Tuesday 5 November 2013

Once a SEAL - Anne Elizabeth - Review

© Bianca


• 320 pages
• release date - 05 November - 2013
• SEAL Series #2
• sexy military romance 

3,9 Stars

It's going to take a SEAL's strength to make this marriage work

Every woman dreams of marrying the perfect man-handsome, thoughtful, strong, and sensitive -and Aria Kavanagh believes she's found the ultimate hero in Chief Petty Officer Daniel McCullum. But being a U.S. Navy SEAL wife is a serious challenge, especially when the missions are putting more than their love in the line of fire. Can they jump the hurdles and handle the daily rigors without falling apart? Or will the pressures attached to the handsome uniform have them both questioning if their dedication is worth it? Every moment matters when the only thing that truly lasts is love.


The book starts kind of backwards - with the happy ending - the wedding!
After a very short courtship Navy SEAL Dan marries Aria in the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. It's a very hectic wedding because Dan had to be flown in via helicopter - as he was on a last-minute mission.
Aria hopes that's not a sign that her marriage will be exactly like that.

The wedding is very romantic and pretty and Aria and Dan are very much in love and lust.

And after a very sexy wedding night - real life starts!


And real life is not what Aria expected it to be. Dan is gone all the time and she doesn't know where he is and what he's doing.
Then her brother gets into trouble. And she doesn't get along with all the military wives in the neighborhood - but then she befriends the wives of Dan's team-mates.
We go back in time a few times to see what happened to Dan when he was a kid and how Aria met Dan. Aria didn't have a nice childhood either - her parents died when she was 9 and her brother was just born - and they were raised by their uncle.

The whole book is written like the diary of a newly married military couple with all it's problems and complications. Maybe a bit like a tell-all - or how-to guide for future military wives ☺

There will be sexy parts - suspensy parts - sad parts - moving parts ....
Will there be a happy end - or will the stressful military life be too much for Aria? Will everybody survive the book? ☺

 I'm not telling you, of course ☺
I don't want to spoil your reading pleasure ☺



 Everything that has the word SEAL in it - just give it to me - I will love it!
BUT - this book - phew - I don't even know what to say. It's not really a book/novel/romance ... I would call it the diary of a newly married couple with a few nice sex scenes thrown in. There are too many unnecessary details describing things or actions we don't need or want to know about. And when we meet people - we are introduced to ALL of them by first name, last name and rank! Those people don't have anything to do with the story though.
Nothing really happens in the book. It's just 'normal' military life. It's more like a reality show in the style of Army Wives or The Unit (and I LOVED those shows!)
We have the SEAL who loves his guns and needs to have 30 of them at home!!! - and his new - slighlty naive wife - what did she think life would be like, being married to a SEAL??? He will be home every night for dinner and they will have breakfast together at 8am every morning? Yup, probably.

This book may be interesting for future or present wives of military guys - but for non-military readers - and especially NON-american readers - this book is not really all that interesting. If it weren't for the sex scenes and the moving stuff that happened - I think I would've stopped reading.

And I'm sooooo sorry to say that. 

I love SEAL stories - I read a million of them - but I just couldn't love this one - I couldn't even love the 2 main characters - Dan is just so - I don't even know what he is - I wanted to love him, but I couldn't. And Aria - I really thought I could like her when the book started. But I couldn't really connect with her either :(

I'm soo sorry Anne - I really wanted to love the book - but I only liked it.
It wasn't all bad - it was a nice romance - but there was just not enough story in it for me. The second part of the book was better - things started to happen..that was really so much better ☺

I know you're a SEAL-wife - so this all has lots of meaning for you of course - and I totally respect that - but it just wasn't for me :(

But it wasn't really as bad as the first half of the book suggested - I was really glad I didn't stop reading ☺ There were some really interesting things in the book - about how a navy SEAL's wife has to cope while he's gone. But it just didn't caught my interest - there was no suspense...only a bit at the end. It would've been better if the whole story about Mark would've been made more interesting in the beginning - I just thought he was her gay best friend. There was nothing that made me say: oooh I can't stop reading - I wanna know what happens! The only thing I wanted to know was - will Dan survive this book or will she kill him off on a mission..

BUT - I did cry a few times - it wasn't all bad ☺ It's really a nice story -
just not my thing - the writing style wasn't my thing either... the first 2 sex scenes for example. I have NEVER heard that expression that is used ☺ probably my fault - but it sounded so very weird!

Oh and another thing - again just my personal taste - the guy on the cover - why does he have to look so mean and un-nice? I would've cut off his head and only left his body on the cover - would've been better ☺ He kind of looks like a russian spy ☺

 But - if you like military romances - and you want to know about the hard daily life of a newly married military couple...




Anne Elizabeth is an award-winning published author, comic creator, and monthly columnist. Several of her graphic novels have been seen on the Big Bang Theory.

This former marketing consultant has a BS in Business and a MS in Communications from Boston University with over a decade and a half in the corporate and private business sectors. As much as she loved the corporate world, she prefers writing, research, and reader events.

AE is a member of the Author's Guild and Romance Writers of America. Among her published credits are two Simon & Schuster collections, CARAMEL FLAVA & HONEY FLAVA, and the Highland Press sweet collection, RECIPE FOR LOVE; the Spec Ops Military Anthologies - OPERATION: L.O.V.E.; FOR YOUR HEART ONLY; and HOLIDAY OP. Her graphic novel, PULSE OF POWER, debuted in Fall 2010 via Dynamite Entertainment/Dabel Brothers LLC. Her second graphic novel in the PULSE series – THE PENDULUM debuted with Sea Lion Books in October 2011. The third graphic novel POWER PLAY released at the New York Comic Con in October 2012.

Her first Navy SEAL novel released in December 2012, her second releases in November 2013, and her third is scheduled for 2014. For more information, check out Sourcebooks, Inc.

AE enjoys Kenpo, hiking, mountain biking, yoga, Body Rev, painting, and kayaking. Her husband is a retired Navy SEAL, and they are active in the west coast community.