Hot SEAL, Sweet and Spicy
by Cynthia D’Alba
Release Date: Available now
Cynthia D’Alba has given us something special with her new book, “Hot SEAL, Sweet and Spicy”, part of the ‘SEALs in Paradise’ series of interconnected standalone stories. This is a story that hits deep in some surprising ways.
Addison and Eli first meet when they are both in the bridal party of her best friend and his brother. She’s the hostess of a successful television show and he’s a career Navy SEAL. They share a powerful instant connection, but then a disastrous miscommunication wrecks everything. When he retires from the Navy 8 months later and goes home to his family’s ranch, he’s struggling with worry about how he’s going to adjust to cowboy life after so many years in the military. It’s understandably shocking when he finds Addison there as a guest of his sister-in-law. Addison is recovering from major surgery that’s left her with physical, emotional and psychological consequences. As the story develops the undeniable attraction between them quickly resurfaces, and the miscommunication from their initial weekend so many months ago is resolved. Now, though, other misunderstandings, assumptions and worries regarding her recovery from cancer treatment and surgery put their relationship firmly in the ‘friend zone.’ Neither of them truly wants it that way, yet neither can figure out quite how to change it without risking the friendship that has bloomed between them.
I appreciated that neither of the main characters were depicted as stereotypes. For example, he’s not some manwhore military man or guy who barely speaks, and she’s not an incredibly naïve girl or a woman who cares about nothing but her career. Instead, they both have multi-faceted personalities that really make them interesting characters. The secondary characters in this story are good, and if you’ve read other books in this series you’ll recognize a few of them.
I thought this story was truly outstanding. The author does an excellent job making us feel the jumbled emotions that the characters are feeling. She also effectively conveys Addison’s experiences with her battle against cancer. This is a story that manages to be entertaining, heartbreaking, passionate and inspirational all at once.