Audio Review: Never Forget by Marliss Melton, Narrated by Armen Taylor

Audio Review: Never Forget by Marliss Melton, Narrated by Armen TaylorNever Forget by Marliss Melton

Series: #4 Echo Platoon
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by James-York Press on February 8, 2017
Length: 5 hours 2 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Author
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Master Chief Rusty Kuzinsky has thrown his heart and his savings into preparing a warrior’s retreat. Never Forget is a special place for SEALs to find solace and to heal after grueling operations like those he endured his entire career. Just as his first guests are due to arrive, a military war dog suffering from PTSD lands in Rusty’s lap, requiring attention he simply can’t spare.

NCIS Special Agent Maya Schultz has her hands full raising a teenage son while investigating crimes taking place within the military. When Rusty offers her son a summer job caring for his new dog, practical Maya can’t tell what’s more dangerous—the crazy dog or her attraction to a man who witnessed her husband’s death ten years ago…and claims to see him, still.

But when danger threatens Maya’s remaining family, Rusty’s special gift and his unhinged dog become her only defense against a suspect who’ll do anything to avoid going to prison. With time running out and life or death at stake, Maya has to choose whether to follow her head as she has always done or to trust her heart this time.

Review

Ever just need a character(s) to have his or her story told?  That’s how I was when I listened to the scene in Hard Landing when Rusty and Maya meet.  There were sparks, but she shut it all down to a smolder when she held Rusty responsible for her late husband’s death.  I was more than thrilled when this long novella was released following up on Rusty and Maya’s story.

Never Forget is part of the Echo Platoon series and there is a gentle connection with an earlier story, but it also makes a decent standalone or intro the author and series.

Rusty Kuzinsky is retired from the SEALs and now is pursuing his plans full-throttle for a warrior retreat where SEALs can come and get some down time to adjust after coming off their missions.  He’s always been a protector and caregiver to his men and this is another way he can take care of them.  Busily readying for his first group of SEAL guests, his life is complicated by the arrival of a retired military dog he agreed to take if the dog’s handler didn’t make it and also he bumps into captivating Maya Schultz at the home store.  Her difficulties with her teenage son tug at him and he offers to take on Curtis for the summer to help with the dog, Draco.

Maya has spent years pushing away emotions and holding to her grief and loss.  Her job at NCIS keeps her occupied as does the care of her son, but now that he is getting older and showing frustration, anger, hanging with bad kids and some rebellion, she fears that she is enough.  Once again, she wishes she could turn to her dead husband.  She resents that Rusty Kuzinsky came back alive and lived on to retire when her husband and a father is gone.  Her head knows that Rusty isn’t to blame, but she’s scared that if she lets go of the bitter resentment then other emotions will pour in.  Only now that Rusty is helping with Curtis, she is forced to loosen her grip on the past and on her heart maybe even dream a little about an older warrior like Rusty.

I enjoyed seeing an Autumn romance between a retired SEAL and a widow, the antics of a struggling boy and an old war dog, and yes, it didn’t miss a dash of suspense to liven it up.

The pacing and development were just right for this type of story that couldn’t be rushed.  It flipped back and forth between Rusty and Maya’s point of view with a few moments of Curtis and others taking a narrative lead.

Rusty is ready to take the plunge into the new segment of his life that allows him to take a chance on love, but the lady he chooses needs more patience and perception on his part than leading a group of baby SEALs.  I really enjoyed Rusty because even if it is a hard thing, he does the right thing.  Maya really struggled and it was hard to see and she kept one hand on the hand brake the whole time with Rusty, but I loved how his steadfastness really worked on her and she finally gave him a chance.

This isn’t a full-blown novel so the suspense is there and definitely a danger, but not really complex.  It stayed to the background until it finally made things exciting there in the end.

Armen Taylor is not new to me as a narrator since I’ve listened to all the stories of the Echo Platoon series he has narrated.  He’s a great match for the tone and writing of these books and I have no trouble sinking into the story as he narrates it.

All in all, this book was utterly satisfying and lived up to my expectation for Rusty and Maya’s story.  I can easily recommend it to those who enjoy slight spicy military romantic suspense.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #67 RS
Literary Pickers #63 screw driver
New Release #34
Audio #21

Other books by Marliss Merton that you may want to check out!

Look Again by Marliss Melton Audio Danger close by Marliss Melton

Need more convincing to read Never Forget? How about a preview?
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Debbie Haupt

    Oh I love Romantic Suspense Sophia Rose thanks for sharing this one.

    • You betcha! She definitely comes at her stories with a strong background knowledge which gives these a nice edgy real tone.

  • oh I just love reading in this genre and I just don’t get a chance to do it often enough. Glad you really had a fun time with this one.

    • I was away from it for years and now I’m glad my mood is back for it. Love this series and a few of her other ones.

  • That sounds good. I like some of the elements of this type of book. I could see myself enjoying this. Great review.

    • Yes, it really struck a chord with me, too, Mary. It had some unique features in this style of RS.

  • Oh, wow. I just love the premise for this story. I’ll be checking it out!

    Great review.

    • This is a great series. Very exciting typically. This one is a bit of a side story with a gentler suspense than usual, but still very good. Hope you get the chance, Angie. 🙂

  • This does sound good. I sometimes like to listen to these shorter works and this is an author that I have been wanting to try. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Me, too. I try to slip in the shorter ones and of course I love it when a series gets a novella featuring some favorite side characters. The first novella in this series was a nice one, too.

  • I’m going to try audiobooks. I’ll add this to my TBR. Wow.. Awesome review. You make me want to purchase this audiobook right now. 😀

    • Just call me the book temptress. LOL

      I waded into audios slowly and couldn’t figure out how to best use them since I couldn’t concentrate on them if I didn’t have something else going on, but now I love listening with my chores and walks and long rides.

  • Oh wow! This sounds great with almost 5 star rating. I haven’t tried audiobooks before coz I’m really hesitant to try. But reading your review, I guess I’m now ready 😉 Great review Sophia Rose!

    • It took me a while to adjust to audio books, too, Vanessa. I started slow and listened to them while I did dishes or folded laundry. I also started with ones for books I’d read so I was familiar with the story first and now I’m able to jump in with new to me stories. Audios definitely make my chores and some exercise walks easier. 🙂

      • Wow. I’ve been reading while working most of the times. Even if I’ve adjusted to it already, I still find it troublesome sometimes. I think I’ll go ahead and try one and I might like it. Thanks Sophia Rose 🙂

  • we don’t usually have retired man and widow as a couple so it’s true that even for that it’s quite interesting

    • Yes, exactly. I liked having them older and at that point in their lives.

  • It’s so awesome when a character you love finally gets their happily ever after! I’m glad this was a great listen! I’ll have to check this out, I’m always looking for good romance suspense! The characters sound lovely. Great review, Sophia Rose 🙂

    • I was over the moon when I saw this pair were getting their story. Rusty has been a side character all along, but then in the last book when he met her during Bronco’s adventure, I thought it would be great if they had a story. And voila! 🙂

  • I definitely thought this was a werewolf/PNR book. 😀 I love books involving a military man! I don’t think I’ve read one with a Navy SEAL and a widow. I probably wouldn’t read this one because there is a kid and I don’t really enjoy romance novels with children (babies or teenagers, doesn’t matter). I’m glad you enjoyed this book, Sophia!

    Have a wonderful weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Haha! Yes, I could see where you’d think that with the man and dog in the picture.

      Oh yes, I loved the retired SEAL and widow romance. But, there is most definitely a teen in this one so if its not your thing then yeah… sorry.

      Thanks, Alyssa!

  • Oh…my gosh. I’m gonna need these. lol It sounds like it’s just the thing for me and a new narrator to try out. Thanks, Sophia!

    • LOL! Yep, you probably really do. The two novellas have the dog companions in them, but the three main novels all have Navy SEALs. 😉 I actually love the novellas best, oddly I know, but I love the series as a whole.

      • Ah yeah. So my catnip. lol I’m that way with Nalini Singh. Her novellas are usually 5 stars for me. Her full lengths not quite so much. It’s the first time I’ve ever had that happen. So weird!

        • Ha! Guess some authors have the gift for the tricky novella length. 🙂 I love Singh’s novellas, too. I’ve been reading that series in order so I love how those novellas tie-in and work well with the whole, but also stand on their own pretty well.

  • RO

    I’m a hardcore fan of Marliss. Initially because she has a kick ass name, but mostly because she rocks at telling stories about our men in uniform. Her ability to delve into their psyche is tremendous, and I never get bored. I wouldn’t listen to this because I suck at keeping up with audio, but I’m definitely gonna grab it to read. Great review! Hugs…

    • Haha! I couldn’t listen to audio at first either and still always have to keep busy with chores now so I get about the focus issues.

      Oh yes, love each of her books I’ve listened to. I’ve listened to this whole series and one from an older series. I have two of her books on the shelf that I need to read, too. She does have a gift with the service folks. 🙂