Devon Roberts left home eight years ago to join the Marines. He didn’t leave under the best of circumstances, and he didn’t say goodbye to his boyfriend Finn either. Now Devon has served his time, and he and his team have mustered out. Since Devon has inherited his grandmother’s house, despite her wishes, he and the team are heading back to Devon’s hometown to begin a new chapter of their lives. And for Devon that means convincing Finn to give him another chance.
Finn McGregor didn’t know why Devon left without a word, but he’s been living in his own hell ever since. His father is abusive, and Finn takes the beatings so his father, the sheriff, doesn’t beat on Finn’s mother and younger brother. When it gets especially bad, Finn hides out in the big old house where he had his happiest memories with Devon. And he’s there, hurting from a recent beating, when Devon and his men show up. Immediately, Devon wants to protect and care for Finn, but Finn isn’t having any of it. And when Finn’s father shows up, Finn goes back with the abusive man, knowing it’s the only way to protect his mother and brother.
Devon and his men, however, aren’t going to let Finn suffer anymore, and they ride to the rescue. Bringing Finn, his mother Rose, and his brother Nate into the big house is a sure fire way to keep them safe. And Devon is desperate for a second chance with Finn, but he knows he doesn’t deserve the man’s attention. Once Finn is made to see what Devon is doing to himself, he has an epiphany, and the two rekindle their relationship. The love they have for one another is still there, and they just need to let it grow as they get to know the men they are now. But there are outside forces at work, and someone isn’t happy about the recent turn of events. But shooting up a house full of Marines isn’t smart, especially when Sniper Team Bravo will stop at nothing to keep each other safe.
Okay, guys, I’m going to start with the blunt truth here. This is one of those books where you just have to jump on the train and go with the story. Don’t over think it. I picked this up expecting a fairly easy read, some Marines, and a sweet reunion romance, and that’s exactly what I got. It wasn’t perfect, and it definitely had a few issues. But overall, I liked it.
The characters, while having some inconsistencies, were fairly well drawn. Devon was the consummate leader, a true alpha. He was in command of his team, and he definitely had a dominant personality. The author did a pretty good job of balancing this with his love for Finn and his tender heart. Devon loved hard, and was made loyal. Finn and his team are the most important people in his world. I liked him a lot, even when I thought he veered a little too off character. There a few instances where I thought he was a little too sappy and it didn’t read quite true to who he was. But I do love the way he loved Finn.
And while I liked Finn a lot, and wanted him to get a break and to finally have the man he’d been wanting and loving since he was a teen, I thought he was somewhat underdeveloped. I didn’t always understand his motivation and his reasoning. Yes, he would do whatever he could to protect his mother and brother, and the author did a fairly good job of helping the reader see why he didn’t just run and why he couldn’t get help. But there were some other areas I needed more development on. He wouldn’t give Devon the time of day in the beginning, and then changed his mind rather quickly. And then jumped to the next level without much explanation either. He’s a 26-year-old man, but there’s no mention of what job he has, if any. There were a lot of questions surrounding him, and while he had moments of depth, he lacked for me. I wanted more from him.
I also wanted more from their relationship. I just wasn’t feeling it as deeply as the characters supposedly were. Again, I think this comes down to lack of development. It wasn’t exactly hard to just jump in and accept it, just because of the nature of the story, but that didn’t stop me from wanting more connection and more depth from them. I had the same problem with some of the plot points. It, at times, felt on the very of contrived, and the military aspect was a little heavy handed. Conversely, the resolutions seemed a tad too easy and pat. While it wasn’t a huge issue, it’s definitely worth a mention.
And I do want to make a quick note that there is some discussion of abuse and alcoholism and some abusive and derogatory language in the book. I personally don’t feel as if it’s too much, too graphic, or too over the top. But if it’s something that’s a particular trigger for you, be prepared if you choose to read this story.
So basically, I liked this story even if I wasn’t overly enthralled with it. There are some plot holes and some character inconsistencies. There is occasionally some over the top dialogue. But it’s a solidly written novella, with a pretty good flow. The characters are engaging, and there are some nice hints about who may be up next in the series to get their own book. It was a good start to a series and I’m interested in what’s to come.