Review: Claiming Her SEAL by Kat Cantrell

claiming her sealTitle: Claiming Her SEAL

Author: Kat Cantrell

Year of publication: 2016

The heroine: Emma Richardson

The hero: Ex-Navy SEAL/Reef Restorer James ‘Dex’ Riley

The blurb: In Navy SEAL Dex Riley’s world, women fall into two categories: those who don’t ask questions and those who wish they hadn’t. He hides the darkness in his past, content to run an island adventure company in the Caribbean with members of his former SEAL team—until resort guest Emma Richardson targets him for a vacation fling. Her fresh innocence and insistence on seeing hero material in Dex where none exists makes him yearn to be the man she deserves. And that terrifies Dex more than any war zone he’s ever faced, until he discovers Emma has demons of her own…

Standalone or series: Book one of the Assignment: Caribbean Nights series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: If you’ve been reading along, then you’ll know I have a thing for Navy SEALS. I love them. Loooooove them. So when you add a Navy SEAL, a Caribbean island, and a feisty heroine to the mix, it’s not going to be a hard sell.

I loved this book. Dex is a sniper whose kill record is quite impressive, but it haunts him. Emma is a determined, gutsy woman who isn’t going to let her tragic past get the better of her. Three months previously, her ex-fiancé tried to drown her after she broke off their engagement. While she managed to escape, he left her with a mortal fear of water. So she takes off to Duchess Island in the Caribbean with her best friend Rachel to try and reclaim her life.

Dex has formed a company with five of his SEAL brothers and they take resort guests snorkelling and parasailing while doing reef restoration as their business gets off the ground. He’s not looking for a relationship because he thinks the darkness inside him is too much for any woman to handle. Until he meets Emma, who’s determined to overcome her fear and rebuild her life.

Dex tries hard to fight his attraction to Emma, but she makes it clear she’s not going away just because he tells her to. He helps her overcome her fear of water and eventually gives in to his desire for her… and then instead of scratching the itch, it gets worse. He wants her, but knows he can’t have her. Try as he might to push her away, Emma won’t go. She tells him she’s only looking for a vacation fling, but when they finally start sleeping together, she knows that’s not true.

But she thinks he doesn’t want anything more, so she packs to leave the resort. On the tarmac, she decides she doesn’t want to go back to Boston after all…. and Dex doesn’t want her to, either. Which is why he’s at the airport to stop her boarding the plane.

I adored the two leads. They both had their demons but had the courage to step up and take what they really wanted, and were able to recognise that they made each other happy. Yay!

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