I have decided to do something a little different today, and review an entire series, instead just one book within a series. This series called Brothers In Arms by Leslie North is an action-packed romance series, that – in true Leslie North fashion – is written as a trilogy.
Disclaimer: All books can be read as a stand-alone novel, but are so much nicer if you read all three. Also, I received a copy of the first two books for free via NetGalley in return for an honest review. The third one I bought myself. Yes, it is that good.
Book One: Seal Defender
Mark Aleki Rogers left the Navy SEALs behind, but he found another use for his special skills. He and his fellow “Brothers-in-Arms” now run an intense boot camp that trains civilians to survive extreme situations. Mark’s size is intimidating, but the half-Samoan surfer is an eternal optimist. A suspicious string of suicides among SEALs, however, has Mark convinced it’s murder. He’s determined to get to the bottom of it…quietly. If he doesn’t, a murderer may go free.
Reporter Geneva Rios has come to the California coast looking for a story. The recent SEAL suicides are connected to the Brothers-in-Arms, and Geneva wants to know more. The interview she’s hoping for, though, comes at a price. The smoking-hot SEAL won’t talk unless she completes his training course. If she can survive Mark’s audition, she’ll have the angle she needs. Spending more time with Mark has its own perks, but for the exotic brunette, exposing the Navy SEALs is more than just a story…it’s personal.
As the heat between them reaches its boiling point, the pair puts more than their heads together. But with their own lives in danger, can they catch a killer before it’s too late?
Book Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I found Seal Defender to be a worthy and emotionally charged beginning to a great series. I loved the setting, the characters, and not just the main characters, but also Mark’s sister (she is feisty, strong and smart). The political aspect made it a little different than other Leslie North books, but I loved that as well, especially during this turbulent time (I will refrain from both spoiling the books, or including any political and social commentary – not that this was easy to do)
I feared for their lives, and got immediately emotionally involved with the cast, which is quite a feat, considering that this novel is a relatively short one.
Book Two: Seal Protector
Ex-Navy SEAL Vann Highrider has given everything to Brothers-in-Arms, the boot camp he owns with his teammates. He’s facing his toughest mission yet—someone is framing the SEALs for murder. It’s up to Vann to clear their name to keep their business afloat…and his Brothers out of jail. The last thing he needs is more bad press from a stupid accident. So when he finds a petite brunette failing miserably at his survival course, the Cherokee tracker wants to send her packing. Yet there’s something about her he can’t say no to…. But if she wants a second chance, she’ll have to follow his every move.
Restaurant heiress Mercy Conde may be business savvy, but she’s always lacked physical prowess. If she wants to take her family’s empire overseas, though, she has to prove she can take care of herself. Brothers-in-Arms’ survival training seems like the perfect fit, but it doesn’t take long for this deep thinker to realize she’s in over her head. When tall, dark, handsome Vann offers to take her under his wing, she agrees to play things his way…especially when his way has her under more than just his wing.
Vann is used to being a lone wolf, but he’s eager to boost Mercy’s confidence both on the boot camp course and in the bedroom. But when their training becomes a real life or death situation, they’ll have to put their skills to the test if they want to survive.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Now here is a main character who is stubborn enough, that I wanted to slap him at times, and did I mention that he is not always the most charming? (This is my way of calling him a name, I rather not spell out on this blog). Yet, I could connect with him, and his love interest, as much as I could with the first couple. After all, the suspense was fast-paced, and the chemistry felt real, as did her fears and apprehensions.
I loved Mercy’s ambitions, and dedication to her goals, despite that she was in way over her head throughout the Seal Protector. Those two characters are absolutely from two different worlds, so it seemed, but hey, we all know that opposites can attract. And “attracting” they do.
Again, this book could have been read as a stand-alone novel, but why would you want to?
Book Three: Seal Guardian
Ex-Navy SEAL Jace Stevens has never shied away from trouble and with the madman framing the Brothers-in-Arms for murder still on the loose, Jace is ready to put an end to the killing for good. Only one person stands in his way: a tough-as-nails FBI agent who suddenly won’t let Jace out of her sight. But the dark-haired beauty is more than just a complication. Jace can sense there’s something special beneath her buttoned-up exterior, and he can’t wait to get his hands on it.
FBI agent Felicity Belasko always gets her man, and this case should be no different. She knows the SEAL suicides are really murders, and she’s sure there’s a connection to the Brothers-in-Arms. But are they suspects…or potential victims? When her investigation leads to Jace Stevens, she can tell the blond troublemaker is masking something even more dangerous. He wants to stop the killer on his own, but Felicity can’t let that happen. Wickedly handsome Jace may be making her wild, but she always plays by the rules.
As the heat flares between them, a killer plots his next move. Can Felicity and Jace find a way to work together, or will a madman continue to get away with murder?
I love this conclusion to the series “Brothers In Arms”. As always, Seal Guardian can be read as a stand-alone novel, but of this series, it is the one book that makes the most sense read as the conclusion, rather than on it’s own.
It is a satisfying ending to Brother’s In Arms, leaving none of the story lines open, and giving the three-novel arch a satisfying end. The new main character Felicity, that is introduced in this book, fits perfectly into the Brother’s In Arms team – a woman who can hold her own, a trained FBI agent.
I was not too happy to see them go, having learned to care a lot about Jace, Mark, and Vann along the way, even though these were – in Leslie North tradition – not very long books.