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New Release Audiobook Review! SEAL CAMP by Suzanne Brockmann (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #12)

SEAL Camp cover

SEAL Camp
by Suzanne Brockmann

Synopsis:

Navy SEAL Lieutenant Jim “Spaceman” Slade’s got a problem. A SEAL Team is only as fast as its slowest member—and right now, thanks to his battered knees—that’s Jim. He reluctantly takes medical leave, but he’s a SEAL, so he spends his “vacation” as an instructor, helping out a former Senior Chief who runs a camp for SEAL wannabes. But to Jim’s shock, he finds himself falling for the one woman attending the camp session—an obviously brilliant but seemingly timid lawyer who is determined to do everything her way, no matter how wrong.

Ashley DeWitt’s got a problem, too. She’s a kickass lawyer, but when it comes to her personal life, she’s a total pushover. When she finds herself hiding behind her condo Dumpster to avoid a confrontation with an ex, she decides enough is enough and signs up for a session at a camp called SEAL World, in hopes she’ll discover how to be more assertive outside of the courtroom. And then she’s assigned to Jim’s team…

When an alpha male—smart, funny, strong, but terrified of a future trapped behind a desk—collides with a smart, funny, and quietly strong woman with a troubled past, sparks fly hot and fast.

The tall, dark, and dangerous Navy SEALs of Team Ten are back, with reader favorites like Lucky, Joe Cat, Bobby Taylor and his wife Colleen, Thomas King, Rio Rosetti—and with Suzanne Brockmann’s signature blend of love, laughter, and a hint of danger in SEAL Camp.

 

Review:

The Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series is back! Woot!

If you’ve read the other series books–or just looked them up–you might have noticed that it’s been 15 years (2003) since the previous book in the series came out (Night Watch). The intro to this book warns series readers to “embrace the time warp!” because Seal World is set in today’s world, though for the series characters only about a year and a half has passed. Fortunately, they’ve adjusted well, and not a single one of them is carrying a flip phone or trying to IM anyone. Well, not that I noticed, anyway… 😉

I really liked both Jim and Ashley. Both together and separately they gave me quite a few LOL moments as I read, and together they were a great couple…eventually. There was a lot of work needed to get them to the point where they could truly come together as equals, and unfortunately they definitely weren’t there by the end of their too-short mutual stay at “camp”. They both made some choices during the book that were downright maddening or cringe-worthy (or both, occasionally), some of which I absolutely disagreed with at first but which did make sense–for their characters–ultimately. And of course they both eventually got their heads out of their you-know-whats and met each other halfway by the end of the book, so there is that 😉

The book did feel a bit preachy at times, as Jim couldn’t manage to see Ashley’s point about why she chose to react to two of her SEAL Camp teammates’ innuendos in the way that she did without practically being hit on the head with her reasoning. Given today’s real-world climate, though, it was refreshing to see people having grown-up conversations about things like consent, harassment, and respect and then go on to have a HEA you can believe in at the end. (That said, though–if you didn’t cheer for Suz’s recent RWA speech, then this probably isn’t the book for you.)

It’s been a while since I’d read the other series books (a summer of 2011 binge read, thanks to my library’s e-audiobook collection), so I was more than a little fuzzy on the details. No worries, though–Seal Camp should work just fine as a standalone, or as an intro to the series. If you have read the other books, many (most? maybe even all, I’d have to double-check to be sure) of the past characters make at least token appearances, and it was a lot of fun to catch up with them. The next book’s (King’s Ransom) plot is hinted at, and dare we hope for a future book with Dave (new to the SEAL team as of this book and the first openly gay man to be admitted to BUDS after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was lifted)? Fingers crossed!

Oh, and Ashley’s brother. He’s gotta get a book too! 😉

Full disclosure: I beta-read this book for the author last spring as a backer reward for the Kickstarter campaign she ran to get backing for a movie she was producing. I loved it then, but wanted to wait until I’d read the final version to give a review. Since I’ve read so many of her books (read: almost all of them) on audio, waiting for the audio version to come out seemed like a perfect idea. It didn’t disappoint! The audiobook is narrated by Patrick Lawlor and Melanie Ewbank, who narrate most of the Troubleshooters series, and they do a great job (as always!) bringing Jim and Ash to life.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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