Tag Archives: military

Colorado Wild and Colorado Fire (Colorado Heart #1-2) by Sara York

   Colorado WildColorado Fire

Published 27 September and 3 December 2013
Published by Sara York
Copies of books purchased by reviewer

I’m a Colorado girl so a series set on a ranch in the mountains of Colorado, I’m game. A series about ex-military who are now covert assassins, game! Hot man on man action at this secret ranch, GAME! This series is full of action and adventure. Not just between the guys (*wink wink*) but in the form of missions and investigations. It’s a nice mix of work and play. There are eight guys at Wild Bluff, all various branches of the military. They’ve been hand selected for these special missions to basically be assassins. It is a mentally and physically grueling life. Wild Bluff is a decoy ranch where they set up camp, do their investigating and basically stay off the grid.

Colorado Wild begins with the departure of one member of the group and his replacement. There’s a mission to prepare for and implement and then there’s some heavy emotional turmoil going on as well. Billy and Tucker are thinking there is some deeper level to their friendship and some mutual attraction. Tucker isn’t gay but he thinks maybe he’s been in denial all this time because Billy sure is turning him on! Tucker is on a mission when he is hurt and that pretty much propels the relationship forward. While all this is going on, Grant is made on that same mission by the one member of the group who left. His feelings for that person are confusing and add to that his attraction to their newest member, Roger. Poor Grant is an emotional train wreck. He doesn’t know if he can trust his feelings anymore.

That brings us to Colorado Fire. In this book we pretty much pick right up where Colorado Wild left off. The search is on for their former team member and everyone is on edge. Marshal and Zander begin to delve into relationship territory. They are pretty awesome together. With all the guys on the ranch the number of hook-ups we get are pretty diversified and extra lusty! We have Billy and Tucker smoking it up in their bedroom, Grant and Roger making out in the barn and Zander and Marshal steaming up the shower and much, much more! I think the pure chaos of all these guys is glorious! It doesn’t leave room for any down time or lulls in the story. Then to top it off we get a direct threat to the ranch and all hell breaks loose. It really is very action packed. Poor Marshal has a bad time but the sweetness as the book comes to a close is heavenly.

I’m not sure what Sara York has in store for us in the third installment of the Colorado Heart series but I’m betting it involves a hot young firefighter. ;) I will be sure to catch it upon release as I can always use an adrenaline rush and the Colorado Heart series brings it on!

RATING: BAD ASS COLORADO BOOTS!!

No Flag by Liz Borino

No Flags Published on 23 October 2013
Published by Lazy Day Publishing
Copy obtained for review from publisher

I feel I need to put a giant disclaimer at the beginning of this review, so here it is: I AM AN ARMY WIFE.
That is out in the open, now I will expand just a bit on why I need to confess. I have been around the military my whole life. I was the child of a soldier, I am the wife of a soldier. I watched my dad retire and I will do the same with my husband next year. I am not new to the lifestyle and I know the old and the new Army. This can be a blessing and curse when it comes to military stories. I have a tendency to stay away from most of them for two reasons, the discrepancies in how the services can be portrayed and the service member is usually over the top alpha male. When I read the synopsis for No Flag I knew I had to set aside my preconceived notion and read the book!

No Flag is written chronologically beginning with Mike and Will’s first encounter. I like that Borino moved the timeline rather quickly. We only get events that are pertinent to enhancing and moving the story along. I found the pacing to be perfect. Numerous, short chapters made for a very quick read. I finished No Flag in a day, I love when that happens! Even though the pace is fast, we do not have insta-love. Mike is pretty traditional and wants to build a relationship with Will. It is several (frustrating for Will) months before they do anything more than kiss and that comes after declarations and commitments.

Mike and Will do not have a traditional relationship, theirs is a bit more unique. They enter into a Domestic Discipline (DD) contract. I wouldn’t call it a strict BDSM contract. DD is more along the lines of schedule, structure and order. It is the perfect situation for a OCD dominate and a submissive who needs discipline and punishments when out of line. It is basically a more vanilla D/s lifestyle. The only kink that occurs in No Flag is spanking.

Mike is a Captain in the Army. He is a little over a year out from fulfilling his commitment when he meets Will. Poor Will, he is smart and has goals, he is just all over the place. Mike’s obsession with order does help Will get himself together and on the road to owning his own business instead of being a bartender the rest of his life. As their relationship develops and they are moving toward commitment and their DD contract, Will makes it known he does not want to do so if Mike is deployed. It really is a fair concern. Will doesn’t want to become dependant on Mike and have him deploy for a year and possibly never come home. This is a very real concern for Will and EVERY MILITARY SPOUSE! Believe me, I’ve lived it! It is no fun and the feelings I had Will also had.

As often happens to soldiers, Mikes is totally screwed over by his commanding officer and a few weeks before he is to be discharge he is put on stop-loss and is set to deploy to Afghanistan. Mike and Will are devastated. They manage to work though the emotions, figure out how they will set Will up for success and make it through the year separation. The schedule whore Mike, is a blessing because he keeps Will focused so he is able to function well and keep it together! When Mike’s schedule varies and starts to conflict we see the impact it has on Will and home life. This is so true! I like how Borino uses the DD to show how the stress can build for Will just as it can for a partner with kids. Eventually, everything that could be done a few months prior, alone, suddenly cannot be done anymore. This actually happens! There comes a point when one just doesn’t want to do one more thing. We just can’t be brave anymore. What we really want is to yell, scream, throw something, break something and cry! Will, I could feel your pain!!!! The breakdown, the resentment and whole gamut of feeling the deployment causes Will are very, very real.

Tragedy strikes in Afghanistan, Mike and Will suddenly have the challenge of a disability to face. These guys were so strong.They are always there for each other, open communication and really working through any problems that arose. The level of support was through the roof. They did all the right things to keep their relationship healthy as they faced one of the most difficult things they probably ever would in their life together.

This was the first book I’ve ever read that had a DD situation. I didn’t find it to be any different from reading a book with BDSM or fetishes. I thought Mike and Will were very respectful of each other and loving. I liked them both and wanted to see them maneuver the tough terrain they encountered post Afghanistan. Hands down this was one of the best military m/m books I have read!

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

 

Side Line by Ben Ryder

Side Line Cover
Click to Add on Goodreads

Released June 12, 2013
Published by Dreamspinner Press
Purchased Copy

It’s a rare occasion when I can say that I went from mildly disliking a book to singing its praises. Side Line made me do just that – it was a total emotional roller coaster. I was really looking forward to this sequel after loving his first book, Noah. My first bit of disappointment was when I opened it and thought WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH NOAH? I didn’t think that storyline was done by a long shot, and I was hoping for more of it here. Despite a small cameo in the beginning that’s a shout out to the ending scenes of Noah, there’s a whole new cast of characters.

Jay is an interesting guy with a rather unique professional life. He travels and conducts promotional events for Side Line beer. In this case, his job takes him and his team on a week long trip to Bahrain. Here he encounters a young U.S. Marine, Damon, who’s preparing to leave on a tour of duty in Iran. It’s pretty clear early on that there’s some chemistry there, but what unfolds at first left me feeling kind of angry and unsettled. I was frustrated with Jay for being kind of a doormat when that didn’t really fit with his personality. I was angry at Damon for taking advantage and being such an ass. Who can be so intimate and yet so cold? I needed them to talk to each other, but something was always getting in the way. I started to wonder why I was still reading this book if it was making me feel like this?

Then, magically, like a choir of angels singing, (I think I still hear them) it all made sense and started clicking. See, the story wasn’t bad for the uncomfortable things that had happened, I just needed to know it was intentional and purposeful. As these guys started communicating (finally!) and more information came out, Ryder began the slow process of redeeming Damon. This was tricky and complicated – he really was a jerk – but through careful revelations and plot twists he did it. I’m not a very forgiving reader, and by the end I was pulling for him and practically teary. (The scene with the watch. *sniff sniff* ) How Ryder manages not only redemption but sincere, unforced relationship development is amazing.  Well done, Ben Ryder, well done.

In the end it seems my hopes for more Noah were a bit unrealistic. If I’d been paying more attention I would’ve noticed English Men Stories is a series of stories of Englishmen finding love outside of Britain. There are no promises of more, so I’m going to have to just be happy with what I’ve gotten thus far. As long as Dreamspinner Press keeps putting those totally ripped guys on the covers that shouldn’t be too hard. ;)

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!