In the aftermath of Hurricane Lauris, Marine Staff Sargent Troy Matson is called in to help with the search and rescue. He’s just moved to the area to take his on new assignment and is asked to report early as part of a detachment being sent into a devastated area. Homes and apartment buildings have crumbled in the wake of the storm and people are trapped. He’s assigned to work with Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Delany and his K9 partner, Decker. Together, the men set out in the neighborhood, with Decker leading the way.
It’s traumatic and grueling work, and Troy is plagued with thoughts from his time in the war zone. Though he’s thankful that he’s not the cause of the destruction for once, it’s wearing on him. Austin recognizes the signs and helps Troy to be centered and focused while they work. Troy easily forms an attachment to Decker. The dog is a force to be reckoned with while sniffing out trapped people, and he’s a lovable dog when he’s not working.
Troy and Austin’s attraction to one another is something they both see immediately, but keep quiet. They are here to do a job, and though they manage to steal a few moments alone, they are focused on saving as many as they can. Austin can see right into the Troy’s heart, and he knows instinctively what Troy needs. Together, they do what they can to rescue those that are still trapped, even while they start to explore the electricity between them.
This is another book in the Storming Love series, and maybe my favorite so far that I’ve read. The writing is crisp and clean, but more than that, these two guys are so focused on what needs to be done that their romance is pushed toward the back. I love the way the author gave us hints and innuendo, but while Austin and Troy were on the scene and working, it was not their main focus. That’s not to say that their chemistry wasn’t alive and well. The little things added so much to this story, and it really gave us a solid basis for their attraction.
My heart just broke for Troy. He’s a stand-up guy, an excellent Marine, and he’s seen things he can never forget. I love the way the author dealt with his PTSD issues, neither downplaying it nor making it the entire focus of Troy’s personality. Yes, it reared its ugly head, as it should in this situation, but Troy is mostly coping and dealing with it. Not perfectly, as he can’t, but he knows what’s going on and is trying to work on it. I really liked that he was able to lean on Austin, and trust in their immediate connection. It gave something very solid and believable to their relationship.
Austin understands Troy from the very beginning, and I really liked the way he didn’t downplay what Troy was going through or try to fix him. It’s not something that can be fixed magically and he just gave Troy the support he needed. I loved his sense of humor and the way he interacted with Decker, who’s a really lovable goofball of a dog. He was a really well rounded character, and he was the perfect man for Troy. He’s exactly what Troy needs. We get a little bit of a better sense of Troy, because we’re in Troy’s head, but McKenna does a great job of letting us get to know Austin as well. Their chemistry together just leapt off the page, and the sex scenes practically exploded.
Austin and Troy is a great instalment to this series. These guys, and the dog, will grab your heart. It was a very satisfying read.