Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
At age 18, self-proclaimed “straight” Adam Walker joins the Navy, leaving his teenage love, a very gay 17-year-old Harris Kingston, behind. Twelve years later, Adam has returned to his hometown on two week’s leave at Christmas with one goal in mind: to figure out if Harris is still interested in pursuing a relationship. Adam is not planning to re-enlist when he receives his honourable discharge from the Navy in eight months so that he can finally be with Harris.
Harris is indeed interested, but appears to have moved on and is currently seeing someone else, having given up on Adam when Adam did not come out after the repeal of DADT in 2011. Sadly, Adam has remained in the closet all these years, simply using Harris as a sexual outlet on and off every few years when he has leave, keeping their relationship a secret from the world.
Now, after twelve years of serving his country, Adam is ready to leave the Navy to be with Harris. Harris does not want Adam to leave the Navy unless he is doing it for himself, however, as Harris knows that Adam leaving for any other reason would cause resentment and potentially destroy their relationship, which is already precarious, at best. Adam comes out to his family, and he and Harris have a heart to heart, but accepting Adam back into his life is not without problems. Harris still feels the subconscious need to put Adam in his place and worries that Adam will abandon him once again. In the end, Harris decides to cut his losses before he gets his heart broken, yet again, and after an intense night, (and morning) of hot sex, where declarations of love are shared, Harris tells Adam they were never meant to be and just walks away. Adam now needs to decide his future without Harris: re-enlist with the Navy for another four years, or continue looking for opportunities as a civilian.
Who doesn’t like a closeted military man/hairdresser love story? This was a thoroughly enjoyable read that showed how regardless of the circumstances, if love was meant to be, it will prevail. At first glance, you may be thinking “stereotypes” but that is far from the truth. Adam, the big strong military man is the coward, and Harris, the hairdresser, regardless of what he says, is the one full of courage.
There is such passion, such a connection between Adam and Harris. I could feel it from the beginning, especially when Harris refused to admit to himself in the salon how he still felt for Adam. There was a bit of a D/s relationship between Adam and Harris which was, at first, a bit surprising, but once we learn more about the two men, and what made them tick, that aspect of their relationship made sense and gave added dimension to the characters. North skillfully crafted the individual characters, both main and secondary, providing us with plausible back stories without overwhelming us with unnecessary information.
I loved the title and took a moment to look up what it meant (because my mind was going in all sorts of places), the writing was smooth and seamless, and I also liked the simplicity of the plot and how easy, and enjoyable High and Tight was to read. The story sucked me in and did not let me go until the end.