Next To Die is the fourth book in Marliss Melton's contemporary military romantic-suspense series.
Penny Price is a pretty (but not stunning) Naval physical therapist. She's the 'do gooder' type who helps everyone and rarely does anything for herself. I know, you're thinking "Ewwwww.... sounds SO boring!" It's really not... because she's helpful in a nuturing way; not in that irritating get-a-freaking-grip-you-sorry-bitch sort of way. It does get mildly irritating a few times but not terribly. She's intelligent and a little pushy - I like that in a heroine.
Joe Montgomery is Penny's HOT Navy Seal neighbor. He's a TOTAL playboy before the disaster on a mission that leaves him injured and guilt-ridden. Now he just wants to hole-up for a while in his house to recoup and indulge in a pity-party. He's a bit of a selfish jerk in the beginning (& the past) and does some of the dog in the manger thing with Penny at one point but I still liked him.
Penny takes care of her neighbor's (Joe) house & yard when he's out on missions because his 'girlfriends' are less than reliable and he has a pet that, of course, wants to be fed on a regular basis. When he comes home injured and battle-weary, her nurturing instincts begin to clamor urging her to take care of him... well, there is the lust factor too because she totally wants her hottie neighbor - although she's never tell him. So she begins to help him (whether he wants it or not) but she also has other crap going on like trying to help her sister get her life back into order AND a killer (the man they believe killed their father) stalking both of them.
Joe is slightly mistrustful of Penny's good intentions in the beginning but despite this he finds himself sharing the truth about the disaster and his emotions with her and is comforted by her time and time again. He also finds himself reluctantly attracted to a woman that he never even noticed before - he begins to see the beauty of her heart. When he realizes that Penny is being threatened by a possible killer, Joe pushes his guilt and self-pity aside to help keep Penny (and her sister) safe.
There is a secondary story involving her sister and the youngest Seal on Joe's new Seal Team that I really enjoyed. I wish we could have seen more of them!
Overall, I give this book a C+. It was good but the plot was weak in places and the characters exhibited some irritating traits and reactions that dimmed my enjoyment. My main problem was with Joe being so commitment-shy (there is a 'too much' point for me personally on that) and acting like a jerk but also with Penny who, although not a doormat, didn't kick Joe in the balls when I thought she should. LOL!
Learn more about the book, author, and series at: http://www.marlissmelton.com/