Sandy M’s review of SEALed with a Kiss by Mary Margaret Daughtridge
Contemporary Romance released by Sourcebooks Casablanca 1 Apr 08
What a nice, lovely story this book turned out to be. I read the last word, closed the book and I had a smile on my face. A very happy smile. I liked the characters, who both grew throughout the story, faced their fears and became better people for it. I liked the storyline, especially the fact that the hero and heroine resolved issues head-on by talking to each other and being honest with one another, something that doesn’t happen that often in romance. Most of all I really liked the relationship between father and son, even in the beginning when it was on very shaky ground.
Jax is on furlough to get his son settled with his deceased ex-wife’s mother before he’s given another assignment that will take him away for months at a time. Things between them, however, aren’t going well. Tyler isn’t the happy, fun-loving son he remembers from previous visits, and Jax doesn’t know how to remedy the problem. Everything he tries crashes and burns. On one last trek along the beach before heading out to get out of the way of a coming hurricane, they meet a lady who works miracles with Tyler as far as Jax is concerned. Later when they’re not able to leave the area, he looks her up, hoping he can impose on her good nature and stay with her until the storm blows over.
Unable to keep out of other people’s business when she sees things going wrong, Pickett always sticks her nose in where it doesn’t belong. This time has brought a man and his son to her door and she still can’t say no. So they all batten down as best they can to wait for sunshine in a couple of days. In the meantime, between getting to know Jax and also helping in the situation with his son, Pickett tries to keep her feelings in check when it comes to this handsome SEAL and his sad little boy. She’s a family therapist to military personnel and sees how many marriages crumble because husbands are deployed for such long periods of time, let alone other problems because of duty first. And she’s always told herself she would never marry a career military man. Because Jax was disillusioned after his previous marriage, he’s decided never to marry again, so they seem to be in sync to enjoy each other while it lasts. Right?
There’s also other issues, of course, involving their own families and vulnerabilities that play into their decisions, and that’s what makes this book so terrific, is you get to see each of those stumbling blocks fall one after the other when they realize their feelings for each other can’t be denied. The one that affected me most was watching Jax go from a father who was struggling with full-time parenthood and ready to give custody of his son over to the child’s grandmother because he couldn’t guarantee how much time he’d be able to spend with Tyler to a man whose eyes are opened to the machinations of the grandmother and the fact he really didn’t want to be away from his son anyway, especially when Tyler begins to act like the little boy he’s always known. Pickett has family issues herself, and with Jax’s help, she overcomes them, as well as her fear of falling in love with her SEAL.
I love Ms. Daughtridge’s writing. She has a beautiful way of making her scenes so clear in your head as you read. And her little spouts of humor now and again are delightful. I like the fact that her hero and heroine work together to resolve problems as they come along. The emotion in the scenes when Jax has a breakthrough with Tyler or just a soft, tender moment with his son is simply terrific.
I am so glad I stumbled across this book. I’m now ready for her next one, SEALed with a Promise, which is Jax’s SEAL buddy’s, Caleb Delaude, story, just released 1 April 2009.
He figures she’s high maintenance. She figures he’s not “commitment” material. But when widowed Navy SEAL Jax Graham and his young son Tyler get trapped by a hurricane, family therapist Pickett Sessoms takes them in and knows just how to help a rough, tough Navy SEAL deal with his personal side…
Read an excerpt.