When John Hanson and Keith Kendrick meet at Officer Training College, they both know instantly that this is it - the love of their lives. Their duty separates them, and each gives the other up in a shared determination to defend the innocent, but when John is invalided home with PTSD from Kosovo, and Kevin is set up to take the blame for a mistake made by his SAS team, they meet again and find comfort and healing in each other. Unfortunately there is still a hit man after Kevin and, before they can settle into their new life together, it seems one more military operation is called for.
For a story dealing with such pain and trauma, this is a surprisingly sweet and domestic read. As can be expected from Lee Rowan, the writing is smooth and engaging with flashes of lyrical brilliance. The main characters are vivid and likable, though possibly a little too good at coping with everything, given their designation as 'walking wounded'. I would have found their healing more believable and more moving if they had had to struggle more for it. The supporting characters are little gems - I loved Sergent Jones!
I am not a fan of stories where not much happens except for domestic bliss, adopting cats and decorating the kitchen, so I admit that the first half of this dragged somewhat for me, but when the death threat came on the scene and the cozy new flat became a safe house into which a rogue gunman might come crashing at any moment, my interest soared. Lee Rowan is a master of suspense, and the tension and claustrophobia of the finale is almost breathtaking. These boys earn their happy ending, and that makes me happy.
Altogether I thought this was a superior example of the domestic 'get married, have kids and pick out wallpaper' genre, but that the second half lifts it out of pure wish fulfillment into a much more interesting and gripping read.
John Hanson joined the military because he wanted to serve his country. Lacking a home and family of his own, the idealistic young man longed to be a part of something bigger than himself. He didn't expect to find love in officer's training-so when an assignment took him away from Kevin Kendrick, the love of his life, he sacrificed personal happiness and did his duty.
Kevin has made his own sacrifices. Career came first and the impressionable Army brat, tired of living in his father's shadow, pledged his loyalty to his country and followed his ambition.
Now seven years later when the Army that Kevin so faithfully served has made him the scapegoat for their latest Middle East snafu, he can only think of one place to go, one man who can provide solace and heal his wounds-John.
Reunited, the two war-torn lovers once again discover their passion for life, love, and one another. But Kevin's past isn't through with him yet, and when an old enemy surfaces the two men realize that they must together face the nightmares of the past if they are to have the future they dream of.