This collection was inspired by the cover photograph of a real Navy SEAL preparing for a mission in Fallujah. The proceeds of the sale go to the Veteran’s Research Corporation, a non-profit foundation supporting medical research for veterans. It will benefit all branches of military service.
A very good collection of stories, running the gamut from currently serving to former SEALs. There is definitely something for everyone here. The collection as a whole rates 4 out of 5.
“Coming Home” by Jami Alden
The death of his mother finally drags Nick DeMarco back to the home he had avoided since breaking up with the woman he loved. Sarah Decker had their lives together all planned out before September 11, 2001. When Nick joined the Navy, Sarah refused to accept that he wanted to do more, to contribute to the defense of the country.
Not an uncommon situation when lovers have been together since high school. Add Sarah’s grief over her father’s death and you have a recipe for disaster. They both needed to mature before marrying. Short and sweet. 3.5 out of 5.
“Baby I’m Back” by Stephanie Bond
(Southern Roads 3.6) Barry Ballantine returned to his home town after a debilitating injury that took him off SEAL duty. He has no plans to stay; he’s just got one small thing to do for a fallen comrade. But meeting physical therapist Lora Jansen may change his plans.
This is part of a series dealing with the rebuilding of a small town by a group of former military men. I’m definitely intrigued by the premise and will be checking out others in the series. A sweet, gentle romance. 4 out of 5.
“SEALed Fates” by Kylie Brant
Cort Ramsey, former SEAL, stumbles upon two children belonging to his childhood friend, Emma Watkins, now Cunningham. It doesn’t take him long to realize that Emma is hiding from something or someone that has her terrified.
This one was great. Well constructed with strong characters, especially for a short story. 4.5 out of 5.
“Going Dark” by Helen Brenna
Chief Petty Officer Nate Griggs isn’t exactly trusting in his gut after being taken by a woman he was falling in love with and who turned out to be a reporter digging up dirt. When he and his team are sent into Somalia to rescue captured reporters, he discovers that Carly Danson, the same reporter, is a previously unknown captive. She must quickly repair her relationship with Nate in order to continue her real mission in the country.
While Carly’s actions were reprehensible, you quickly find yourself forgiving her after learning the reason behind her charade. Nate is beyond a good guy, one of the best. A man who will sacrifice a mission to rescue the helpless and endangered. 4.5 out of 5.
“Finding Home” by HelenKay Dimon
When the new embassy of Erites is attacked, Navy SEAL Hal Robertson must try and get staff member Megan White out alive.
Instant fireworks when these two meet. Megan is strong, working through her fear. I do wonder if Skip Ellison even tried to keep the Ambassador alive? 4 out of 5.
“SEALed With a Kiss” by Cindy Gerard
(Black Ops Inc. 6.5) On the last day of their belated honeymoon, Valentina and Luke Coulter find themselves in danger. It is up to Valentina to save her former SEAL husband’s life.
To have the big bad Black Ops hero need rescuing by his supermodel wife is a great twist. Very intense. 4 out of 5.
“Panama Jack” by Tara Janzen
Navy SEAL Jack Corday has been requested by a visiting CIA agent every time she needs cover in the jungles of Panama. When Lani Powell’s mission goes FUBAR, she’s glad Jack is at her side.
Love, love, LOVE this one! Lani is my favorite kind of heroine, more than able to take care of herself, yet not too stubborn to accept help when it is offered. She’s also an accomplished sniper and dedicated fishing fiend as well. Jack is equally a favorite, willing to accept that a woman can fend for herself when needed, not trying to take over to “protect the little woman”, working with her. 5 out of 5.
“Wrapped and SEALed” by Leslie Kelly
Navy SEAL Tanner Boudreau has searched for his Jessica since meeting her in the middle of battle. The last place he expected to find her was on his lap while he was dressed as Santa Claus.
Tanner certainly received the Christmas present he had longed for. Despite an initial reluctance to accept Tanner’s choice of career, everything ran smoothly once Jessica came to her senses. If you don’t know about the Indianapolis, please take the time to Google it. 3.5 out of 5.
“Worth the Risk” by Elle Kennedy
Jason Anders has returned to his hometown of Skylark Springs, long after the death of his abusive father. All he wants is for Callie to leave with him.
Dreams can so easily be lost if we don’t fight to keep them alive. I did have a problem with Callie comparing her childhood with loving parents, even if they did die when she was younger, with Jase’s own with his physically and emotionally abusive father. Big difference, sweetie! 3.5 out of 5.
“Twenty-One Hours” by Alison Kent
Teri Stokes reconnects with Shane Gregor, the one who hurt her in high school, when fires threaten her family’s home.
Wonderfully sweet, yet with a bite of how cruel high school can be. 3.5 out of 5.
“Not Waving But Drowning” by Jo Leigh
Dan Hogan headed straight to long-time friend, Renee Crocker, when he was on leave. Renee quickly senses something is wrong. Whatever it is, she’s willing to help.
Here’s another extraordinary tale, this one involving what appears to be a case of PTSD. We also have friends who love each other, but never chose to take the next step in their relationship. Seriously brilliant! 5 out of 5.
“Her Secret Pirate” by Gennita Low
(Crossfire 4) Rebecca Powers and her Ambassador father are hiding on a ship held by pirates. It’s up to Zodenko Zonovich and his team to take back control and rescue the hostages. For Zone, that particularly means Rebecca.
Another capable heroine, always a plus to me. If this entry is any indication of the quality of the rest of the series, I may need to read more. 4 out of 5.
“SEALed by Fate” by Marliss Melton
Sam Sasseville and his team were sent to extract Senator’s daughter Madison Scott after she refused to leave with the evacuated embassy staff.
Did I like the writing? Yes, but it read like a chapter from a larger story. Nothing was truly resolved. No HEA or even the prospect of one. I do get what Sam meant, but it is arrogant and foolish to dismiss the good that aid workers do. 3 out of 5.
“Signed, SEALed, Delivered…I’m Yours” by Christie Ridgway
Mandy Warner just wanted to spend Thanksgiving with her last remaining relative who was currently working in Central America. Now she’s hiding from rebels, in fear for her life. Until Josh Frye suddenly appears.
Lovely, simply lovely. We’re given a couple who have an instant attraction, but are aware that they have different visions of their future. I love that Mandy is given time to consider and adjust to the idea of getting involved with a military man. 4 out of 5.
“Dog Heart” by Barbara Samuel
Marcus Stone brings Thor, a military dog with PTSD, to Jessie for help. Marcus and Jessie had been in love since seventh grade, but Jessie couldn’t deal with Marcus enlisting and broke things off.
Jessie is willing to help both wounded warriors heal, but she must also deal with her own issues and mistakes. 3.5 out of 5.
“Whirlwind” by Roxanne St. Claire
Billie Jo Taylor needs to leave her hiding place due to the approaching hurricane, but worries that Frank Perlow could find her if she does. Rick Stone, looking for a precious watch Billie had purchased on eBay, finds her first.
The power of a hurricane is nothing compared to the immediate attraction between Rick and Billie. 3.5 out of 5.
“Holding On” by Stephanie Tyler
(Hold 3.5) Jamie Michaels is close to giving birth, but Chris is in Somalia on assignment. Even with his brothers surrounding her, she just wants her man home.
This is the first of this series that I’ve read, so perhaps that is why I didn’t have a big connection to any of the characters. I did like the idea of the male side of the family having psychic powers. 3 out of 5.
“Letters to Ellie” by Loreth Anne White
Fifteen years ago, Ellie’s fiancé disappeared, declared MIA. Now Max McDonough, the man who was captured with Flynn, has brought a box of letters essentially dictated by Flynn during the long nights they were captive.
Tough one. I have to wonder if the love, the attraction is real. Max only knows the idealized Ellie of Flynn’s memories. Is Ellie connecting with Max? Or a substitute for Flynn? That is something that a longer story would have to address. 3 out of 5.