Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Reviews: "SEALs undone" (7 novellas, short stories) by Zoe York

SEALs Undone: 7 Novella from author Zoe York
Over the past year or so, author Zoe York has written a series of novellas about Navy SEALs, tough "alpha men" who come completely undone because of a woman - THE woman! Some were originally issued in box sets, others started as a short story and were expanded to a full novella length - and one is poised to become a full-length novella later this summer!

Each is full of romance and sexy, sultry scenes between the hero and his heroine. The intimate scenes are quite detailed, so they are not for the faint of heart. But, you'll love watching these men fumble along as they try to navigate the waters of a truly loving relationship with a good woman!

Note: I received a free copy of Fall Back and Fall Dark in exchange for an honest review.

Fall Out: ★★★★ This is a great introduction to the "SEALs" undone. Drew is your typically alpha male at the beginning of this story - brooding, loner, quick times with fast women and no commitments. Annie strikes me as "put together" when we first meet her, as Drew notices how she's dressed, but we are quick to notice that she is anything but. I did feel that the need for drama felt a bit contrived in order to push Drew and Annie together, but from there, I liked the progression of their relationship. She continues to call it like it is with him, and he gets offended when the reality is that I think this is a case of "the truth hurts". Drew uses these little barbs from Annie, and his growing attraction to her, to question almost everything about his relationship with women. And in the end we find that usually all a man needs is the love of a good woman and everything else will fall into place!

Buy Links: Currently exclusive to Amazon until 7/15/15  Amazon

Fall Hard: ★★★★★.  In typical SEALs undone fashion, you meet an alpha male, Jared, who keeps his interactions with women light and easy. Jared believes he's unable to have a commitment with woman because he'll always be leaving. His own childhood as the son of a single mother has made him extremely sensitive to the potential for a woman in his life to end up a single mother, and he has made many serious life decisions accordingly. Cassie is a strong woman coming out on the other side of a bad marriage followed by a bad relationship. I love how she has decided that she no longer wants to be in the "friend" zone with Jared but is frustrated with her inability to convey her needs and desires to Jared. Little did she know he was suffering from a similar frustration. It was fun to watch them navigate through feelings neither one of them knew how to deal with for the other, and throw in a wrench that Cassie didn't see coming (and neither did we - something you'd NEVER expect from a Navy SEAL) and it creates a wonderful beginning of a relationship between Jared and Cassie.

Buy Links:  Amazon Barnes and NobleKobo iBooks

Fall Away: ★★★1/2 Fall Away is the story of Patrick, or Trick, and Gaby. This is not one of my more favorite books in the SEALs Undone series. While this story focuses on the development of Trick and Gaby's relationship, as all of them do, it doesn't seem to have much more of to the storyline. Trick is struggling with what appears to be PTSD, but it's barely touched on and it doesn't seem very significant. There was little to no strife between the couple throughout the development of their relationship, except for Gaby's struggle with knowing Trick was "with" her roommate. She uses that as the excuse to not have "sex", but honestly, all they don't have is intercourse - they do everything else, so it seems a bit of a contrived stressor. I did enjoy how Trick come through at the end with Gaby.

Buy Links: AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboiBooks

Fall Deep: ★★★★★. Fall Deep may be my favorite SEALs Undone story. I love the way that Piper and Miles meet - both out of their element in a foreign country. It is the romantic fantasy of so many women to meet a handsome man overseas - little did she know that he was really right around the corner.  I think what I like about this one the most is that Piper and Miles get to know each other over email and phone calls and texts because of their separation. It makes for them really getting to know each other before they get intimate, and I think that's why I liked this book the most. I love the theme in all of these books of big, strong men remaining "alpha males" (completely) but being turned on their ear by the women in their lives and this book has that in spades.

Buy Links: Amazon • Barnes and NobleKoboiBooks

Fall Fast: ★★★★ What a cute but TEASING short story. In typical Zoe York fashion, this is a sexy, sultry story of two unlikely lovers. The author introduces us to Nathan and Emme as they are stranded at the airport and agree to a meal together, a meal that turns into a private conversation in a quiet corner of the airport and ultimately an invitation to "share" a room while stranded overnight. The author definitely leaves us wanting more, which is OK because it will be expanded from a short story into a full novella later this month. In the meantime, its an exclusive offering for newsletter subscribers, so sign up for her newsletter here to get your copy - Newsletter signup!

Fall Back: ★★★★★The Navy SEALs have such a wonderful network for their men to meet the women of their dreams, and it is no different in Fall Back. Cade is an intuitive character - even before he officially met Melissa, he could read her, or so he thought! What he is reading is her blocking herself off from feeling, or expressing those feelings. Melissa really is a bit neurotic and Cade is incredibly sensitive and empathetic towards that. Early on, in the narrative, we see that he has formed an immediate interest in her but senses that he has to be careful how he approaches her because she seems to spook easily. I like how, over time, Melissa is able to open up to Cade and tell him the secrets that she's holding in - because he has expressed that being open is important to him. He goes into this relationship with an intense purpose from the beginning, and while he says he isn't looking to get married right now, we can all tell better from his words and actions. He may be an alpha male, but he is not brooding - he can be sensitive and has a great sense of humor, knows what he wants when he sees it and pursues it with a deliberate but not overbearing purpose. He is able to bring out the best in Melissa and get her to open up to him, and to love. The sex scenes are really quite hot in this book, with an added visual element - be sure you check out the cover!!

Buy Links - available EXCLUSIVELY as part of the Romancing the Alpha box set - 13 military stories for only 99¢: AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboiBooks

Fall Dark: ★★★1/2 Fall Dark is a first love, second chance book. What's fun about this book is from the outset, as soon as Vince realizes that the gun-totting, bikini-wearing blonde is Larken, he is excited to see her and immediately wants to rekindle a romance. Larken, on the other hand, is hostile towards him. It's fun watching them circle each other as they reconnect. One thing I struggled with is that Larken went from hostile to sleeping with Vince mighty quickly - I found it a bit implausible that Larken was able to flip a switch from extreme hostility to having sex with Vince, and then its like the switch flipped back and she was angry again.  Good thing Vince was willing to wait it out. I thought their poker games and bets were fun!

Buy Links - available EXCLUSIVELY as part of the SEALs of Summer 2 box set - Military Romance Superbundle for only 99¢: AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboiBooks

About the Author:
I’m a busy working mom of two young boys, and for as long as I can remember, I have been a voracious romance reader. In early 2012, I got an idea for a novel. Then another, and another. My Google Drive account exploded with outlines and chunks of text and character bibles.

Over Christmas, I started a holiday novella. By the end of January, it was clear I was going to wander past novella length, and the story wasn’t limited to the holiday season. And it wasn’t just one book, anymore – it was also an introduction to a small town, Wardham.

Two years later, I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I published my tenth book earlier this fall, and have been blessed to be involved in the bestselling SEALs of Summer and SEALs of Winter boxed sets with some of my favourite author friends.

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