Special Operator Lucas Shipley thought his troubles were past him, when he discovers they’ve only just begun. Recently separated from his wife of five years, he gets some unwelcomed news. He thought his living arrangement, with four other separated or divorced buddies from SEAL Team 3, was temporary. Now, he understands he has to move on with his life. Marcy Gelland is one of the smartest, most successful realtors in San Diego County. She’s hired by Lucas’ soon-to-be ex-wife to help her liquidate their joint holdings and help orchestrate a speedy departure from Lucas’ life. Based on what Marcy’s been told, Lucas deserves any amount of pain she or her client can dish out to him. But when they are left alone together in the remote Northern California woods, they ignite a personal bonfire that threatens to burn down the whole forest. Marcy is forced to see she has been misled. Amidst the backdrop of hardened bachelor SEALs with their unsolicited, anti-long- term relationship advice, and a criminal gang operating nearby, Lucas must do what he’s always done and never gotten proper credit for: be the hero that saves the day.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Lucas Shipley is just about the dumbest smart person you’ve ever met. Oh, he’s got the brains and the brawn to be a successful SEAL team member but when it comes to women, his head is planted firmly up his ass. His wife has kicked him out, he’s living with four other busted-relationship Team members, and he finds the new realtor totally hot. Yeah, ‘cause Lucas totally needs to get involved with a woman right now.
Marcy Gelland is very good at her job and isn’t at all put off by Connie Shipley. Oh, Connie’s a piece of work alright with her anger, big mouth, and generally foul demeanor but she has two properties that need to be sold and Marcy is used to dealing with embittered wives and husbands. Connie wants both properties sold and she doesn’t care what Marcy has to do to get them sold. Oh, and if Marcy can find a way to make the sale of the properties really, really hurt her soon-to-be ex, all the better. Though Marcy is willing to sell one of the properties, she isn’t exactly sure if Connie has the legal right to unload the other. A meeting with the infamous Lucas Shipley and a visit to the other property will certainly help clear up matters. What ensues is a roller coaster ride of crazy . . . .
By chance, Lucas and Marcy end up at the second, very secluded property at the same time. Lucas has every intention of seducing Marcy and Marcy is along for the ride. What neither expected is the intense and very real connection that seem to develop in a short amount of time. Before either knows what hit them, they have agreed to a long-term commitment which means Marcy has to bow out of selling the property(ies), and learn to live her life as the partner of a SEAL team member. Intent on making things right, Marcy intends to fully disclose her relationship with him as she turns over the property listing to another agent. Though Lucas advises Marcy to keep her mouth closed where his ex is concerned, Marcy has some pesky morals (Now!) and feels she must do the right thing. Unbeknownst to Marcy, Lucas’s ex has already made sure Marcy has been terminated and Lucas has been called away for an operation. WOW!! Marcy’s life went from awesome to awful in the span of twenty-four hours. . . . .Little does she know, it’s going to get far, far worse before it gets better.
The Bottom Line: This is my first Sharon Hamilton read and I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last. I liked both Lucas and Marcy from the very beginning and really wanted their relationship to work out. To be sure, the cards are stacked against them between Lucas’s seriously dangerous job, his bat-shit crazy soon-to-be ex-wife, and Marcy’s involvement in their lives and divorce. Not to mention, the crazy awful drama that goes down in the last third of the book. Lucas’s life and many of his SEAL Team brothers’ lives are threatened, Marcy is not just threatened but harmed, and one of Lucas’s properties is burned to the ground. I like the way this book is split up with most of the action rolling over you in a big wave in the last third of the book. The first two-thirds deals primarily with character development so by the time I got to the final third, I was totally invested in the characters. There are a few loose ends in this read that bugged me. For example, why didn’t Marcy’s friend Devon ever share her good news, what happened to the supremely wretched soon-to-be ex-wife, and what happened to Lucas’s kids? Even with the loose ends, I still very much enjoyed this read. Lucas pulls his head out of his ass and Marcy makes lemonade out of lemons so all is right in the end, just the way I like my reads to be. 🙂