Review: Ruined by the SEAL by Zoe York

ruined by the sealTitle: Ruined by the SEAL

Author: Zoe York

Year of publication: 2016

The heroine: Historian Cara Levasseur

The hero: Ex-Navy SEAL Mick Frasier

The blurb: Mick Frasier owes his life to his fellow Navy SEALs. Now that he’s discharged, one of them offers him another lifeline: a new future on the Caribbean island of Miralinda.

But when he arrives at the abandoned sugar plantation he’s supposed to whip into shape as an executive training facility, he finds it already under renovations—overseen by the beautiful director of the island’s Historical Society.

Cara Levasseur is too young for her job. Too pretty. Too…unorthodox. She’s heard it all, and now that she’s finally secured Villa Sucre, she’s not going to let anything get in the way of her first big professional coup.

Not even a sexy, strapping ex-Navy SEAL who isn’t afraid to turn on the charm—or when that doesn’t work, declare all-out war. When she sets up camp in the ballroom, because there’s not a chance in hell she’s giving up her claim on the estate, Mick stakes out his own territory around the only working bathroom on the property.

With tempers flaring and passions running hot, Cara’s intent on not letting Mick ruin this opportunity for her—and she doesn’t want him to ruin anything, either. Her life plan, for example. Or her heart…

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

The review: When Mrs Parry dies, she leaves behind her plantation on the Caribbean island of Miralinda, better knows as Sugar Island because of its most famous crop. Cara is the director of the island’s historical society, intent on capitalising on the generous donation left behind by Mrs Parry. She’s tasked with restoring the plantation and her job is in the balance.

An unexpected – but sexy – complication arrives in the form of Mick Frasier, an ex-Navy SEAL who’s been discharged for medical reasons. He’s at the plantation of behalf of his best friend, Will Parry, the grandson of the plantation’s owner. Will and his brother have been left the estate and plan to turn it into a training facility.

It seems that Mrs Parry had two wills, and neither party is sure which one is legally binding. While the lawyers hash it out in New York, Cara and Mick both stake their claim on the estate. Cara wants to continue her restoration work and Mick wants to start the renovations. Neither of them are willing to admit they’re attracted to each other, but they try to sort out an arrangement that benefits them both.

One night, during a hurricane on the island, they stop fighting their desire and give in to each other. They don’t have condoms on hand, so they become creative about how to slake their lust for each other. The next day, once the hurricane has passed, Cara goes out for supplies and comes back with condoms, which they soon put to good use.

Cara’s job is still on the line and the relics on the historical society board are becoming impatient with Cara, unfairly so. She’s frustrated by the lack of progress from the lawyers and unsure what’s happening with Mick – they haven’t known each other long, but she’s falling fast. She asks Mick to give her space for a week while she puts together another plan for the historical society (and give her time to think about her feelings for him), so Mick heads to Florida to catch up with another ex-SEAL. It’s there that his friend gives him some perspective on his new life outside the Navy, and Mick goes back a few days later.

Cara has realised she’s in love with Mick when he’s no longer around and she’s glad he’s come back early. Cara tells him her plan for them to share the estate so they can both have what they want, Mick professes his love for her, and she responds in kind. They set up a home together on the island and get their happily ever after.

This book is currently available free through Amazon, so go grab it now! I really enjoyed this book 😀

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!