In all honesty—because I don’t read blurbs often—I wasn’t 100% sure what to expected from SEAL of Honor, but I enjoyed the plot of this quite a lot. From the beginning, the reader is given a good sense of the characters. Their standards. Their personalities. Their values, etc. And so, I fell into step beside Gabe and Audrey (and the rest of the team) pretty easily from the word go.
Gabe is a great leading male. He has pride issues, flaws, and vulnerabilities he’d never own up to in a million years, as well as strength—both physical and inner—and a whole sense of rightness about him.
Audrey is another decent lead, though she didn’t float my boat quite as much as Gabe—and not just for the obvious reasons. There were a few occasions where I thought I’d misread her character, and I wasn’t sure if she’d ‘slipped’ in her role due to inconsistencies, or if it was a case of she was just a character meant to surprise because she’s not a consistent type of girl.
Plus there’s all the supporting cast. I kind of grew to enjoy the company of them all—to the point I could easily see this expanding into a never-ending series, where each of them get the chance to become bamboozled by a female they never expected to fall for, but the author will have some serious careful treading to do if she’s to make each one unique in its own right. I think, out of all the side-players, Quinn is my favourite. He’s as stubborn as Gabe, and I loved their relationship. And the drip-feed of info about his ‘problem’ throughout makes me wonder if he might get his spotlight next. I hope so, because I’d read it for sure.
As for the plot, I was surprised by the depth of it. There’s nothing straight forward about its path. With twists and turns, and just when you think it *might* be over, you know it isn’t because of how much your Kindle is telling you there’s left, but you’re wondering just how much the characters might have to be put through before a happy result could be reached. Though, I will admit, I kind of saw it coming—the one of the peoples who was behind it—but I didn’t figure out the whole of it, and I liked that there was more to it than my predicting mind made.
As for the downsides, only two things bugged me about the book.
The first was: would these hard-a$$ed males really refer to the enemy as the ‘baddies’? Made them seem kind of wimpy in comparison to their portrayed roles.
And the second was: (which is likely more of a personal feeling than a gripe at the story) was the intimate moments of the book. There were moments the, well, moments felt a little forced between Gabe and Audrey. Like they were being pushed together by the author too soon, or at unnatural moments, rather than letting them merge together at their own pace. Plus, (and it might be due to what I just said) because the reader is given this build-up throughout the book, from pretty early on, I expected the first sex scene to be somewhat monumental—but it was about two thirds shorter than I expected, and about 70% toned down, and actually quite abstractly written.
And before you all jump on the high horse and yell at me for being a sex-starved reader, let me defend myself and say that’s not the case. Because I don’t give two hoots whether or not a book has sex in it—heck, I read a lot of YA—but if there is sex in there, it should match what the reader is led to expect of it, and I’m not sure it did. The following intimate scenes were, however, better than the first, and I found myself wishing they’d been given in a different order.
But those small gripes aside, plot and character are the driving factors for whether or not I enjoy a story, and this one gets ranked in the land of DID!