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MinnChica from The Book Pushers

I'm MinnChica, from The Book Pushers. I love reading all things romance. Come chat books with me!
SEAL of My Dreams - Robyn Carr, Cindy Gerard, Jami Alden, Stephanie Bond, Kylie Bryant, Helen Brenna, Helen Kay Dimon, Tara Janzen, Leslie Kelly, Elle Kennedy, Alison Kent, Jo Leigh, Gennita Low, Marliss Melton, Christie Ridgway, Barbara Samuel, Roxanne St. Claire, Stephanie Tyler, Loreth Ann Part 1 of my review is located here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/11/09/review-part-1-seal-of-my-dreams-anthology/
Part 2 is located here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/11/11/review-part-2-seal-of-my-dreams-anthology/

Publisher: Bell Bridge
Publish Date: November 11th
How I got this book: NetGalley

Everyone here knows what a sucker I am for a great romantic suspense book, especially if the hero is a sexy military man in uniform! When I saw the details for the SEAL of my Dreams anthology, I couldn’t wait to dive right in. Before going through the first few stories, I want to take the time to tell you all a little about this anthology.

First, all the proceeds from sales of this book will go to the Veterans Research Corporation, a nonprofit that raises money for veterans medical research. In addition to the authors donating their sales, the copyediting was donated, the licensing fee was discounted and the wonderful cover art was donated as well. Speaking of the cover, the picture used is of an actual SEAL, preparing for a night mission in Iraq. I think it is an incredible picture and design.

This anthology has 18 stories of men who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country. They are all SEALs, and romantics at heart. This is Part 1 of my review, and will over the first 8 stories in the anthology.

Coming Home by Jami Alden
Alden is a new-to-me author. This story features Nick, on leave to attend his mothers funeral. There he runs into his long time sweetheart and ex-fiance, the woman of his dreams and the one who couldn’t handle his decision to become a SEAL. As they spend some time together, they each realize how much the other has changed and get a second chance at love. I enjoyed this one. After all, who doesn’t love second-chance romances? B

Baby, I’m Back by Stephanie Bond
Bond is also an author I’ve never read before, although I plan to pick up a book or two by her. Barry lost a leg and so many of his friends in the service. He is back in his hometown for a short-time, but when he meets a girl he made fun of in school, he is smitten. Lora is a physical therapist, and ends up working with Barry to get more mobility back and along the way helps to heal his heart. I love when the ugly ducking becomes the swan, and Lora ends up being beautiful both in and out. A

SEALed Fates by Kylie Brant
Brant was yet another author I’d never read or heard of before. This story featured another wounded warrior. Cort is home licking his wounds when he stumbles on childhood friend Emma. Right away Cort can tell that Emma is preparing for a siege, and he knows he is just the man to protect her. Through the insanity of a possible threat, they become closer than ever before. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the suspense part of the plot, the romance and chemistry between Emma and Cort was wonderful! B-

Going Dark by HelenKay Dimon
I have a Dimon book sitting on my TBR bookshelf, and OMG I’m not sure why I haven’t read it yet! LOVED this story. Nate is in the thick of things in a rescue operation when he finds the woman who strung him along for a week, then stole his heart. Carly is sure that her brother has been kidnapped and will do anything for Nate’s help. The two set off to search for her brother, and find out that their week together meant more than either expected. Love this author’s voice and storytelling. I will definitely be getting more of her stuff! A+

SEALed with a Kiss by Cindy Gerard
I absolutely love the Black Ops Inc books, so when I saw we got a chance for a sneak peak at Luke and Val’s honeymoon… *melt* The two are on a deserted island relaxing and playing. When Luke makes a bad judgement call and gets stuck in the water while the tide is rising, Val will have to face her fears to save her new husband’s life. This was a short and sweet story and I absolutely loved this little snippet!! A+

Panama Jack by Tara Janzen
Janzen was another newbie author (I’m starting to see a pattern. There will be a lot of romantic suspense reading in my future…). Lanni is in Panama on a CIA op and needs the protection of a SEAL. Jack fits the bill, and so much more. When her op goes sideways, Jack covers her six and does what he does best — saves her life. While the action was wonderful in this one, I had a hard time buying into the romance. C

Wrapped and SEALed by Leslie Kelly
I’ve read and enjoyed Kelly in the past, and although this story wasn’t my favorite of hers, I still really enjoyed it. Tanner is home for the holidays, planning to announce that he is going to be getting out for good. He has been looking for Jessica, the one woman who he can’t stop thinking about. Jess is working with vets in a nursing home, and when she sits on Santa’s lap and finds Tanner, she is floored. After one date they were hooked, even though a disaster ripped them apart before even learning each other’s full names. Now back together, neither one is willing to let that happen again. B-

So far I am really enjoying this anthology. I’ve read some great shot stories that have warmed my heart and brought tears to me eyes. I’ve discovered a ton of new authors I can’t wait to read more from. I’m looking forward to the next half with stories form Roxanne St. Claire, Stephanie Tyler and Jo Leigh, as well as quite a few more new-to-me authors.

Worth the Risk by Leeanne Kennedy
The only thing Jason ever wanted was to get out of his hometown with the girls of his dreams. But Callie couldn’t envision leaving her sick aunt, so Jason left and joined the SEALs one morning without looking back. Now he is in town to convince Callie to leave with him, despite their years apart. I thought this was a cute 2nd chance story. B+

Twenty-One Hours by Alison Kent
A wildfire is threatening to burn down Teri’s family home with her parent’s business as well. She rushes back to help evacuate and runs into her old best friend Shane. Teri was always a little in love with him, and endured horrible bullying in high school in order to be his friend. Shane always regretted not doing more for Teri, and now that he is back taking care of his half-sister, he wants the chance to make up for their lost time. I loved this story. It was short and sweet very well written. A

Not Waving by Drowning by Jo Leigh
Dan just went through a horrific ordeal overseas and is back home helping his best friend Renee fix up an old cabin. Although Dan denies anything is wrong, Renee can tell something is eating away at him. The two have been best friends for years, and while they don’t have a physical relationship, Renee is willing to do anything to be Dan’s rock and help him through this time. I was not a big fan of this story, the romance didn’t work for me and I didn’t feel as if I really connected with either character. D-

Her Secret Pirate by Gennita Low
I will definitely be checking out more of Low’s work. When Zone first started secretly dating the Ambassador’s daughter, he never imagined he would one day have to rescue her from pirates. When Rebecca’s humanitarian-aide ship is boarded by pirates, Zone must find her before it’s too late. Oh I adored this one, I really did! Great romance and suspense. A-

SEALed by Fate by Marliss Melton
I really wanted to like this story, because it started right in the thick of the action, however there were quite a few things I didn’t like about this one. Sam has been tasked with an extraction mission, pulling a senator’s daughter out of a hostile country, even after she had been told to evacuate. Both Sam and Madison are hostile and rude to each other, and I was not a fan of their interactions at all. F

Signed, SEALed, Delivered… I’m Yours by Christine Ridgway
Ridgway is another author I had heard about but never read. I will be rectifying that soon! Mandy is visiting her uncle in what was a stable country for Thanksgiving. But rebel forces change all that and Mandy hides. Josh is sent to find and keep Mandy safe, and their time together hiding from the rebels brings them closer together. I absolutely ADORED this story! A+

Dog Heart by Barbara Samuel
While I’ve always known that some soldiers come back more broken then ever, I never knew that the dog soldiers could come back the same way. This story focuses on Jessie, the dog trainer who is trying to help Marcus and his dog Sargent Thor both get over their PTSD and adjust to civilian life. With Marcus and Jessie’s history, that makes things a little more complicated. I loved the story, but didn’t really relate to the romance aspect. C

Whirlwind by Roxanne St. Claire
This short story is set in the world of St. Claire’s new series. Billie is on the run after witnessing a murder. She’s hoping that the hurricane blowing through will keep the killer off her trail for a few more days. Thankfully, Rick stone is looking for something that Billie needs to sell, and is trained to take out even the most ruthless killers. While I liked the story, I was expecting a little more from St. Claire. B-

Holding on by Stephanie Tyler
Tyler’s Hold series is a favorite of mine, and we get the chance to be with Chris and Jamie as they welcome their son into the world. It’s Christmas and Jamie is pregnant, set to pop at any moment. The boys are all home except for Chris. The only thing that can make their Christmas even better is if Chris makes it home in time to deliver his own son. It was great to get a glimpse at what these guys are up to. A

Letters to Ellie by Loreth Beswetherick
Ellie’s fiance and love of her life went MIA over sixteen years ago. She has waited for him ever since. When someone calls to her late night radio show with a story of being MIA for years, Ellie gets her hopes up. Max went MIA with Ellie’s love Flynn. Through their captivity they talked about her and Max found himself falling in love with her as well. Once he got home and safe he hunted Ellie down to give her the letter than Flynn had dictated to him. I wanted to love this one, but didn’t really feel Max and Ellie’s connection. C

So there you have it. Overall, I absolutely adored this anthology. There were a few stories that didn’t work for me, but the others made up for it. And with the proceeds going to such a wonderful cause, I hope you all take a chance and head out to get this one!