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Monday, July 30, 2012

SEALed and Delivered by Jill Monroe

SEALed and Delivered by Jill Monroe
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (146 pgs)
Heat: spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Subject: Nathaniel Peterson, SEAL instructor

Current status: Unexpectedly engaged in a sizzling kiss

Mission: Train the SEALs without interruption

Obstacle: Hailey Sutherland--the best kind of distraction!

Kiss the first man you see. The Fate Delivery Cards were a silly impulse purchase. But thanks to one of the Cards, bed-and-breakfast owner Hailey Sutherland finds herself locked in a scorching kiss with super-hot, wet-suit-clad navy SEAL Nate Peterson. It seems that fate is opposed to Hailey's self-imposed celibacy....

Especially since Nate has picked up his own Fate Delivery Card--and he intends to follow it through... until Hailey is in his bed!

How can a woman, three times at almost getting to the altar, get over the fear that number four will fail like all the others have? Only a man determined and trained to reach the end game is up to the challenge and Nate, Navy SEAL and lover of cookies, is just the man for the mission.

I’m hard pressed to find anything that I didn’t like in this book. I found the first meeting between Hailey and Nate inspired, his pursuit of her romantic and fascinating, Hailey’s self-delusion entertaining and their sexy interludes blush-worthy.

I enjoyed their dialogue, both internal monologues and their conversational gambits as they learned about each other. I also appreciated the sibling relationship between Hailey and Rachel because Rachel wouldn’t let Hailey hide from her feelings. In her own sisterly way, she managed to prod the heroine into facing her true feelings while supporting her as Hailey muddled through this new and unexpected threat to her heart.

The addition of a secondary romance between Amy, a friend of both Hailey and Rachel, and her husband-to-be was a nice touch. Even if Hailey can’t figure out how to let go and risk her heart again, nothing was going to stop her from meddling and assisting someone else in getting their own happily ever after, and she’s got the perfect self-help book to do it. In fact, that was a very interesting side road to explore in this story. Seems Amy has some mixed-up ideas about sex and its role in a marriage. The author did a nice job of weaving a little life lesson in there for women in real life. It wasn’t heavy handed by any means. Not only was it effective but it was fun, especially when Amy took control and let herself fly. Jake was a very happy man. And I was a very entertained reader.

As far as the conflict goes, it was a light one. SEALed and Delivered is a character driven romance with the plot being based on the hero and heroine ironing out their differences in what they wanted from and for each other, getting over a past, a dangerous job, a struggling family B & B and their own internal angst. There were no actual villains harmed in the telling of this tale -- unless you count a deck of cards and the demolishing of innocent cookies.

SEALed and Delivered is an easy, breezy, steamy and delightful story that inspires hormones to hum and chuckles to break out. It’s a fantastic read for any time that a reader needs a book that explores the fun of falling in love. Ms. Monroe has a reputation for creating characters and situations that always deliver smiles, sighs and appreciation of unusual personality quirks. If a reader is in any doubt, pick up your own copy of SEALed and Delivered and see for yourself how much trouble a little deck of cards can be. It’ll be worth it.