TITLE – SEAL My Destiny
SERIES – SEAL Brotherhood
AUTHOR – Sharon Hamilton
GENRE – Romantic Suspense
PUBLICATION DATE – June, 1, 2014
LENTH (Pages/# Words) – Full Length Novel
PUBLISHER – Al Publishing
Navy SEAL Luke Paulsen, on the verge of PTSD stemming from the death of his fiancée and a brutal tour overseas, knows he is damaged goods and unsuitable for relationships. While paying respects to a fallen comrade, he is unprepared for the chemical attraction he feels for the carefree dark-haired beauty playing in the surf one evening.
Julie Christensen befriends the troubled SEAL, motivated by her yearning to soothe the young man’s troubled soul. Fueled by intense mutual desire, they succumb to one night of mind-numbing passion. Afterwards, he is unable to shed the memory of his lost love and disappears.
When they meet again at a wedding that will forever bring their two families together, their passion and longing for one another forces them to confront their pasts in order to find a future together. But soon the trauma of his service separates them. Julie goes back to teaching and Luke deploys for North Africa with SEAL Team 3. Upon his return, he receives a frantic call that Julie's life is in danger. Will he make it in time to save the woman he now knows he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with?
He wanted to say something but suddenly became hesitant. Everything had gone so fast, he didn’t want to spook her. He was unafraid to show her how much he loved being with her, especially since she’d promised to visit him in Coronado and they’d see where things went from there. It would have been like the cart before the horse, but he wanted to ask her to marry him at that impulsive moment, but he held himself back. Being the wife of a SEAL was a special assignment and there was no training for that, except the school of hard knocks. There was a community of wives that looked out for each other. And not all the stories from overseas made it home to them. The smart wives knew this. He knew it was a lot to ask of someone. He didn’t want to fall for a lady who didn’t really understand what she’d be getting herself into. But that was a completely crazy thought, because he’d already fallen for her. He decided he’d just put it out of his mind, and not discuss anything future-related, to keep the pressure off them both. Nothing wrong with having a little bit of — well, a lot of — fun in the next few days before his deployment. He held her under the starlight. Feeling eyes on him, he saw Julie’s parents eyeing him from their kitchen window, smiling. He couldn’t keep up the eye contact because odds weren’t in his favor. He wasn’t prince charming, or Sir Galahad riding in on his white horse. He was just a guy other guys sent in to blow stuff up, grab people and hopefully get out before getting shot or caught. And his intentions, although he liked to think of them as honorable, were merely to do everything in his power to be as irresistible as possible to her so that when he left, he’d be the one hard to miss. And then maybe she’d wait for him. Maybe she’d wait until he got fully well. It was a lot of ifs. The music stopped while he was kissing her ear through her hair, while he was holding her tighter as she melted into him . He liked that they were dancing because their thighs made soft caresses and the dress, that yummy dress, made all that noise. He just knew every time he heard the sound of layers of chiffon, he’d get hard. It was going to be something he’d have for the rest of his life.
The main character, Luke Paulsen, is a damaged soul. His father was killed in the military, his mother is also gone. He joins the Navy only to become a warrior, a SEAL. He loves his job, almost more than his life. But he feels like he is damaged good. Involved in a car crash that killed his fiancé and unborn child, he goes through a difficult deployment, then transfers to a West Coast SEAL team to be closer to his only living relative, Stephanie, his sister. Suffering from what he knows are signs of early PTSD, he doesn’t think he is relationship material. But he meets Julie Christensen, a school teacher, like his former fiancé, and the sparks begin to fly, also bringing to bear some pressures. He will defend anything innocent and needing protection. He hates bullies and people who prey on weaker individuals. He loves children and longs for a family some day, dares to think he could have all these things. He takes responsibility for things that are not his to be accountable for, and that is one of the things he has to learn: not to take on the burdens of the world. But he can’t seem to help it. One of the ways Kyle Lansdowne, his LPO, does to make sure Luke is “feeling okay” is to judge his mental state by his language. If every other word isn’tthen Kyle starts to worry. There’s a funny scene in the book about Kyle’s 3 ½ year old son and an issue with that at preschool. Luke gets to attend that meeting and be a fly on the wall. Luke is about 6’1”, dark hair a bit longer than the average SEAL, with a huge skull/Warrior face helmet on his back he got when he was 22. He now says he should have gotten something smaller, and less obnoxious, but at the time, that’s where he head was. He has tats all over his body, but his favorite one is the number 5326, and I’ll let you read the book to discover that. Luke doesn’t like girls who are overly brashy , pushy or needy, and he starts off not wanting to be close to anybody at all. But Julie tells him right up front, “I like entangled....I like to be sorely missed when I’m gone.” This is the first woman he feels that way about: he misses her something fierce. By the end of the story, he is so deeply tied to Julie, that even in his damaged state (this will take a long time to heal) he vows to never leave her side. This is a man who has had to face demons and sad circumstances in his life, but just like the training he did to become a SEAL, he has to use the community and the love of a strong woman to help him heal. Asking for help is the first step to recovery. We not only learn about the man, but about the community that supports and has created him.