SEAL’s CODE is the tenth installment in Sharon Hamilton’s SEAL BROTHERHOOD/ The Bad Boys of SEAL Team 3 adult, contemporary, military romance series. This is new SEAL recruit and Native American Danny Begay, and Aboriginal grade school teacher Luci Tohe’s storyline. SEAL’S CODE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Luci and Danny) SEAL’s CODE follows the building relationship between Luci and Danny, and Danny’s entry into the military. Danny and Luci are members of the Navajo Native American community and with it comes all of the hardships and stereotyping of living on the reservations. Danny left the community to strike out on his own, but the death of his beloved grandfather, a Navajo Code Talker during the second World War, finds our hero longing for a place to belong.
The relationship between Luci and Danny begins as a one night stand the day before Danny enlists. Fast forward several months, where Danny returns a Navy SEAL, and discovers that problems have escalated upon the Reserve: the number of missing girls has escalated and with it comes the possibility of a sex slave ring right under their nose.
SEAL’s CODE is a slow building storyline that focuses on the Navajo and Native American plight of segregation, discrimination, drugs, alcohol, poverty and abuse, but with it also comes the ghosts of the People long gone in the hopes of one day becoming a proud community as they were in the past. There are moments where the voices of those who have passed direct the characters towards the future but the overriding theme of Aboriginal problems pervaded most of the storyline such that the good guys were few are far between. There is a slight paranormal aspect to the storyline as Danny and Luci, as well as a few supporting characters listen to, and talk with those that have departed this world.
I did have a few issues with this storyline as it pertained to Danny’s quick jump from civilian life into a full fledged Navy SEAL, and the SEALs involvement in the take down of the criminal element permeating the Native community; there is also the issue of some stereotyping as it pertained to the Native community and all of its’ problems. With reference to the relationship between Luci and Danny, I had difficulty connecting with the love and overwhelming need between our couple-for most of the storyline Danny and Luci are separated by war, and for months at a time. It is not until Danny returns to the Reservation (one year later), to help with the investigation into the missing girls, does Danny and Luci’s love affair begin to flourish.
SEAL’S CODE is an ensemble storyline with a number of the previous SEAL Team 3 members playing a secondary or supporting role. We are introduced to Danny’s extended family; Luci’ s long suffering mother, and Luci’s younger sister. The requisite evil has many faces.