I just could not get a handle on this book and therefore I think I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. There were too many things included in the plot line that detracted from the romance and, in my opinion, did not add to the overall story at all. The first thing that I noticed is how much information there was about Dustin's time with the seals. In particular, there was a bunch of information about the capture of one of his team members and the impact it had on her. The book even has the point of view of the character who is secretly in love with the other team member. I could not for the life of me figure out what this information is doing in this book. If the author is setting up another part to the series, I get it, but it needs to be less intrusive on the main plot.
The other thing about this book that took away from it was how the story of Dustin and Kelsey kind of jumps around. When Dustin first meets Kelsey, I was thinking this was going to be an enemies to lovers story. But then, almost right away, Dustin flips the script and is in love with Kelsey. Fast forward another few pages and we are back to the enemy plot where Dustin is doing things to piss Kelsey off and Kelsey can't stand Dustin. I don't mind changes in the relationship between the main characters but I could not follow the source of the changes in this book. I think we were supposed to attribute Dustin's swift mood changes to his PTSD, ok, that would make sense. The problem is that the PTSD became yet another story line and thus another distraction from the romance. Kelsey tried to be understanding of Dustin but that just made me like her less. I didn't get why she was trying so hard with someone who she didn't know at all.
I guess there was chemistry between Dustin and Kelsey but I swear it came out of nowhere. One minute it would seem like there was no chance for a hook up, the next minute they were kissing. I just don't know.
There is also the issue of what Kelsey is running away from in her past. I get that the author was trying to plant interesting subplots but I couldn't help but to notice that it didn't make sense in the overall plot of the book. Kelsey is supoosed to be really scared of whatever is lurking in her past and is apparently in the witness protection program. She doesn't seem overly protective of her own safety though. I felt like the danger to Kelsey was put in more as a way to give Dustin a chance to display how protective he is. That was ok but it just felt forced.
All in all, I just didn't really enjoy this book and couldn't invest in it. If you love the traumatized SEAL books, this one might be for you.
**ARC provided by Publisher**