Guest Author & Review: Once A SEAL by Anne Elizabeth

Guest Author & Review: Once A SEAL by Anne ElizabethOnce A SEAL by Anne Elizabeth

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 5, 2013
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Here’s an excerpt of one of Dan and Aria’s hot homecomings (it’s been edited slightly…for the internet 🙂 :

[stextbox id=”excerpt”]“There’s food,” she murmured, even though she wasn’t hungry. He’d been losing weight from all of the training and Ops, and she knew he needed to fuel. And selfishly she wanted him to have a lot of energy tonight.

“I can do both,” he said, picking her up and depositing her on the kitchen counter. “I guess I should eat my veggies first…” Stripping off her bra and panties, he picked up a carrot, dipped it in dressing, and swirled it around her… Then he ate the carrot and then lowered his head, lapping… until she was moving into his touch.

He reached for the vegetables, popping several sugar-pea pods into his mouth and then grabbing a cucumber. That he used for a scoop to frost…

“Dan,” she sighed as he began his ministrations on… “Keep going.”

His fingers trailed down her stomach…

“Yes,” she cried as he pushed her over the edge. [/stextbox]

I have to admit that this hot scene is one of my favorites. The inspiration came from my own life and a late night dinner with my husband. We were preparing a vegetable stir-fry. We were laughing as we peeled, chopped, and made bowl after bowl of vegetables. As I pulled spices from our rack, things started getting silly. He pulled me into his arms and we kissed. The spices flew in all directions, and well…the impetus for this scene was born.

~Anne Elizabeth

Review

Two things made me grab this book up when I got the opportunity to read it.  I love finding out what happens after the happily ever after and this book is unique in that it begins with the wedding and the whole story is what takes place after the ‘I Do’.  The second thing was that this was going to tell the story of not just a Navy SEAL, but a Navy SEAL’s wife and how they both have to adjust to marriage and how she must adjust to being a military wife.  Totally had me hooked in and I’m thrilled to report that it was a most satisfying read from beginning to end.

Aria and Dan knew each other for four weeks and now they are married.  Four weeks started and cemented a connection between them, but it in no way gave them more than surface knowledge of the person they were marrying when it came to their pasts, what made them tick and even simply daily likes and dislikes.  It didn’t prepare Aria for what would happen and how she would feel about military life and it didn’t prepare Dan for knowing how to handle this new partner to which he had joined his life.  Dan’s job is shrouded in secrecy and he has to be up and gone at a moment’s notice.  Aria lost her parents and had to be in charge of herself and her brother from a young age while living with her uncle so she needs control.

The story rolls through the ups and downs of getting adjusted to married life: dealing with tragedy and big changes when Aria’s uncle dies and her angry and hurting teenage brother joins them, Dan’s dangerous job, Aria’s loneliness and feelings of inadequacy, friends and so much else.  In the end, it’s a matter of knowing what you can live with and what you can’t.  Dan is fearful that Aria will decided that she can’t take on life with him and with all the other stuff that its too much.  Aria wonders the same thing.

I loved how this plot blended so many things so there is depth to this story.  It shows the exciting side of Dan’s life as a SEAL, the daily down and gritty side of life as a military family, the tragedy and then the danger that touches the family and the passion between this pair.  It’s a romance through and through with a couple that isn’t afraid to let go with each other in the bedroom, but it’s a love story too as their love grows so much more after the wedding.  Dan and Aria had so many challenges in the beginning including the addition of a teenage boy who is going through the usual issues and then some after being uprooted from all he knew and living with a newlywed pair.  So in a sense, it’s more than the story of a couple, but a family coming together.  The secondary characters were a huge bonus in this one too.  I laughed, I sighed and I nearly cried while I read this one.

This was my first time reading this author’s books, but it won’t be the last.  I look forward to reading more of her Navy SEAL stories.  Those who enjoy their military romances with a lot of spice and authenticity should definitely give this one a try.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Review by Sophia Rose

About Anne Elizabeth

Anne Elizabeth is a romance author, comic creator, and a monthly columnist for RT Book Reviews magazine. 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. Visit her website at www.AnneElizabeth.net.

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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.
  • I love military reads. The commitment to their family and friends is just wonderful to read. Great review Sophia!

    • Sophia Rose

      Exactly! I’m a military brat and I never used to like the reminders of it all, but now…I enjoy it when someone gets it right when they write about it.

  • DSCD

    LOVE Anne Elizabeth books. Especially love her new SEAL series. I hope
    there are a ton more to come. I was up all last night blowing through
    ONCE A SEAL. Couldn’t put it down. I love how she brings us into the
    SEAL family for a real behind the scenes look at what it’s like being
    ‘married to the military’. It’s definitely different from civilian
    world marriages (Air Brat myself). Great new book. Highly recommended
    for anyone wanting a good book to cuddle up with on a cold winter’s
    night …. or a sunny day on a summer beach come to think of it.

    • Sophia Rose

      I completely agree about this book, DSCD! I haven’t read her other stuff, but I will. And hey! Airbrat too. ;D