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SEALed Forever    by Mary Margret Daughtridge Amazon.com order for
SEALed Forever
by Mary Margret Daughtridge
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2011 (2011)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

After Navy SEAL Garth Vale almost dies on a mission, he heads to North Carolina to recuperate and work at a small airstrip. The out of the way location is a hub for cross border smuggling and Garth agrees to work with the CIA to pin down those responsible for turning a blind eye. He's barely settled into his job when he discovers an abandoned baby in one of the planes. Knowing he can't take little Julia to the local ER for fear of blowing his cover, and possibly endangering the child, he travels to the home of Dr. Bronwyn Whitescarver to enlist her help.

Bronwyn has various ghosts of her own, not the least of which is trying to get over the death of her fiancÚ. Walking away from the frenetic pace of a Baltimore ER in favour of a small town practice is step one. Step two has her swept up into the impromptu wedding of her best friend and sharing the stage with Garth Vale, the best man. Bronwyn can't believe the feelings he immediately kindles in her, but refuses to dwell on them. She's come to town to start her new medical practice, not find romance. But when Garth ends up on her doorstep on a dark and stormy night with an ailing baby, Bronwyn knows she won't be able to turn her back on the child - or this dangerous and intriguing man.

The always-popular abandoned baby plot device gets another workout in this fourth in Daughtridge's SEALed series, unfortunately the least engaging. Once Garth discovers the ailing baby, the story felt contrived, as did the leads' romance, which had little or no spark. Daughtridge does do a nice job fleshing out both characters and their back-stories. However, Garth's single-minded determination to discover Julia's identity and his trying to ferret out why his last mission failed, end up overshadowing the romance.

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