A SEAL FOREVER #3                                     ANNE ELIZABETH

A SEAL Forever by Anne ElizabethSpecial Operator Declan Smith was a dedicated U.S. Navy SEAL, a known player, and daredevil who loved pushing the limits. But on his last mission, an IED leaves him injured and angry as hell—and it changes everything. 

When a loud crash disturbs his neighbor, Maura Maxwell, she assumes the sailor next door is up to his usual bad behavior. But the man she finds covered in glass is far from the cocky ladies' man she'd grown to tolerate. Lying before her is a man fighting to rediscover his place in the world—and he can't do it alone.

     Sometimes the universe just brings all the stars into alignment so that two hearts that are meant to be together will be.  As is the case for Maura Maxwell and Declan Swifton.  They are fairly new neighbors who share a balcony.  They share pleasantries, maybe lust, by saying hello and exchanging names.
     From day one Declan had peaked Maura’s interest but she had seen the revolving door of beautiful women each night who tended to take to hiding out in her apartment and watching him when he was out on their shared balcony.  She was totally taken by him and his physical ability as a Navy SEAL yet she still had a problem with all the women.
     She and Dec did have the love of the outdoors, the ocean, and life in common even though she hadn’t really talked about it.  Yet she knew his zest for life was there in everything he did he was continually an act of motion.  But what stole her heart was one day she watched him on the beach teaching some young boys to fly their kites and then for two hours proceeded to teach them fun new tricks.
     One day soon after Dec got home Maura decided she was going to go out for a night of paddling.  She had just bought a new board, at least to her, and a few nights ago she stood on the board under the stars finding it extremely relaxing.  She knew it was a great and serious workout for her core and it really was exercise she just didn’t care it was so worth it.  She grabbed her paddleboard and paddle board and took off.  It had taken a full day on calm glass ocean to master the art of centering her weight and using muscles she had to help balance.  Which you wouldn’t think would be hard for a gymnastics and parkour instructor.
     Once at the water she didn’t even stop she got right in, got on, and pushed off.  She climbed on, she centered, and paddled out thinking maybe the water might be calmer a little further out.  Not true she kept rolling off the board trying to fight the current.  At this rate she would never get up on her board.  What she didn’t know and Dec had seen on his swim back from the base was that a storm was moving in quick.  On her next attempt to stand it lasted a few seconds before she realized she was in a current change that moved quickly, then there was the first lightning strike above, and then the sky opened up.
     Maura at this point was holding on to her board for dear life as water splashed into her mouth and causing her to choke and sputter.  She tried to head to shore but a wave caught her knocking her over which cost her the new paddle which was halfway to Mexico by now.  She found her board got back on.  The thing was it was raining so hard she couldn’t figure out which way it was to shore.  She was filled with panic now.
     The rain and the waves were growing larger.  It was way too hard for her to get her bearings.  She could feel hot tears falling from her eyes but she still had a death grip on her board she couldn’t let go.  She didn’t know what to do.  At that moment she promised herself, “If I survive this, from here on out, I will be bolder and smarter.”  At that moment she and her board smacked into a buoy anchored two miles off shore of Imperial Beach.  Her hands grabbed on, got on but lost her board.
     Meanwhile, Dec had just finished his shower before his date.  He went out to the balcony to look at the storm when his trained eye saw something unusual out at sea.  He got his binoculars and hurried back to the balcony to check it out.  He realized it was his shy new neighbor Maura Maxwell as her board was heading to Japan.  She was holding a buoy not meant as a flotation device.  Pulling on trunks with record speed he takes off to do what he had trained his whole life to do, swim, and rescue.  He knew she would be afraid he just hoped she would follow his instructions so he wouldn’t have to knock her out.  She did, now it was time to get her warmed.  He fireman carried her to her apartment stripped her and put her into a warm bath.  When they looked into each other’s eyes the attraction was unbelievable. 
     The next thing they knew they were kissing several times but they were so good and so intense it scared him.  He took her out of the bath dried her off and got her into her bedroom.  Then he left…

     What an amazingly emotionally filled yet joyfully empowering book.  These characters were who I want to grow-up to be.  They pushed themselves to be better, pushed through fears, and reached out for love and life.  This is a book on heartache, loyalty, love, friendship, tradition, and perseverance.  So well worth the read.  5++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

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