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Romance Junkies

Navy SEAL Caleb 'Do-Lord' Dulaude approaches circumstances using logic, stealth and if need be raw brawn.  However, none of those prepared him for the ordeal of being the best man in his comrade Jax's wedding - and so he's working his way through books on etiquette hoping to muddle his way through.  Of course, just when he thinks he knows exactly how to behave and what's expected he meets the maid of honor and finds himself enchanted by the 'mouse' who fades into the background.

Emmie Caddington is extremely book smart and learned from an early age that it's safest for her to blend into the surroundings and let others standout.  She wears ill-fitting clothing, no makeup and really doesn't have a whole lot of social skills.  She was 'adopted' into the Hale family when she went to college with Pickett and she has a special fondness for each member of the family.  Her close friendship with Pickett is what incites her to enlist Caleb's assistance with her great cake swap plan.

Because Pickett has celiac's disease which means she can't eat anything made with wheat flour - Emmie's determined that it be safe for Pickett to eat her own wedding cake and that means swapping it but with her arm in a sling it's impossible for her to carry out her plan.  That's why she decides to enlist Caleb's help.  At first Caleb doesn't want to have anything to do with swapping out the wedding cakes but then he sees a picture of a different Hale family wedding and recognizes one of the guests as the man he's had a personal vendetta against since childhood.  If he agrees to help Emmie then he'll have an 'in' to get to Calhoun and he certainly can't pass that up!   

Emmie may not be a raving beauty and her intelligence would be intimidating to a lesser man but Caleb sees a unique faelike beauty in her that is utterly irresistible.  Since he possesses a high IQ himself he's able to hold his own in a conversation.  There's no denying that there's a strong attraction between them but Emmie is very cautious about getting involved with Caleb.  She's positive that he's using her for some reason and she's certain it has something to do with his intense interest in Calhoun.  Will anything dissuade Caleb from his hatred of Calhoun?  And how will his vendetta affect his foundling relationship with Emmie?

SEALed WITH A PROMISE is the second book in Mary Margret Daughtridge SEALed series - and I have to tell you, this addition is just as delightful as SEALed WITH A KISS.  The author infuses humor, realistic characters, emotion filled situations, and in some cases brutal honesty to create a storyline that's utterly captivating from beginning to end.  I believe I fell in love with Caleb before the story even really began when it's revealed how he came by the nickname Do-Lord.  He's a strong man with a vulnerable nature and a quirky sense of humor that strikes me as very sweet.  Emmie has her own vulnerabilities and it's absolutely delightful to 'watch' her come out of her shell and be the woman she was meant to be. 

Navy SEALS are the object of many women's fantasies but through Ms. Daughtridge's writing we get the opportunity to view these strong praiseworthy military men and understand that they're individuals with feelings and needs.  This story is beautifully written and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more writing from Ms. Daughtridge in the future - and will keep my fingers crossed for stories about some of the other SEALS we've gotten to know in these first two stories.

Chrissy Dionne

Love, Romance, Passion

J.C Roat and Rick Bremseth, both former SEALs who helped with the research for SEALed with a Promise, might tease Daughtridge about writing mush, but it is mush I definitely like. SEALed is very hero-centric. I closed this book with an urge to call up my best friend to get her dad to find me my very own Do-Lord. In the immortal words of LolCat "I can haz SEAL?" or maybe it was cheezburger, I tend to forget. This book is definitely recommended for the Save the Contemporary project Dear Authors and Smart Bitches are hosting together.

Dry-witted Emmie was a blast. She was smart, intelligent, analytical, observant, goal oriented and true to character. A professor of ecology, Emmie is well read and knowledgeable in many areas. She's the definition of an avid scholar. She dresses down to hide herself and makes it an art form to remain unnoticed, which is why it's so disconcerting that Navy SEAL Caleb "Do-Lord" Delaude does. Emmie is here to support her best friend Pickett in her upcoming nuptials - she is not here looking for a brawny jock, especially the brawny jock who's the best man.

Caleb Delaude is extremely smart. He's down played his intelligence to fit in better amongst his peers. Able to retain facts after reading or glancing at print, he also has an uncanny ability to see things others can't. He's great at picturing layouts from a map, knowing where to place people in any situation and sometimes he gets strange moments of déjà vu where the present and near-future collide. Caleb finds himself fiercely attracted to Emmie and before he knows it he's worming his way into her life... but only because he needs her connections for a revenge plot... right? Strange how the operative changes all because of a slip of a thing!

Rating: 4-4.5 Stars

Long and Short Reviews

SEAL, alpha male, genius Chief Petty Officer Caleb Dulaude aka "Do Lord" finds Emmie, his perfect ticket into high society where he needs to be to fulfill a promise made at age fifteen. As best man for his friend and commanding officer, he meets her and makes plans. Battle hardened, not averse to lying to complete a mission, yet having a unique integrity, Caleb makes an intriguing hero. He says he is an "Alabama cracker raised in a trailer located on the hind end of nowhere" which may be true but is far from who he really is at this time in his life. He learned to be tough, streetwise, and pragmatic at an early age. He came to believe in honor, accountability, trust, and pride through his training as a SEAL. The vulnerability, longings, and sensuousness that Ms. Daughtridge reveals about him along with his ability to be in two realities at the same time makes him even more complex. Yet, his obsession with Senator Teague Calhoun is the flaw that threatens to be his undoing.

The bridesmaid Emmie, ugly duckling among swans, is Caleb's perfect ticket. Unassuming, academic, and an expert at fading into the background, she has a poor opinion of jocks "who have a sense of entitlement and are unwilling to take seriously anything that didn't directly impact their own egos" - a category she feels the arrogant SEALs fit into. She has many facets to her personality that emerge as the story unfolds, facets that she is not aware of because of self-esteem issues that started when she was twelve years old. Her loyalty and willingness to go to any length to help those she loves is beautifully depicted by Ms. Daughtridge's smooth, unobtrusive writing style. The metamorphosis of Emmie is amazing, the emotional, physical, and social change in Emmie lifts the spirit and makes one want to cheer. She is "priceless" in so many ways not the least of which is her sense of humor that astounds.

Mary Margret Daughtridge's descriptions awaken the senses to a level that makes a reader gasp for breath and sigh with satisfactions. Primal and earthy at times, sensual, enchanting, and tender at others, the love scenes simmer, sizzle, and soar. The mirror scene is truly magically and tells so much about both Emmie and Caleb.

Some of the secondary characters such as Aunt Lilly Hale, Pickett, Grace, and Vicky add depth to the happenings in Sealed With A Promise. Family values, friends' unswerving loyalty, and the innocence of children and their need to be protected from the self-serving actions of adults, all create sub-plots that stir the conscience and intensify the story as events force life changing decisions to be made by Emmie and Caleb.

Sealed With a Promise is beautifully written and tells a fantastic story that if full of intense emotions. EXCELLENT!

Reviewed by Camellia

Praise for SEALed With A Kiss

With a hero who's not only a tough Navy SEAL but also an insecure, vulnerable father and a pretty but unsure heroine with a big heart and a huge amount of love to give, how can this story miss? It doesn't; it delivers in a huge way. Throw in a lost little boy and some great dogs and you get a heart-touching story that will keep you smiling and cheering for the characters clear through to the happy ending.

Cindy Himler, Romantic Times

SEALED WITH A KISS is a wonderful story that will have readers experiencing a whirlwind of emotions and culminating with an awesome scene that will have your pulse pounding.

SNIPPET - He's a hardcore Navy SEAL. She's a family therapist. They're all wrong for each other or so they think. Through their love for his son, Tyler, Jax and Pickett may just discover that they can be heroes to each other.

Reviewer: Chrissy Dion - Romance Junkies


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