Pages: 384 pages
Series: West Coast Navy SEALs-1
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's
My Review:Intro Babble: I find myself a little conflicted with this review because I still haven't quite been able to make my mind up about this one. So, I am going to type up this review and hope that I come to some conclusions by the end.
I was really looking forward to Once a SEAL. The first book in the series, A SEAL at Heart was excellent and I was expecting to love this one just as much. And in some ways, I did and, in others, it fell a bit short.
Heroine: Aria-I wanted to like Aria. I really did. But she sent me into a rage state more than once. She is constantly bitching, moaning and whining about her husband...why he's not there, why he leaves...various things that she should have figured out when she married a SEAL. I know it's not easy on the wives. But Aria knew what she was signing up for when she married Dan and she kept giving him grief about it. I spent the book in near constant frustration with her. She did rebound towards the end but by then, my opinion of her was pretty much set in stone.
Hero: Dan-Dan was less of a problem for me. I really liked him. He was such a strong and steady character. He dealt with Aria's insecurities with ease and compassion. His lack of anger at her calmed my anger at times. There were some times, however, where I just wanted to jump into the story and tell him to move along and find someone who could better deal with his job and the lifestyle that comes along with it.
Chemistry: I loved how this book kind of started in the middle of Aria and Dan's story. We don't get to see their beginnings and their courtship. I found it interesting because the marriage is the part of a romance novel that is usually left to the imagination. We get the falling in love part but not the stuff that comes after that. So I found it so compelling that we see the “after the happy ending” stuff. The adjustments and conflicts that have to happen for a married couple to work was extremely interesting for this singleton. I do wish I liked Aria more because this would have been a cupcake read if I had liked her even a little bit more.
Ending Babble: So here is my conflict. I loved how the book was executed and written but the heroine made me want to pull my hair out and eat it like spaghetti. I loved everything else from the hero to the writing to the storyline. So I guess, my conclusion with this book is that you have to take the good with the bad. The stuff you like with the stuff you don't. I will still continue on with this series because I love Anne Elizabeth's writing style and I love SEALs.