Brush up on your British slang and idioms for this one, boys and girls. But it's totally worth it. =)
The story is set in 2006, three years after ConnoBrush up on your British slang and idioms for this one, boys and girls. But it's totally worth it. =)
The story is set in 2006, three years after Connor Regan's older brother dies serving his country in Iraq. Only the details of his death were non-existent. Though Connor loved his brother, he had so many questions about the life James led and what he thought of Connor's choices, that Connor ended up trying to understand his brother by seeing how he lived--by embedding himself as a journalist with a Special Forces team in a hot zone.
Of course, Special Forces teams just love having to babysit civilians who can't take care of themselves in a war zone. It makes it so much easier to complete missions when they have to drag around dead weight. That's what the guys of Charlie-3 think at first. But 'hack' though he is, Connor at least proves himself to be a good guy to be around, even if he gets left behind in relative safety more than he gets to go out and see what war has done to Iraq. And even though he speaks better Arabic than most of the squad. And even if "relative safety" turns out to be not so safe.
But what Connor sees isn't just the feel-good pieces that his government wants him to write about to garner better goodwill back home. He sees the lives of the civilians and the soldiers--the lack of funding and support due to political maneuvering; the futility of "aid drops"; and the vicious cycle of war, and what it does to the men and women who fight in it, or just happen to be standing nearby.
And he sees Nat, the commander of Charlie-3. And though the timing is really poor, when you're in a war zone, you snatch what you can get and hope for the best. And hope neither of you are blown up or shot in the process.
Connor doesn't really expect to find out what happened to James--that's really not why he requested the assignment--but he ends up wanting to keep it from happening to anyone else. Especially Nat....more
A sweet story of two men who hit it off as a one-night stand, but thinking about making it more than that is nearly impossible (view spoiler)[since TrA sweet story of two men who hit it off as a one-night stand, but thinking about making it more than that is nearly impossible (view spoiler)[since Trevor's kidney's are failing (hide spoiler)].
Marcus knows he won't be able to convince Trevor to give them a chance unless Trevor has something more tangible than a "not likely" chance for a future, (view spoiler)[so he sets out to find a compatible organ donor for Trevor, (hide spoiler)] which is easier said than done. It smacked a touch too much of "white knight" for me, but it did certainly qualify for the "grand, romantic gesture" award.
While I liked the story, it didn't quite connect with me as Marcus worked toward that HEA. It felt... too HEA. (Is that possible?)
An interesting story of the 19yo grandson of a celebrity who died young (who is not James Dean, but that's who immediately comes to mind) and left behAn interesting story of the 19yo grandson of a celebrity who died young (who is not James Dean, but that's who immediately comes to mind) and left behind his wife and newborn baby girl, as well as a legacy that his grandson can't seem to escape because he's a dead ringer for the man he never met, James Ringer. Everyone seems to think that because Brandon looks just like his grandfather, he'll end up dying young, just like his grandfather. And that includes Brandon.
Percy Charles is a James Ringer superfan, but he has no one to share any of his passion with. He has a rare condition that hinders his ability to function "normally," and parents and a caretaker who "know what's best for him," which in his parents high-society circle of friends means keeping him isolated from the public unless they need to trot him out at the occasional party in their home. Even when he makes a friend, Percy's caretaker undermines his confidence at every turn, slowly stripping him of his independence.
Brandon's career starts off on the wrong foot, but soon he makes the effort to ask Percy for help in understanding James Ringer. In the process, Brandon discovers layers to James he never knew existed, and which he can't explain to Percy without giving away the secret of his lineage.
Brandon's got all these ideas in his head about who his grandfather was, but he never actually asked his grandmother about any of it, and she never offered. It takes a not-so-chance meeting to find out that everything he thinks he knows is a lie, and that maybe his grandfather wasn't the prick Brandon had always thought him to be, and that maybe Brandon isn't doomed to the same fate.
Percy discovers he has more strength than anyone—with the exception of Brandon—ever thought he had. Brandon never saw him as crippled or unintelligent, unlike the stares Percy usually receives.
Both are flawed. They make bad decisions on top of bad decisions, as you can often expect of youth and inexperience. But they grow... if not together, then at least parallel. They are both different people by the end of the story than they were when it started, and they both find they have more support than either of them knew they had. I honestly can't say that I liked either character more than the other because they both grow so well over the course of the story, and I identified with each in different ways.
Well crafted and knit together. Excellent story....more