Title: A Seal At Heart
Author: Anne Elizabeth
Release Date: December 4, 2012
ARC provided by NetGalley
Being a SEAL means everything to Petty Officer First Class John Roaker. So when a head injury coupled with a bout of amnesia makes him undeployable, he has to find a way to heal from his wounds and recover his lost memories. Enlisting the help of beautiful psychoanalyst Laurie Smith, he discovers his unlocked memories hold a dangerous secret about his last mission that threatens his life, his country, and the woman he's starting to fall in love with.
I really, REALLY, wanted to love this book. Really. And the beginning of the book had potential. I loved the fact that Jack was going to be a complicated and damaged character. He has lost his memory of an Op and the threat that he may never be operational again scares the hell out of him. What does he have left in his life if he can't be a SEAL. It is is life, his heart, his very soul. Routine therapy isn't helping.
And on top of everything else rotten in his life, he is seeing the ghost of his swim partner, Don, who keeps pushing him to find the answers locked up in his memories.
The initial meeting of Jack with Laurie is heated and the two strangers have an instant attraction. But when Jack finds out that Laurie is the adopted daughter of his SEAL mention, Gitch, things quickly fall apart and that instant spark fizzles out.
The book fell apart for me on the relationship level. I wish more time had been spent on developing Laurie and Jack's involvement. And I'm not talking about the sexual thing. Although, at times, I thought the sex scene wasn't warranted. It took away from the story, instead of making it stronger.
What I DID love was the look into Jack's psyche; the dealing of his grief and acceptance of Don's loss. It was gut-wrenching painful to read and very realistic.
At times, some scenes told felt out of place and unrealistic. The fight with Gitch and Jack left me a little befuddled. And I had to re-read that particular part again to see if Gitch really did do a hand stand in front of the police. I'm still shaking my head over that one.
All in all, it wasn't a bad story--just one that left me somewhat unfulfilled and lacked the emotional tug that I
typically revel in with a great book.