Loving a Warrior (CrabbyPatty’s Review)


Title: Loving a Warrior
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: November 26, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Military
Page Count: 276 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Blurb:

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.


First off, after learning what BUD/S entails, you’ll see why Navy SEAL training is widely considered as the toughest military training in the world. Becoming a Navy SEAL is an unbelievable process. It’s learning that the human body can do ten times more than the mind allows you to believe. It’s hell …. and then there’s Hell Week. In “Loving a Warrior” you’ll get lots of details about the six month training program. Lots.Of.Details. I rarely this do, but I ended up putting this book aside for a month or so because the book so heavily focuses on the training aspect and overshadows the personal aspect and it took a while for the plot to really engage my interest.

Matt and Shane meet during BUD/S and over the six month program move from enemies to friends to lovers, but not until after the end of BUD/S because Matt does not want any distraction. There is a shed load of UST here and the slow, slow burn is all kinds of steamy and sexy and they finally umm, “seal the deal” around 2/3s through the book. But while their physical relationship sizzles, their emotional commitment lags behind, because neither man knows where he will be based and they realize how difficult it will be to develop and nurture a strong relationship. We are left with a HFN, but with the promise of a second book in the series, I imagine their story will continue and grow.

I wanted to love this book because everything I’ve read by Melanie Hansen has been exceptional, especially “Point of Contact” but some elements of this story did not work for me. With the main focus being the BUD/S program, character development and growth is moved into second place and I wanted to get a deeper view of Matt and Shane’s emotions. Also Shane and his relationship with Jon …

Spoiler
is something that is crucial to his character, as well as that of his sister, but it seems thrown into the plot at the last minute, IMHO, and too lightly discussed. Also, it just plain bothers me that Jon was a SEAL when it seems that he embodied none of the qualities required – loyalty, honesty, teamwork, etc. But maybe that’s just me …

I appreciate getting in-depth details on the extraordinary amount of dedication it takes to become a Navy SEAL, but feel the personal relationship between Matt and Shane needs more focus and attention. And while their sexual chemistry is off the chain, at times I did not feel the emotional aspect measured up. I’m giving “Loving a Warrior” 3.5 stars and looking forward to the next book in the series to see how their relationship grows and develops.


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Loving a Warrior provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
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