Rating: 5 stars out of 5
BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.
Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.
Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.
Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.
After all, the only easy day was yesterday.
I started in with Melanie Hanson on her strong military story, Point of Contact. Reviewed by both Barb, our Zany Old Lady and myself, each of us found it to be a moving, beautifully written 5 star novel. And each for very different reasons. Now comes Loving a Warrior, the second in what feels like a series of SEALS themed novels and I’m just as caught up in her characters and storytelling as I was in the first.
Unlike the first novel where the men were out, well, one was at the start. The men here are on a totally different journey. Several of them in fact. Both are first of all on that most intensive and exclusive of all paths…the one that might lead to getting their Trident and being a member of the SEALS. That’s BUD/S training. Hansen brings us directly into probably something the majority of us will never experience and can never imagine, what those men and now some women go through in their attempts to become SEALS. Only a tiny few make it. As Shane and Matt are run through the hellish rigors of BUD/S, we are right there, sweating, straining, even bleeding and almost breaking along with them. It’s vivid, and so realistic that it makes you think about all the real soldiers going through training at this moment, doing everything they can to reach that almost unreachable goal. Your heart is with them all. Those that make it as well as those that don’t.
Along with the unrelenting stress, mental, emotional, and physical of BUD/S, there’s Matt and Shane trying to figure out their magnetic attraction to each other, one that threatens to become more and derail their focus on their SEAL training which they can’t afford.
Matt and Shane are complex characters, Matt especially so because he’s got a hard veneer and laser focus on his goal to become a SEAL. So for Shane to start to get under some of the barriers that Matt has erected takes time. He seeks to understand Matt and as he does, we do as well. It works both ways. Shane also has a background that makes his appear all too shallow when he’s anything but. Matt makes certain assumptions about Shane that he also needs to overcome and a narrow view of the future for himself that needs enlarging if they are to have a future.
This is not a HEA, but a realistic HFN as it should be for two soldiers. I would love to see Melanie Hanson revisit them down the line in a sequel, perhaps as they both go off on assignments.
Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen is a beautifully written novel that is full of complex characters and a gripping plot that kept me connected from beginning to end. It is also a wonderful complement to the first story Point of Contact. I absolutely recommend this story as well as Point of Contact. Both are just amazing and I can’t wait for another in this military series to be released.
Cover art is strong and has the characters well defined. I like it although not as much as the first one.
Sales Links: Carina Press | Amazon to come
Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Expected publication: November 26th 2018 by Carina Press