Title: A SEAL Forever
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.
Author: Anne Elizabeth
Series: West Coast Navy SEALs
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca Source: Publisher
Published: December 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
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One of the many things Maura has enjoyed about her new apartment is the neighbor. He’s a hot sexy SEAL. He spends much of his spare time in the ocean swimming or running on the beach. Declan makes for a quality people watching. Maura knows she is far too shy to ever speak to the man next door. All that changes one night when she sees her life pass before her eyes. With a renewed outlook on life it only makes sense to grab life by the horns or in her case a SEAL by the lips. That one kiss is all it takes for Declan to see that the neighbor is not nearly as introverted as he thought. The only thing that he wants to do is get to know her better because he is enjoying the not so closed off personality she shows him.
I need to mention all of the wrong and misleading things going on in the blurb. I was expecting Declan to be an ass. I had thoughts of Maura having to deal with a noisy partying neighbor who continuously brought home random women. Or perhaps Declan and Maura had a hook up and she now knows his wild ways for what they are. NONE of that is what is going on here. Sure Declan has some women in his past. Most men do unless you get them really young. Maura and Declan have a pretty serious thing going on between them BEFORE the injury ever happens, an injury that happens nearly at the halfway point of this book. Declan refers to Maura as his girlfriend before the injury even happens. The huge differences in blurb and what actually takes place in A SEAL Forever took away from some of my reading enjoyment.
The third book in Elizabeth’s West Coast Navy SEALs series easily works as a stand-alone. I have not read any of the other books in the series and I was never lost within the pages of this one. The compassion that Elizabeth has towards the men and women who server our country is evident on every single page here. She illustrates the struggles so many of these brave individuals experience in their daily life. Declan may be just a fictional character but the aspects of his changed life are a reality for far too many people. Elizabeth conveys those thoughts well with Declan and his own personal journey back to his new normal.
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New York Times bestselling author Anne Elizabeth is an award-winning romance author and comic creator. With a BS in business and MS in communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of The Author’s Guild and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego.
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A Navy SEALs Fun Fact from Anne Elizabeth
Teammates use humor to push each other up and forward. Healthy teasing goes a long way, especially when they know it comes from a good place.
Master Chief Declan Swifton of SEAL Team Five rolled over the side of the Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat and slid soundlessly into the Pacific Ocean. The RIB took off without even a comment from the operator, leaving Declan to sink farther into the drink.
The temperature cooled as he swam away from the surface. Fish skirted the edges of his thighs, small shimmers of movement against his skin. He scissor-kicked his way forward. The ocean currents caught him, dragging him in the direction they wanted to go, toward shore. He lay with his arms at his sides, frog-kicking only. Above him, he could see the afternoon sunlight glistening and frothy foam chasing away the glassy surface. Down here things were different…calmer. Peaceful, in a way few souls would understand, and yet he knew that even he would have to surface soon.
His lungs would start to ache and burn, his gut would begin to feel as if it would cave in, and that would force him to either head topside or drink in the salt water. But there was still time. This was the water in front of Imperial Beach and the apartment he lived in. He knew it very well.
Scanning the ocean floor, he gauged it would be about thirty seconds until he reached one of the many rocky sandbars out here. He’d have to pull up before then, or the force of the current would smack him against the side.
As his body began to complain, he used both arms and legs to draw himself upward. Breaking the surface, he opened his mouth and drew in air like a thirsty man would gulp water.
The waves bounced him like a buoy. The tide was coming in and the wind was picking up momentum. Looking at the sky to the east, he could see that there would most likely be a storm today. Over his should, to the west, he spied a wave coming his way large enough to take him to shore. It would reach him in about thirty seconds.
Dec took a long, slow breath and appreciated the sun dropping into the horizon. The colors were extraordinary; orange and gold dappled the horizon as the blazing ball of light attempted to sink before the moon lifted higher in the sky.
His hands flexed, cupping the water. It had been a hot day, and the sun’s rays had heated the top of the ocean, making the surface feel like a warm bath, loosening his muscles. Three months ago, he’d been in waters so frigid, with actual ice caps—the memory still made him cold. But here, the Pacific Ocean off California’s Imperial Beach, was a slice of heaven.
Coming in from the east were some nasty-looking cumulonimbus clouds. Seeing the lightning arc way off toward the distant desert, he decided it was time to go in, and right on cue, here came a perfect wave.
Swimming at top speed, Declan pushed his way through another changing current, one that sought to drag him into faster-moving waters. He went over a higher sandbar, having no intention of going to Mexico today, and increased the reach of his stroke. With single-mindedness he worked his way into the more placid surf as he homed in on a large stretch of beach.
The SEAL felt a few sea lions swimming around him, and one nosed him in the gut and another in his back a few times, assessing whether or not he’d play. Not this time, my friends. He continued swimming without engaging. If he stopped to play, he’d be out there for hours.
Switching to the breaststroke, his arms protested. His platoon had switched their training this month to desert-warfare techniques, and he’d been sweating his balls off in the heat. He managed to learn a thing or two, even now, after all of his years in the Teams. But it felt good to be back in the ocean, his element. He’d live in the deep blue like a Jules Verne character if he could.