*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review*
Published: May 17, 2014
The Navy SEAL’s E-Mail Order Bride – Cora Seton
I needed a change up from the erotica that I’ve been reading, so I picked up The Navy SEAL’s E-mail Order Bride. Honestly, the cover is what drew me to this one at first. I can’t even lie. Hunky shirtless dude? I like those. The title was what made me curious about the story. SEALs? I like reading about those. But wait… an email order bride? Color me curious. Plus, it’s Memorial Day, so it seemed kinda fitting that I’d read a book about a Navy SEAL today.
I know that back in the day, arranged marriages and mail order brides were a thing that happened. Aaaand I know that arranged marriages sometimes happen still today. I hadn’t even considered that mail ordered brides were still a thing. But the concept of it, and it being updated to being and email ordered bride was too intriguing to pass up. Plus, did I mention the hunky dude on the cover?
Right, so let me get to the book.
Mason Hall and his four brothers, Zane, Austin and Colt are all military men. Mason is the SEAL, Zane is a Marine, Austin (Zane’s twin) is Army Special Forces, and Colt (the youngest) is a pilot in the Air Force. All four brothers learn that they are given the rights to the ranch that was in the family for decades, but it comes with conditions. Their aunt Heloise sends a letter to Mason telling him that the ranch is theirs now because their uncle Zeke (who had been the current owner and had been running the ranch) died without designating an heir.
The conditions for the men getting the ranch are simple: get married, have a baby on the way, and have a hundred head of cattle on the ranch within a year.
That sounds simple… right?
Yeah, not so much.
Mason takes the initiative, and creates an online profile for himself and his brothers that clearly states that they’re looking for wives. The brother’s responses to Mason’s announcement, first the conditions to getting the ranch and then to the website, are hilarious. Grudgingly, they agree to look through the emails they’ve been unknowingly receiving from the website to see about getting a wife. Well. Colt kind of agrees… but he’s very clear that he is so not excited about any of this.
Then we meet Regan Anderson. She’s a New Yorker and a former Loan Officer at a bank… and she’s desperate to be a mom. All her former relationships ended up falling apart, but that wasn’t going to stop Regan from fulfilling her dream of mommyhood. She’s settling into a night at home in her new smaller apartment watching movies and drinking wine when she stumbles across Mason’s ad online. At first, she think’s it’s a joke. I would have too. Or a scam. After switching to some tequila (note: wine + tequila isn’t a good mix… just sayin’) and arguing with herself wether she should do it or not, she decides to send Mason an email. She’s got Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice playing on the tv in the background, and the movie adds some hilariousness to her email. I can’t quote the whole thing, but here’s a snippet:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good ranch, must in want of a wife…
I was so amused by her email. it was sassy and hilarious. She kept up the same tone throughout the email which I loved. Mason thought she was hilarious too. He almost skimmed over her email and sent it to the trash bin, but something about it (probably the humor… or maybe it was the reminder of being tormented in English class in High School by Jane Austen’s works) made him hold onto it and write her back. He keeps his email short and sweet, but doesn’t make fun of her for the silliness of the first email.
Regan wakes up the next morning with a headache and a faint inkling that maybe she did something last night she shouldn’t have. That inkling is turned into reality when she checks her email and sees the reply from Mason. At first, she tries to make it clear to him that it was meant as a joke, and that she wasn’t serious about marrying him — a man she’d never met before.
Over the course of several more emails, and eventually Skype conversations, Mason is able to talk her into being his friend. From there, he makes it clear that he is interested in her, and would like to see where this thing between them goes. Regan is hesitant, but agrees. Sort of.
After getting discharged from the Navy — he was at the end of his career — Mason decides to make the trip to New York to surprise Regan, instead of heading to Montana to the ranch to see how it’s been fairing under his uncle’s ownership. Regan is understandably surprised when Mason shows up, but she’s happy to see him.
They spend a little bit of time getting to know each other in NY before Mason asks Regan to come to Montana with him to see the ranch…and to see if the thing between them could develop into a marriage. She thinks about it for a little, and decides to give this thing a chance and goes along with him.
Unfortunately, the ranch is worse for the wear when they arrive. Mason’s uncle Zeke didn’t keep up with all the upkeep that is required for a ranch, and sold off most of the appliances and furniture that was in the house and barn. Not only do they have to repair the main house, barn and all the fencing at the ranch, they both come to find out that dear ol’ Zeke had been borrowing money from people in town… large sums of money… and didn’t repay any of his debts before his death. So this means that all of his debt falls on Mason and his brothers (who are still serving, but in the gradual process of being discharged) to repay. Like they need any more things to deal with.
Things seem like they’re spiraling out of control to Mason, and he almost calls everything off. The pursuit of Regan, trying to fix the ranch, all of it doesn’t seem like it would work to him. He doesn’t want to trap Regan into a marriage if he can’t provide for her, and he doesn’t think the ranch could do that. Lucky for him, Regan is smart and able to make some friends in town, who come by and help Mason with the rebuilding. She knows all about the conditions Mason’s aunt set for them so they could have the ranch (he fessed up when he thought everything was falling apart) so she enlists the help of his brothers and is able to help Mason (along with their friends she’s helped make in town) bring back the ranch.
This was a cute quick read, and I really liked it. It’s the first in a series… the other brothers from what I saw all get their own story. The Navy SEALs E-mail Order Bride was a much lighter read compared to the last two I read. There was definitely still lots of sexy stuff happening, but it wasn’t as near as erotic as they were. I’ll probably read the brother’s stories, just so I can see what happens.
If you like quick, light romantic reads with hunky SEALs, I recommend this one.