The Power of a Seal by Anne Elizabeth
West Coast Navy Seals, #5
December 5, 2017
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “Wild male dolphins lure away our females. These hooligans corral our females and get them pregnant before they return them to us… Luckily, Juliet is one smart cookie, so I’m guessing she’s probably avoided their advances so far. ” “
And if she gets cornered by a group of males, what does she do, cross her fins?”
“Pffft. You’re an idiot,” Kerry said, splashing him.
“Glad you noticed.”
The Power of a Seal is a sweet love story underscored by light mystery and adventure.
With over two decades of experience, Navy SEAL Leaper Lefton is bringing his expertise to young and impressionable SEAL trainees in BUD/s. As an instructor, he knows he must prepare them for all kinds of situations—and there’s a perfect opportunity for hands-on training when he spots a woman in danger in rough water. Kerry Hamilton, a marine mammal veterinarian for the U.S. Navy is beyond grateful when Leaper saves her from the rough seas, and their attraction is instant. But after everything Leaper has been through, can he truly love again? And is Kerry willing to give him the chance? (Blurb)
Yes, Leaper, you too can truly love again and yes, Kerry, totally give him a chance! These two were an interesting pair. Both perfectly nice. Perfectly accessible, perfectly right for one another and perfectly boring. Leaper is forever changed after the tragic death of one of his team members. Not only did he discover the body of his fallen Special Operator, Alvin Hissop, he carries the guilt and weight of feeling responsible for bringing his men home. All of his men and hasn’t ever really gotten over losing Hissop in the depths of the dark and unforgiving ocean.
Now an underwater demolition dive instructor, he is more or less going through the motions when he happens upon a woman, adrift in the ocean fatigued from staying afloat yet determined to find her dolphin. Kerry instantly awakens long-forgotten urges and feelings within Leaper, their connection lightening fast- but without the insta-love. The author interestingly enough found a way to ignite a spark between Leaper and Kerry, yet draw out their romance, allowing it to feel like a slow burner. I found it refreshing to see the main characters get to know one another, form a friendship and fall in love. The wet blanket, however, was their storyline. The plot was just too *yawn.*
There isn’t much going on by way of plot development, but the events that do transpire, were so freaking dull, I found myself mentally drifting away and frequently putting the book down. Kerry and Leaper just didn’t have enough magnetism to carry their own story. Too ordinary. with bland personalities. If they were a color they would be taupe. I really don’t mind relationship-centric books and if the characters are dynamic enough, I sometimes even prefer it, dreading when the focus is taken off of a great H/h. It can certainly be annoying when authors add too many weak, elements to the romance. In the case of The Power of a Seal, the subplot was very mild, which compounded the boring quotient of the novel as a whole…at least if the characters were weak, the plot could save them.
What I did like; the references to Leaper’s life as a Seal. I found the descriptions and prose used when Leaper reflected upon his years of sacrifice and service to be rather moving and they really stuck with me.
Pain nearly shattered Leaper’s heart as he thought of Hissop’s young wife. What would he say to her? They trusted him—all the wives, kids, and families did—to bring their men home alive. Tears streamed down Leaper’s face, mingling with the salt water. A thousand tears could never ease this pain. Death was and always would be merciless in his world. If only he could prevent it, or give his life for theirs, but fate was cruel that way. He always survived. Q Time was an odd form of measurement. Go through hell, and the days were torturous and the nights were blobs of inky “painmares.” Exist in a heavenly or blissful moment, and time rocketed by faster than you could hold on to it. In between those extremes, hours stretched on like an endless TSA line.
Despite the slow-moving pace, things rev up quite niiicely between the sheets for these two. Their mutual maturity was evident, they appeared to be more like sexual equals as opposed to the big strapping special ops military hunk having his way with some sort of marine veterinarian ingenue or something. Kerry was quite sexually commanding, and her antics were amusing in their confidence and fun.
She turned to him, then leaned in and kissed him. “There’s no one around, right?”
“Not unless the Coast Guard stops by…What did you have in mind?”
“How about some hanky-panky?” Kerry said softly as she wiggled out of her wetsuit and removed her onepiece bathing suit. Leaper was already stripped down to his bare skin by the time Kerry finished. She was so free-spirited, confident, and beautiful, and the way her eyes sparkled with mischief…it was intoxicating.
“I have my panky, but I think I left my hanky in the boat.”
“Leaper.” She drew his name out in long, sexy syllables that echoed around them. “… Keep in mind there’s a walkway above, probably with adults and kids.”
“So what?” Kerry shrugged. “It’d take them a while to get down here, and we’ll be done by then.”
“So this is a quickie.” …He chuckled and reached for her. Kerry dodged out of his grasp. Then she lifted her tush in the air and wiggled at him. “Come and get me, big boy.”
Leaper didn’t need to be asked twice. His mouth zeroed in on her clit, and he delighted in her sighs as he played a few of his favorite rhythmic movements against her most sensitive spot.
Easy there, don’t get excited, they were still mostly boring and if (primarily) the only scenes that have a spark are sexual, you’re doing romance wrong. I need good feels inside and outside of the boudoir (or boat- as it were, lol)
The chief conflict (if it can really be considered a conflict-more of an “ah-ha” Shaggy and Scooby Doo mystery resolution, but hey, call it conflict, tomato, tomatoe) is resolved in a rather anticlimactic manner, but it fit overall and paved the way to a nice HEA. If you are into the sweet & banal, Power of a Seal is never going to rock your socks, but it just may float your boat.