Publisher: Lyrical Press
Blurb: Sometimes even a hero needs someone to save him.
Mark Connor doesn't feel like a hero even though he served two tours in Vietnam and survived a vicious ambush that took the lives of all but a handful of men. But he lost his best friend and lover, and now he refuses to be close to anyone. That makes his instant attraction to Josh a real problem.
Josh Myers hires on with Mark to help him with a remodeling job. A survivor himself of a Beirut bombing, he embraces life with open arms. But he can't get his new flame to take an interest in love, in life, or in himself.
Alone in the northern Outer Banks in January, Mark clings desperately to his past, even as Josh offers him a future he doesn't think he deserves.
Review: Wow, what can I say, I loved this story. Mark is broken. He exists but hasn’t lived in forty years. He carries with him emotional baggage and masks his pain with alcohol. He’s abrasive and inconsiderate but Josh sees beneath the gruff exterior to the man. Josh has endured some of the same war stress as Mark. Only he’s been able to laugh through his pain. He’s charming and sexy and he desperately wants to get through to Mark. Maybe there could be something special between them.
From the opening pages, the sexual tension simmers on the page. However, this story, while erotic in tone, isn’t overly graphic. There are moments where the writing is poignant and emotional. My heart would break and then I’d hope that either Mark or Josh would make a move only to watch Mark pull away. It’s crushing. By the end of the story, I was in tears. I felt every gut-wrenching emotion.
However, there were a few bumps along the way for me which is why the score is slightly lower. In the opening scene together, Josh declares his status and Mark begins to call him cupcake in a derogatory type of way. They don’t know each other enough for it to be friendly bantering. I thought this was over the top for two people who just met. Immediately the “endearments” are used repeatedly in dialog and they became distracting. Dogface, Jarhead, cupcake became like reading speed bumps. I understood that Mark was an alcoholic, however with the copious amounts of beer consumed, I don’t see how he could be functioning. He’s taken on a huge project of remodeling a home, yet, he’s destructive to the home. Also Mark has been celibate for almost 40 years and that seems a bit over the top as well. Even with these minor blips, the story is still solid. The writing is good and I would have loved the story to continue. This is one worth reading and reading again.
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