attachments, thank you. He has a military career to keep him busy.
After a crazy scene in the waters off their shared beach, Declan and Maura get to know each and eventually hop, skip, jump, tumble, and leap their way through romance, breaking down personal barriers as they go. Of course, you always need a tiny bit of relationship drama and its there to liven things up. But it isn’t angsty, draining, or even about either one of them doing something dumb! It was juuuuuust right.
What really kept me turning the pages was Declan’s story and all that he went through while at the same time he was trying to make sense of all his feelings for Maura and their relationship. For a military guy, this is a whole new way to think – how does he process everything?
I would like to give a heads up, though. The synopsis is a wee bit off, unless the story was considerably changed since the ARC was released. It only threw off my expectations a tiny bit. I still wasn’t disappointed.
Trust me, there is no angst to this story, at least in the ARC 😉 I was sad at parts and overjoyed at others. I was reminded that this isn’t fiction for many, MANY of our soldiers.