Whenever I realize one of Heather Long’s books from the Always A Marine series has been released, I usually jump at the chance to read it. Can you imagine my jubilation when I learned Book 16, Marine With Benefits, is already available when only a short time ago I had read Book 15? Long has covered several romance tropes in the series, but this time around the trope of choice is the best friend’s sibling.
Physical therapist Kara Childs takes up the offer to work at a veteran’s rehabilitation facility, which gives her the opportunity to feel closer to her older brother, Keith, who loses his life during his deployment to Iraq. As far as Kara is concerned, though, she also loses Keith’s best friend, Derek Green, because he’s been absent from her life. The trouble is she doesn’t really know why. When readers learn of the reason for Derek’s actions, or lack thereof, they would surely understand why he turns Kara down twice in the past as well as why he decides to keep both physically and emotionally distant from her.
Unbeknownst to one another, Derek and Kara seeks Madame Eve’s exclusive matchmaking service for a one night stand with a gorgeous date to distract them from going after what they really want, each other. After all, they love each other for years and years but nothing has ever come of it.
Logan Cavanaugh makes a cameo appearance in Marine With Benefits as the voice of reason seeing that he cautions Kara about going on this date. The irony is not lost on fans of this series, however, because he, his best friend, Zach Evans, and their wife, Jazz Winters, have also benefitted from Madame Eve’s service and were the heroes and heroine in Book 2 and Book 6. Even Rebecca and Lauren, two other heroines in previous installments (Book 1 and Book 3 respectively) endorse Kara’s decision. Of course, Derek also gets the stamp of approval from Marines Luke, Damon and Brody, each of whom is also a hero in this series.
When Derek and Kara finally realizes Madame Eve, ever the intuitive matchmaker, sets them up, Kara is first mortified but then tells Derek in no uncertain terms that he’s going to sleep with her that night. And what a night it is, filled with hot sex, humor and great dialogue! Long even uses the love-making scene as a means to give readers a glimpse into the struggles some veterans face, thus, making this a sensual yet realistic read. And what a sweet ending it is for this couple as they finally get their opportunity to live happily ever after!
One of the wonderful things about Long’s series is that each book is a stand-alone and can be read in any random order. Marine With Benefits is no exception and is another delightful read by this multi-published and talented author.
-Reviewed by Roxy
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. In 2016 she took over the management of this site and relishes her new title of “Overlord of Awesome”