A SEAL's Courage
JM Stewart     

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Military Match
Book: 1
Heat Level: Hot

A sizzling new series about three friends looking for love-and the sexy SEALs who are ready to fulfill their craziest fantasies.

He's a man on a mission.

Navy SEAL Trent Lawson isn't a man to back down from a challenge. Ever since he opened his eyes in that army hospital to learn the men from his unit were gone, Trent has been determined to live life in their honor. Even if that means facing his most terrifying mission yet . . . dating.

She's done playing games.

Lauren Hayes has standards. In fact, she's got an entire list of them. There's only ever been one man to come close to making the cut-Trent Lawson. Except her best friend's too-sexy-for-his-own-good brother is strictly off-limits.

When Trent and Lauren find themselves matched up by a dating service, the chemistry between them is nothing short of explosive. They both know getting involved is a huge mistake, but life is too short to walk away from something this good.

Lauren Hayes is the definition of #lifegoals for most women. She’s in her mid-20s with an awesome job and the best friends a girl could ask for. There’s only one pesky little thing that keeps her from feeling like a normal adult woman…her virginity. Enter Trent Lawson, her best friend’s big brother, Lauren’s childhood crush and now her…friend?

After a gruesome exit from the Navy SEALs, Trent Lawson is unprepared for the divorce papers he’s handed when he arrives home upon being discharged. Add to that some severe PTSD and injuries sustained during his time in the military, Trent is a little hesitant to get involved with anyone. However, when his little sister’s best friend starts to become an integral part of his life, he might have some problems.

This book combined two of the best tricks of the trade: best friend’s brother and men in uniform. However, unlike most books involving the best friend’s brother, Trent and Lauren’s relationship wasn’t really an issue for her friend.

The storyline of the book remained focused almost solely on Lauren and Trent and their month-long relationship (a time limit agreed to by both parties). Throughout the novel, we really see an emotional development of both characters. Lauren (surprise surprise) learns a thing or two about intimacy, both physical and emotional, and Trent learns to lean on someone in his times of weakness regarding his PTSD. They balanced each other out and provided the other with support and acceptance.

“You opened me. Made me live. Hell. You made me want to live. You made me feel human again.” ~ Trent

Sigh. It may have taken him awhile but Trent finally realized a good thing when he had it. The chemistry between Trent and Lauren was more of a slow burn than an all-out explosion. They were friends before they were lovers which was apparent through the decisions they made regarding their relationship.

The one thing I do wish we, the readers, had gotten more of was the secondary characters. We get glimpses into their lives, such as Lauren’s brief interactions with her friends, but I feel like the author could have taken a break from just Trent/Lauren a little more to introduce us to other players in the book. Trent’s brother Will was a more dominant secondary character than some others and provided comic relief as well as some sound love advice at a key moment in the book.

Overall, this was a nice, easy read, great for a rainy day when all you want to do is curl up with a book.  It should be interesting to see how the series evolves in the books to come.

~ Megan