Friday, July 13, 2018

Book Review: 'SEALs of Honor: Warrick' by Dale Mayer

Author Dale Mayer is a prolific writer best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series and her SEALs focused novels. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series). To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series.

Dale has a real sense of military tactics and jargon and that is one reason her SEALs books are so immediately accessible as well as genuinely tender and suspenseful. She sets a mood about her title character so well in the Preface that we are with him from the start – ‘Warrick Canton picked up another box of toys, shook his head, looked down at Joshua and said, “This is a lot of toys for one little boy.” Joshua danced in place. “No, it’s not.” He grabbed a small box beside Warrick. “Come on. I’ll show you my new room.” Warrick chuckled and followed the little boy. In the ensuing weeks, with all the chaos and recovery behind them, Joshua was a whole new child. He no longer went to a private school and didn’t seem to mind. He attended the local public school and was settling in. It would take him a bit, but he was young and resilient and had a lot of good times ahead of him to wipe out the bad memories. His father was in jail and wouldn’t be out anytime soon. The trial was scheduled but wasn’t for another year. In the meantime, Joshua hadn’t asked very much about him. Apparently he’d been awake and had seen his father try to shoot his mom. That had been too much for him. They’d explained quietly what had happened, that his father had done something very bad and was in jail. Joshua had just nodded. Once he realized he would be staying with his mom, he was fine. When he later heard Corey was moving into their new home with them, Joshua got really excited. And he’d seen plenty of Corey and Warrick. Even Mason had stopped by. Joshua had seemed pretty thrilled by all the men. It was a good life for a little boy. He would grow up with real men as role models—not ones who used others for their own gain. And Joshua smiled all the time. The same off-center smile as his mother. Warrick was happy for Corey, yet enjoyed being single right now.’

Dale takes this heartwarming opening and develops the plot as follows: ‘Warrick Canton works with Mason's Navy SEAL team and he's going stir-crazy on the sidelines while he heals from an ankle injury. He longs for a relationship like the ones his buddies have, but, after his girlfriend of three years dumps him just when he thinks they're solid, he struggles to believe it's possible. He's invited to a backyard barbecue at Mason's house, where he meets up with the spitfire he's met before and knows won’t give an inch. Warrick is intrigued, even though the she-devil won't stop arguing long enough to get to know her. Penny Magnus loves her job as a clerk in the medical insurance offices, but trying to get stubborn men to fill out a few forms properly isn't her idea of a good time. With a fiery personality, Penny's open to starting a new romance but absolutely not with a difficult man, even if he is gorgeous. Her best friend got herself in an ugly relationship and had to ask Penny for help in escaping him. Now, just when Penny and Warrick are calming down enough to actually connect, her friend's boyfriend contacts her. He blames Penny for the mess she created when she tore the love of his life from him. He goes on a rampage, targeting Penny--only he's thwarted by one big, badass warrior standing firmly in his way, protecting her. All he needs is for Warrick to make one tiny mistake…’

Solidly crafted with an innate sense of military commitment, Dale writes these novels well indeed. There is a reason why she is a best selling author! Grady Harp, July 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.