A SEAL Forever (West Coast Navy SEALs Series) by Anne Elizabeth
Overview by Amazon:
Even a hero needs someone to believe in him…
Parkour instructor Maura Maxwell has always denied her attraction for her bachelor neighbor because she’s seen his revolving door of women and doesn’t want to become another notch on his belt. But the man who rescues her from a sudden storm isn’t the one she thinks she knows-he’s Master Chief Declan Swifton of SEAL Team Five, and he literally sweeps Maura off her feet.
Just as his teasing and tenderness start to work their way into Maura’s heart, Declan and his team are called in for a dangerous op in the Middle East. The man who returns is facing the toughest fight of his life, and he needs Maura by his side more than ever…
I was totally surprised by this book. I guess most SEAL books I read feature less emotions and the aftermath of disaster. Even though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I found myself drawn into the story and the battle that Maura and Declan had to face.
It starts off with Maura not even speaking to her hot neighbour for like SIX months, so I found it surprising that after he rescues her from a stormy ocean, she dives right into a relationship. I also found it amazing that after he rescues her, he has a booty call and then gets it on with her the next evening. So my impression of Declan is a typical, playboy SEAL.
Things go well for the two and they start to develop a relationship when Declan is called away on a mission. Things don’t go well and he is away for months. Declan suffers a life changing injury and the majority of the book is how they deal with this.
Both Declan and Maura have experienced life altering trauma in their lives. They have had to deal with their bodies failing them. This loss is more than just physical. The author takes the time to deeply explore the psyche of losing dreams. How the characters react and handle changes in their lives.
Maura is such a light character. She has a bright quality to her. Considering her traumatic injury years ago, she takes chances to chase her dreams. I admired the inherent goodness in Maura and the way she cares for those in her employ and the community. I actually had no idea what ‘parkour’ was and I had to google videos of it. While this is what she enjoys doing, it wasn’t essential to know about parkour and gymnastics to enjoy the story.
Declan is the character that experiences the most change in the book. The author draws us deep into his battles. At first, Declan seems like just another playboy SEAL, but meeting Maura changes him. The evolution of Declan is really the heart of the story. When he loses himself and begins to pick himself back up is when I really began to like and identify with the character.
I found this book to be a sentimental, love story that draws heavily upon the theme of loss. The redemption that comes from losing the things that are most valuable, makes for an engaging story. Add two characters who are complex and yet very likeable and you have a great story.