Title: The Navy’s Ghost
Series: Bad Boys of Beta Squad , Book 1.0
Author: Siobhan Muir
Genre: Contemporary, Action, SEALs
Stand Alone: YES
Re-issued /Re-edited: NO
Date published: Dec 02, 2013
Published by: Three Lakes Books, LLC
Purchase: Smashwords, Amazon, ARe, B&N
Word count: 100,200
Page count: 220
Siobhan Muir lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shape-shifter, though he’s never shifted when she can see him. When not writing, she can be found looking down a microscope at fossil fox teeth, pursuing her other love, paleontology. An avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, her husband gave her a paranormal romance for Christmas one year, and she was hooked for good.
In previous lives, Siobhan has been an actor at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, a field geologist in the Aleutian Islands, and restored inter-planetary imagery at the USGS. She’s hiked to the top of Mount St. Helens and to the bottom of Meteor Crater.
Siobhan writes kick-ass adventure with hot sex for men and women to enjoy. She believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, all of which you will find in her paranormal romance stories.
A SEAL is strongest with her Team…
Ensign Christiana “Ghost” Brickman is the only female SEAL to survive BUD/S training, a real Navy Jane. But when an ambush ends her career as an active SEAL, she’s free to pursue other interests. Like her two best friends Lt. Jim “Retro” Waters and Chief Warrant Officer Todd “Magic” Hunter. She’s wanted them for over a year, but never dared to approach them while in the squad.
Retro has fought his dark desires since high school, certain the need to share a woman unnatural. Magic had never considered sharing before Ghost mentions it, but it solves his dilemma of choosing between his best friend and his woman. But Retro balks at Ghost’s offer to share and retreats from both when she marries Magic.
Everyone feels Retro’s loss, but he ignores the ache of their broken connection in favor of living ‘normal.’ When Ghost and the other wives of Beta Squad are kidnapped, Retro must reevaluate how much both Ghost and Magic mean to him. And he must decide how far he’s willing to go to save the woman he loves, before she becomes the Navy’s ghost.
I do not read often military ménage romance but when I find one, I cannot resist.
Men in uniform, particularly military, are always attractive and sexy. I am not sure how to explain it and I am certain there is good explanation why women love them so much. I am definitely one of them so I should know right? But I have no logical explanation except of course that under the uniform, they are generally extremely fit with six packs which is definitively attractive, maybe the very short haircut almost bald give them a dangerous look. The bad-ass attitude make them look dangerous and we know it is generally true. Unconsciously we must associate the uniform with danger, passion and sex… somehow. Why? I still have no freaking idea per se. SEALs have the deserved reputation of holding the highest praise of all since we know that only the best of the cream are part of this elite. Are they all sexy in real life, probably not. But in romance? Heck yeah!
The Navy’s Ghost started very emotional. The author, Siobhan Muir, completely mastered the immediate attention of her reader. The first chapter is definitely for me what hooks me to a story. Here, It was the case almost instantly.
What I liked is that I was not lost in military terms. It was explained with logic and simplicity which eased me into the story. Even if all the story is mapped around the SEALs, it was not over the top because romance and action were mixed perfectly together.
Even if I could hardly stop reading this story (thank you Mrs Muir for my 3am late sleep last night, I was a zombie all day long today…), I could not give the perfect rating, close enough though.
First half of the story (220 pages) was fantastic. I got to know the characters and their struggles. But after the second half, one character started to bother me with his recurrent insecurities. I felt it became redundant and at the end I just wanted to kick his ass. It was the same issues over and over again. From my perspective, a SEAL is almost not human. He has to go through so much physical and emotional training that his mind does not function the same way anymore. So, even if I know it is a romance and everything can be told and deformed in a romance, I had a hard time at the end of the story to accept his issues. It was a I-love-you but I-cant-be-with-you-two over and over again without truly evolution. And although this story is very romance oriented, I could not give a 5 for this reason. It was like shouting to someone to move and getting a dry mouth for doing it and still no move from the person: you want to help, you understand etc. but at the end of the day, you are exhausted and you want to give up. I felt the same reaction.
I also thought that a sex dream scene was way too long and probably added with the edits. At times, I had to tell myself that he was dreaming and I got confused that it was real and I wondered if I missed the part where he finally decide to change his mind. Too many pages in my opinion. I understand the reasons though since sex is not very present the first half of the story and being an erotic romance, it was somehow missing. No wonder, he told himself that he wanted to record this dream to replay it. Not saying it was not hot, it was, but it seamed as if he was more in a coma for days instead of a dream…
I liked the heroine very much. I think her best moments were when she was under fever or drugs. Of course, there is no such female in the SEALs world but I could easily imagine females in the military and how much they have to be mean, even if inside they still wish to be loved, in order to be respected by this world of full of bad-asses men. Career oriented does not mean that love is completely excluded all the life from the person although I am sure this must happen. The way Siobhan Muir portrayed the SEALs were a bit too ideal in my opinion like none of the married men would cheat on their spouses and the singles would jump on every navy groupie brainless girls in heat. Siobhan Muir included the two extremes wives characters: the cheater and the perfect military wife. That was a bit too stereotype for me. Not saying it is not happening but again the reverse is true too. But it went with the romance and it is nice to think that their values are extreme and their vows will never be broken.
Few inconsistencies now. Like wearing a ring. From the little I know, they go in very dangerous missions were any physical sign can be dangerous. If the SEAL is captured, knowing he is married can be deadly for his wife and they could use it psychologically against him. The author even mentioned it regarding the tattoos that were not accepted. (I wonder if a guy that have some tattoos when he applies is refused on this criteria?). Romantically speaking, it was cute that both heroes wanted to wear a ring that symbolize commitment and love. But it was not credible.
Each team is as close as they can be. They know each other better than their own family. I cannot imagine they can hide anything from each other as it would be dangerous if they were on mission and did not know them intimately. It is all about: once a SEAL always a SEAL or once in a TEAM always part of it… yet only the two heroes were concerned about her? During the four years they were together, Ghost saved probably some of their lives and this is pretty heavy. They came to her rescue but when she was hurt or when she received her purple star, I did not feel they were concerned and overall very selfish to find some available pussies to drain their adrenaline. I did not feel the brotherhood at all. I thought it was missing.
I loved the plot. I did not understand the main reasons of the “tangos” and how over sixteen could be in the u.s.a. but I guess it is again my OCD with details that is kicking out so I will let it go. The kids playing at that exact time and none of the sixteen “tangos” seeing them… yeah, another OCD moment here *cough*
The epilogue for me was not an epilogue but an introduction to the next book of this series. They are secondaries characters but they are coming out of the blue because besides the names and being SEAL related, I knew nothing about. Since the previous chapter ended with a sex scenes, I thought I did not get my true HEA. For me an epilogue is about the main characters projected a couple months or years later and we picture them settled in their life together with our without kids. If humor is added, it ends for me perfectly the story. I did not get that. The HEA here was a sex scene with a promise that the third will not run away anymore. Too short for my taste.
Two things bothered me though but they are publishing issues:
- the choice of models on the cover: it is clearly mentioned that SEALs have no tattoos, no physical distinction. It shows that the publisher did not do their homework and did not respect the author’s vision of her characters. Do not get me wrong, I liked it very much less this main detail.
- the quality of the epub I got: my android is set to have a sepia beige background. I had many paragraphs (sometimes chapters) with the font highlighted in bright white, which was annoying and hard for the eyes. The conversion to epub was not verified. In fact, I could see exactly which parts were added in the edits before publishing. It disrupted my enjoyment a little bit.
My conclusion is that it is a great story. It may not look like it since I detailed the inconsistencies but it is a well deserved 4 poly stars. It was full emotion, full action, full romance from beginning to end. This book is the first of the series. Sadly, I think it will be a MF one and this ménage one was an exception.
Read it! no question about it. A must read.
Note: I would like also to thank all military people, no matter the country, no matter the rank, no matter the branch, no matter the race or color, no matter the job and finally to add all the families, spouses and kids. Thank you.
Characters:5 ~ Plot:5 ~ Sex Heat:3 ~ Romance:4
Equality:5 ~ Credibility:5 ~ Originality:4 ~ Inconsistencies:3
BDSM:NA ~ Cover:3 ~ Humor:4