SEAL of My Dreams

SEAL of My DreamsBy: Multiple Authors

Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Genre: Contemporary/Military/Suspense Romance
SEAL of My Dreams Website
Source: NetGalley

Honor, duty, courage, passion . . . the men of the Navy SEALs are a special breed of hero, and in these novellas by eighteen top romance authors the SEALs are celebrated not only as symbols of devoted service to their country but as the kind of men every woman wants to love. They’ll rescue a damsel in distress and her lap dog, too. They’ll battle hometown dramas and international bad guys. When it comes to giving away their hearts, they’ll risk everything.

All proceeds from sales of SEAL of My Dreams go to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit fundraiser for veterans’ medical research.

Between them, the authors of SEAL of My Dreams have won dozens of writing awards including multiple RITAs from Romance Writers of America. Their nearly 600 published novels have sold at least 35 million copies worldwide. The SEAL of My Dreams roster includes many of the best-known authors in modern romance fiction. In addition, many have strong family connections to the servicemen and women of our nation’s military, and many specialize in novels featuring heroes and heroines from all branches of service.

Goodreads Summary

This is a collection of 18 stories ranging from short to super short, written by different authors, that all feature a Navy SEAL. About one-third of the stories are classically action, in-the-field type.

If I had any tiny complaint at all to make about any of the stories, it’s that out of the stories that really didn’t stand out one way or another, there tended to be a repetitive theme. They were invariably about a man inspired to enlist who left behind a woman who selfishly didn’t understand his sense of duty or need to re-enlist later, but he’s back in town and ready to give her another chance. In general it wasn’t that those stories were bad, it was just that they didn’t stand out and after a while, I started to be annoyed that these women were being vilified.

Both stories that are linked to series’ worked well for me.  SEALed with a Kiss by Cindy Gerard features Luke and Valentina from With No Remorse (Black Ops, Inc #6).  On a tropical island for a delayed honeymoon, Luke has an accident that requires Valentina to overcome her claustrophobia and fear of diving.  I read their book recently enough that I was familiar with their characters – reading this definitely brought their story right back to me but I think anyone who didn’t know them would enjoy it.  This was probably the least “military” story in the bunch.

The other series’ contribution is Holding On, a little epilogue to Hold on Tight from Stephanie Tyler, with Jamie and Chris preparing for the impending birth of their child.  Chris is on a special op in Somalia while Jamie is home with his brothers.  As he tries to wrap up his mission and get home to her before the baby’s born, anything that can go wrong does.  I haven’t read any of the books in this series and I still really enjoyed this one.  It was funny and sweet and made me want to go grab the rest of the books to read the other brothers’ stories.

Finding Home by HelenKay Dimon was another one of my favorites.  Sent to the unsettled island of Erites to help set up a new American Embassy, Megan White ends up under her desk when the building is attacked by forces loyal to the Korean military.  SEAL Hal Robinson comes to the rescue, getting Megan out of the building and planting some hot kisses on her in a shed while the rebels run the streets around them.  This story had both a lot of humor and action in it and was a nice length for the collection – and there was a great little, “10 days later” moment.

Tara Janzen’s Panama Jack was equally enjoyable.  Jack Corday has been ferrying CIA agent Lani Powell into a hot zone in Central America once a week for two months to sit and stare at a house and now she finally has seen whatever sign she’s been looking for.  The sexy blonde asks to meet him at a bar – score! – to ask him to drop off data to the US Embassy – not so much of a score.  She’s followed to the bar, and it’s up to Jack and a surprisingly resourceful Lani to get their butts out of Panama.  This is another story that’s really funny – Lani calls Jack Squidbreath and Flipper – but it’s also very sexy given the amount of page space.  It’s probably my favorite story in the book, for the wild action, the humor and the adorable little epilogue that had me laughing out loud.

There were a couple of stories included that I wouldn’t classify as romance and two of those were on my list of best entries.  Not Waving but Drowning by Jo Leigh is about a soldier home on leave that comes to a friend’s cabin ostensibly to do some grunt work and fix things up for her but instead he’s hiding a horrible case of PTSD.  When she draws his horrific experience out of him, I was reaching for my Kleenex.  What she told him was incredibly powerful.  I went back later and re-read this story.  Dog Heart by Barbara Samuel is a little piece of a story about an injured soldier who brings a dead friend’s combat dog home to a friend who works with animals to see if she can help him with his severe PTSD.  There’s a tiny bit of maybe-romance at the end, but it’s the work with the dog that shines.

The story that ended the book was also a top pick of mine and I think because of the subject matter, a perfect way to finish. Letters to Ellie by Loreth Anne White is about a radio show host who has a call-in show dedicated to military men and women who are POW/MIA – her own fiancé disappeared when his chopper went down nearly fifteen years ago and his body was never recovered. A mysterious caller stirs up memories – and turns up on her doorstep with a box full of letters her fiancé wanted him to make sure she got if he died. This was a five-Kleenex story, for Max, the man with the box of letters, for Ellie and for Flynn, the man who never had his future with Ellie. The story ended on a lovely note of hope that wasn’t saccharine or over the top.

My Summary: Even with small issues I had here and there, this is a nice collection of stories with a handful of top-notch pieces.  Ranging from little pieces just a dozen or so pages long to what I’d call small novellas, these made me laugh in some cases, cry in others and stop and think about both our men and women in military service in quite a few.  The book earned its grade on the merit of the stories inside, but I’m going to shamelessly recommend going out and buying it if you can to support the cause.  I received my review copy through NetGalley and ordered the paperback.

My Rating: A

 

Barbara

The cover model for this book is no professional model – he’s an actual SEAL on active duty.  The photograph was taken in July, 2007, as he prepared for a midnight mission against insurgent leaders in Fallujah, Iraq.  The full shot with the unretouched background can be found on the SEAL of My Dreams website “Our SEAL” page.
Non-affiliate links if you’d like to buy SEAL of My Dreams:
In Paperbackfor your Kindle or for your Nook or at the Sony Bookstore. I didn’t see it in the Kobo store.
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Comments

  1. Okay, the fact being that the cover model really isn't and is a real SEAL, just brought the hotness factor of this beyond the limits!!! That is one yummy man!!I bought this last week and have yet to start it, however, I think I'll rememdy that soon:)

  2. Military men are very close to my heart, seeing as how I'm married to a vet and went through a tour and the resulting PTSD. I too love that the guy on the cover is a real SEAL! He has one gorgeous back. I love me a sexy male torso… ;-)Really, I think this is a great idea and I love all the little stories put together. Great cause!

  3. There are a LOT of stories in this. I had to break it up into a few reading sessions, especially when a few of them really got to me, but it was such a good book overall. I hit what were the highlights for me but even the middle-grade books still would have gotten Bs for the most part – now that's a good book! Get reading, Missy! :)Cait, hopefully this wouldn't trigger anything bad for you – I know there are a lot of stories in here that would have you in tears anyway though. They had me crying and my experience with a military man gone on a tour of duty is 40 years past, it was my daddy and I barely remember.Boy, speaking of which…you have NO idea how badly I wanted to call him up at 4 in the morning when I was writing some of this to ask him for a certain term that was on the tip of my tongue. Of course now that I already wrote my review, I remember pieces of what I was trying to find (in theater was one) but stuff was eluding me like crazy. My crazy trivia brain was working overtime trying to grab snippets of conversations we had when I was ten. lol

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