Troy Johnson is an Army veteran and he’s back from Afghanistan. He’s suffering from PTSD, even though he won’t admit it to himself. Troy is convinced he’ll be fine, he just needs some time. Troy hails from West Virginia, but he didn’t want to return there when he left the Army as he knows his family wouldn’t approve of his being gay. Since he’s got money from his GI Bill, he heads to Red Deer, Colorado to go to school and get a new start. He’s counting down the days until school starts and he’s currently working at a local bar.
Dmitri Wellington is a veterinarian. He has his own house and a job doing research to combat cancer in dogs. He’s also drowning in student loan debt, and that house is mortgaged to the hilt. He feels like he wants to escape, so he’s applied for a job working with cattle in California.
Both men are friends with a woman named Angel. She thinks Troy and Dmitri would make a great couple, and she does her best matchmaking. Dmitri is unlucky at love and Troy is willing, but on the cautious side. Her plan works (telling both men that the other is a vet…technically not lying to either of them), and the men arrange a coffee date.
The story takes off from there. Both Troy and Dmitri are lacking in the people skills department, but they like each other right away. Their road to happiness isn’t smooth, though. The men are battling their own demons, and they must decide whether they’re worth battling those demons together or apart.
Incoming was quite a good book. I have to tell you, it’s not all hearts and flowers. Some parts are downright disturbing. These men are not healthy emotionally. Troy’s PTSD is severe. The story begins around the Fourth of July, so there are fireworks, and that makes him panic. Dmitri is depressed about his debt. He’s feeling trapped. Along with the mortgage on his house, it’s in dire need of repair. He thought he’d have worked on it more than he has, and it’s torn up.
However, along with the bad, there is the good. Their chemistry is pretty hot. You can actually feel it coming off the page. They laugh together. Their kisses are smoking, and they both want to help each other through their individual issues. Dmitry starts by going camping with Troy until all the fireworks in the city die down, and Troy wants to help fix up Dmitri’s house.
I really enjoyed their scenes with their friend Angel. She’s known Dmitri since high school, and she works at the bar with Troy. She’s described as a pixie, and she’s hilarious. For example…Dmitri and Troy have had their date, and Dmitri is a little anxious. So, they do what they have always done…get drunk. While they’re drinking, she takes Dmitri’s phone and starts sending dirty texts to Troy. The next morning, Dmitri sees that she told Troy (as him) he wanted to lick his tattoos. Dmitri is completely embarrassed, but Angel just laughs. I laughed quite a bit too.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. I’ll tell you we get to meet Dmitri’s family, and they are a hoot. The only real glimpse of Troy’s family we get is hearing he’s not out to them, and he didn’t think they’d approve. As I mentioned before, there is angst to spare here. There were several times I had to put the Kindle down and cry. It was heartbreaking to see these men who loved each other, and who could heal each other, drifting away because of preconceived notions and misunderstandings.
The end ties up neatly and in a very satisfying way. I can’t really call the book enjoyable because it was harsh at times. Yes, it’s sexy and the men have chemistry, but their road to an HEA was not pretty. I will say that this was a good book, and if you love your romance with a side of angst, this is one you should take a look at.