Chase Arlington is miserable. He and his dog, Mutley, have had to move from the hustle and bustle state of New York, to the more conservative and laid back town in Ohio. He knows he should be happy working as a Physical Therapist at the Air Force Base, but he’s not. He’s lonely, misses the city and is convinced that he’s the only homosexual in the entire state of Ohio.
Chase is all about keeping a schedule. For the past few weeks, he and Mutley have been doing some running at the local park on the weekends. Lately, he’s also been entertained by nine sexy men playing football in the park every Sunday afternoon. Happy that he’s at least been given some eye candy to appreciate, he and Mutley haven’t missed a game yet. One weekend, Chase notices that the men are watching him. This scares him because he’s afraid the seemingly straight macho men could be gay bashers or worse. He decides to try to ignore the men and stay far out of their way.
All the men playing football notice the sexy man and his dog running around the field every Sunday afternoon. Sergeant Gary Wilson wants to approach the sexy man, but is afraid of rejection. When Gary finally gets the nerve to approach the running man, he’s already left, and Gary is afraid he’ll never get the opportunity to meet the man again. To Gary’s delight, when he spots the sexy runner and his dog the next week, he musters up his courage and approaches him with the pretext of him joining in the weekly football game.
Chase can’t believe his good luck. First, he’s approached by the very handsome Gary Wilson to join in the football game. Second, his ‘gaydar’ starts going off immediately when he meets the rest of the football team, and this makes him very happy. Third, not only is Gary Wilson interested in HIM, but he’s a Sergeant in the Air Force, and Chase is a sucker for a hot man in uniform.
After the game, Gary and Chase start hanging out together. They discover that they have a lot in common and they are both very attracted to one another. By the end of their first day, they are practically head over heels in love with each other. As they grow more emotionally involved they do have some crossroads in their relationship they must address. Chase makes it no secret he’s a homosexual. He’s out and proud with his parents and friends, so it’s difficult for him to live in a more conservative environment. Gary lives firmly in the closet. Even though he loves Chase, he fears his parents and the military would never understand his homosexuality. To make matters worse, Gary is called to do a tour of duty in Iraq. Knowing that they have limited time together, and that Gary’s life will be in constant danger plagues on Chase’s mind.
By the time Gary leaves for Iraq, both men are totally in love with each other. Chase does what he can to be supportive and keep a positive attitude, but it’s hard being separated so long from the one he loves. When Gary is horribly injured and sent home, this will test the strength of the love that the men share together.
I really liked this book. Like most of Ms. Hauser’s books, it’s fast paced, easy reading, got a solid storyline and has characters that I came to care for. It was a very pleasant surprise when I found out that Lyle from the previous book, Secrets and Misdemeanors, is Gary’s younger brother. Lyle and David both play a pretty substantial part toward the end of this book, and I really enjoyed reading about them again.
The chemistry between Gary and Chase was very intense. They connected both on a physical and emotional level that I really enjoyed watching develop throughout the book. I believed that both men truly loved each other, and I thought they truly were meant to be together, and I was glad that they were able to work through the difficult issues they had.
For more information about G.A. Hauser’s other books, she has a free download on her website that explains each character in detail, and what books they appear in. It’s called ‘The Guide to Hauser’s Universe’. Plus, her website is very informative and has some nice eye candy on it, too.
Heat rating: 3 Novas
# of pages or word count: 160 pages
Genre: Contemporary M/M erotic romance
Physical therapist Chase Arlington comes to Wright Patterson Air Force Base thinking his skills could be better used to serve the men who fought for his country. Career Staff Sergeant Gary Wilson lives day to day, deeply in the closet, passing the time until his transfer to Al Taji Air Base. When Gary meets Chase, the attraction is instantaneous, and grows fast.
When Gary reports for duty in Iraq, he leaves behind a distraught Chase and the looming worry of a dreaded phone call. Chase does his best not to imagine anything happening to the man he loves, holding out hope for the day Gary comes home.
Sometimes it takes every ounce of strength you possess to convince the one you love that no matter what, you are still the man you were, all man, and nothing less.