I really enjoyed this book. The story is as much about friendship, brotherhood, and team as it is a m/m romance--and that is just fine by me!
After a couple of opening chapters which show Matt at home in Richmond with his self-centered boyfriend, the story moves to Syria where Matt is working with Doctors without Borders. Matt is kidnapped, interrogated, and feels he will be killed at any minute. Matt's rescue by Navy SEALs sets off a great adventure tale for about half the book. The setup of Matt working with the SEAL team is somewhat unrealistic, but the author pulled me into the action and I happily went along for the ride. The strength of this novel was how all the characters interacted with and learned from each other. I enjoyed getting to know them all and seeing what shennanigans Petey could get up to next in his (in the end) friendly verbal battles with Matt.
The last part of the story shows Matt arriving back in Richmond and how he had changed, mostly for the better. I thought his feelings here were realistic--not overly traumatic and over the top, but serious and considered.
The love story was great, with the main characters getting to know each other as friends first. But best of all, the last part of the book wasn't just about the two of them, but we get to see the relationships between all the SEAL team members at home, too. I felt as if I was getting an inside look at these honorable men who work hard to protect each other in all types of dangerous situations. Perhaps the ending was a bit overdramatic, but it was like the end of a great movie, where the music crescendos and you get a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes. And I loved it.
A totally crazy book, with humor, snark, over-the-top plot, action, hawt sex, and bunny slippers. Right from the beginning, I felt like I was on a runaway train that had jumped the track. I did have to take a break from all the craziness and left this book to read saner ones once or twice. But in the end I kept coming back because I liked Austin in all his wise-cracking honesty, and I wanted to see if he and Peter could make a go of it. Well worth the read.
An excellent ending to the story which started with First Impressions and continued with Fuzzy. A bit more serious than the first two books, but this highlights the love between Jez and Steve even more.
A well-written novella about space explorers set in the far future. Good worldbuilding and an interesting exploration of an alien city. More of a science fiction story than a romance, though feelings are discussed and some hot sex is involved. I look forward to reading a longer story by this author.
I was totally charmed by this book, with its beautiful language and imagery, great characters, and the backdrop of the Australian bush. There were so many wonderful, touching, or humorous lines that if I highlighted my favorites, half the book would be highlighted.
One of the themes in the story was that sometimes the best way to find something is to not look for it so hard and let it just happen. But later in the story, when Dave tried to use this idea to find his way back to Nicholas and the camp, he discovered that Nicholas had become so important to him that Dave could not NOT want to find him. A lovely scene, especially as Nicholas comforted Dave after his bit of a scare.
When Nicholas first saw the butterflies, I got tears in my eyes it was so magical. But this same feeling occurred when Dave watched Nicholas, for to Dave, Nicholas was just as beautiful and magical, especially with all of Nicholas' various smiles.
I loved Dave's affair with his new Land Cruiser, and chuckled when Nicholas made note of it too, and kidded him about it. The vehicle almost became a secondary character in the story, with it's troublesome land-sat and how the guys used it as a both a lounger and a bed. Definitly a new way for al fresco sex in my book!
Speaking of the love scenes, I've become so jaded lately that I find myself skimming them a lot--too much Slot A into Tab B, etc. Not so here, as the description and the lovemaking hit me just right, sort of like the way Nicholas' touch hit Dave just right. The aftermath of the scene with the butterfly on Dave's skin was humorous and sweet.
A book as beautiful as the butterflies it depicts, and I highly anticipate the sequel I understand is on its way.
Harry is a former submarine commander, seriously wounded in an accident and sent home on convalescent leave. Jim has a "gentle heart" and couldn't bear the thought of killing a lamb for food, let alone to kill a man in war. I loved this story, from the fragile beginnings of friendship between the two through to the satisfying end.
It takes Harry a while to break through Jim's reserve, as he initially hopes for Jim's friendship. I enjoyed the conversations between them, as they formed a closer relationship. The later love scenes are understated and circumspect, befitting the atmostphere of the book, but this IS a romance so there are several lovely scenes. And even though the men demonstrate their British stiff upper lips throughout, it didn't keep them from talking about their feelings for each other.
The secondary characters were wonderful, too. Harry's brother Jack is a sweetheart, so hard-working and accepting that this must be his lot in life because it is his duty. Kitty, who ran the household, epitomizes the practical working woman, but also has a romantic side that peeks through. The various villagers, like the Welsh landscape, provide a backdrop for the developing relationship between the two men.
The book is also about a people living at war, stolidly going on day by day, dealing with what they must and getting on with life. I really got a feel for the wartime rationing and privations, with hardworking citizens who would "make do and mend" whatever they had to keep going in hard times.
In several of the novels I've read lately, I've found myself skimming and waiting for the author to "get to the good stuff." In my case, the good stuff is not the sex scenes but mostly the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Even though this novel seems to move slowly on the surface, I don't believe I skimmed a single word of it, because I felt it was all so real, so moving, and so well-written that I didn't want to miss a word.
I really like the main characters, some wonderful secondary characters, and all the theater references. A nice LONG book, covering about nine years, with a lot of quiet angst but an eventual excellent finish.
Poor Jon sometimes acts as if he's in his dotage--he's seen it all, done it all, and he is now content to live a calm life making his way as a working actor. When Callum comes along and shakes up his well-ordered life by actually returning Jon's barely realized affection, they begin a secret affair. The book begins in 1996, as the reasons for their secrecy make sense for that time period, but would be less believable today.
My heart ached for the two men, who were so happy when they could be together, but who had to hide everything when others were around. I just wanted to hug Jon, who was always so worried that things would not work out. He was so sure that there could never be any great romance in his life, and he hid his true feelings so well that it was no wonder Callum couldn't really tell how important he was to Jon.
There are many wonderful secondary characters as well. Jon's actress friend Izzy was such an important friend who was also trying to figure out her place in the world. I really liked Jon's daughter Justine, especially once she got old enough to be interesting. Her acceptance of Jon and Callum's relationship at the end was very satisfying, but also highlighted that Jon might have been right to do whatever he could to stay a positive influence in her life as she was growing up.
I also enjoyed many of the theater references, quotations, and the backstage happenings as the book progressed. My friends and I often include movie quotes, TV jingles, and bad jokes in our conversations, so it felt very realistic that the performers would all incorporate pieces of their stage lives into their real lives. It made them seem like people I'd enjoy knowing--or at least most of them anyway.
But in the end, the book is mostly a love story. It's a story that takes a while to get all the characters to their proper places, but the ending made me breathe a very contented sigh. I really enjoyed it.