Sunday, November 29, 2015

A SEAL Forever

Book Review of A Seal Forever (West Coast Navy Seals Series)

Title: A Seal Forever

Series:West Coast Navy Seals Series Series

Author: Anne Elizabeth

Date Published:December 1st 2015

Date Read:  November  28, 2015

The Blurb:
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.

My Review

                    3.5 Once a Seal Always a Seal Stars

"Im not going to be shy. I promised myself out there, on the water. What you did last night was.....miraculous! Thank you."-Maura

A SEAL Forever, the 3rd book in the West Coast Navy Seals Series, was an okay read for me. I had a few things that didn't work for me with this story, but still overall I enjoyed the book for the most part. This book is about Declan, a Navy SEAL, and his neighbor a very shy Maura. After saving Maura from almost drowning one day, they start dating. A little over a month into their relationship, Declan is shipped out on a mission and he loses one of his legs. Now it's Maura's turn to be the rock for Declan. 

"You always seem to do that." "What?" he asked. "Empower me. Make me feel better about myself, like I can get through any situation no matter what it is, if I just give myself a chance to work through it."-Maura and Declan

So here is what didn't work for me in this book:

For one the blurb is annoyingly inaccurate. 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.WHAT? For one what the hell is the blurb talking about "The man she'd grown to tolerate"? really at that point in the book they have been dating for a few months and she was already falling in love with him. Then when she hears the crash the blurb would have you think she thought "Oh great my man whore neighbor is at it again with his new flavor" when really in the book she runs over happy going " Declan are you home?" WTH Blurb? It really annoyed me, but that didn't effect my rating. Then the first half of the book is very slow and gets a little boring. When the book should have been giving us readers details and scenes on the couple together, relationship building, falling in love, it focused a lot on his training, missions, stake outs, and her and her gym. 

"I want you to....enjoy it." She smiled. He was a good guy. Down deep, she'd known that. "If you do your job right, then I will." "Oh, it's up to me... to do a good job. I see. No pressure."-Declan and Maura

"Just want you to know. I'm not the only fish out there. You can do better." He had to give her an out, as much as it hurt him. "Declan, I'm not going anywhere. You're the only one I want." She leaned down and kissed him, teasing his upper lip until he joined in. "I've put away my fishing pole."-Declan and Maura

Then I felt like there are some more important details missing from this story. I mean it never even tells you their hair color. If it's long, short, curly nothing. It only says that Maura has green eyes. No clue what color Declan's eyes are. I never got a picture of what they looked like in my head. I felt like pieces of their relationship are missing too. And that was just the most basic details that books normally give. I don't really feel like I know who the MCs are. Just the surface.

"I don't want to stop being a Seal. This is it. This is all I ever wanted for my life." "Then fight for it!" -Declan and Maura

"You're my hero ," she said. His body stiffened. "I'm no one's hero. I'm just a man who's doing the best he can, and who loves this woman." She lifted her head. "I love you, Declan."-Declan and Maura

Also the book jumps around a lot. A week here, few weeks there. One example that really bugged me was, they are getting ready to make love for the first time. He goes down on her and then he is climbing back up her to make love to her. Right when we are getting to the best part the first time he is inside her. A very important intimacy moment, a big connection. Instead the scene goes like this. "Details of him going down on her, he climbs up and .... A week later and he still can't believe how good it is with Maura." and I am like wait... What? He is climbing up to her and then we just skip ahead a week. Really? The whole book is like that. It kind of gives it a choppy unsmooth flow. Also after saving Maura, Declan kisses her, then leaves her apt goes home and has sex with other woman a few hours later, then the next day goes on a date with Maura and they starts their relationship. I know they were not together yet but is was still uncool to kiss Maura and then have sex with someone else in the span of a few hours.

"I take plenty of time to think about the issues that come my way. But my goal, or rather the desire to reach my goal, is greater than any fear I have. Only one emotion can win: desire or fear. So I chose desire."-Declan

"Whenever I'm with you, wherever we are, my Maura, I am home."-Declan

Now on to the things I liked about this book. Maura and Declan have a pretty low drama relationship. They get along well, are respectful and sweet to each other, and they are very supportive of each other. I thought the friendship/brotherhood the team had was adorable, and at times funny. I like the fact that this book gives a really touching look at the struggles and sacrifices our Military men face. The pain and vulnerability that Declan and others go through facing their disabling injuries, loss of limbs or life. The fear and anger of losing a part of yourself that defines you so much that you don't know who you are anymore and learning to be a new you. Declan's pain and struggle felt real and they broke my heart. I love that Declan doesn't let the loss of his leg defeat him. This story has a nice upbeat message of hope, endurance, and a honorable character overcoming. So while it wasn't a major hit for me, it was an enjoyable read and I will definitely give this author another try. 

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