Title: Treading Water
Series: Forgotten Soldier #2
Author: Jessie G
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: 18 July 2017
After devoting eighteen years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn’t make Chief Petty Officer before his twenty—and it doesn’t seem likely that he will—he’ll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn’t civilian material.
Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn’t an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back dodged his every step, somehow he made it through boot camp and did his time. Six years after not reenlisting, Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.
On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a wounded warrior and each other in the process.
NOTE: The first story in this series is a 6K word short story originally written for an anthology. While it's a different couple, I'm happy to provide that to reviewers as they have a brief appearance in the new book and are central characters to this benefit series.
Donation Page: https://donate.garysinisefoundation.org/jessiegbooks
10% of royalties earned from this and future books in the Forgotten Soldier series will benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation, but I'm not content to stop there. I've set up a fundraising page directly on the Foundation's website and I'm asking for your help in reaching (and maybe surpassing) my goal. Every donation of $10 equals 1 entry to win signed books. If you donate more than that, every multiple of 10 will be an additional entry (so $20 = 2 entries and so forth).
1 Grand Prize Winner will receive all my paperbacks signed (8 books)
4 Runner Up Winners will win a signed copy of Treading Water
This is the second but first full novel in the new series Forgotten Soldier (the first book is a free short story called Micha’s Soldier)
Shane and Julian are brought together at The Ramos Foundation by Jared Ramos who support and care for military personnel. Sean who is Julian’s cousin and served under Shane has had a serious accident which ends up with him in a military hospital and alone for the past few weeks. Once Shane and Julian are made aware they build a dynamic duo unit to help Sean push for recovery and not fall into a pit of despair.
Sean was always a Jack the lad type of character and has surreptitiously in the past tried to set up his cousin and best friend. Now that Shane and Julian are in close proximity and the sparks are flying it looks like Sean will get his wish.
The chemistry and passion flowed easily between the two men. I loved Shane’s dominant ways but Julian wasn’t such a push over. There were some conflict but only in their own heads and once they fought through all the muddy waters they were free to grasp what they wanted.
There were characters from another series by this author and for me there were too many characters at the beginning. I would have much rather focused on Jared and the men of the foundation (an interesting pairing happening there for sure) I also would have chosen a different name for Sean as when Shane and Sean were talking it was easy to mix up their similar names!
Overall a sexy romantic read with sufficient depth and sub plot to give an eventful and engaging read. I look forward to the next book. Four stars.
Seeing Sean fall apart was something Shane wasn’t likely to forget. Never could he have imagined a single scenario that included this big, strong, strapping sailor curled up in his blankets sobbing. As Julian climbed back onto the bed, absorbing that pain as if it were his own, Shane feared he was the wrong man to help them. He was barely treading water and the overwhelming emotions coming off both men were like a rip tide threatening to pull him away.
Over the years, he heard Sean worry over his cousin’s emotional stability enough that he thought he was doing the right thing by offering Julian a safe place to vent. It wasn’t like his own emotions were in danger of getting involved—he only had a couple and none of them were tied up in a man he didn’t know. The same couldn’t be said for Sean. They were more than friends, more than the honorary brothers, and this breakdown had his own eyes itching in an alarming way.
Were those tears? It had been decades. For sure, never in his adult life. Not since…no, it was best not to think about that now. Talk about being useless. If he went down that path, Sean and Julian would be taking care of him.
A warm hand slid along his and the ease in which their fingers twined gave him pause. Cautiously, he looked over and found brown eyes filled with understanding and invitation. He had promised Julian he wouldn’t be alone and the quiet reciprocation had been nice, but nothing he expected to count on. Without consciously thinking about it, Shane found himself sitting on the edge of the bed. Though it wasn’t built for three grown men, he was able to wrap his arm around his little unit and was surprised how right it felt.
“We’re going to get through this, Sean. Will you let us take care of you?” Julian was still speaking when Shane felt Sean nodding against them.
For better or worse, they were in it together now and Shane refused to let them down no matter how uncomfortable it might get for him.
A very short story that I read in 30 minutes, which tells the second chance love of Micha and his ex boyfriend Garry upon his return from deployment. It sets the series up nicely by introducing the main character for this new series which will feature a different military man in each of the books.
As it was a short read there was little room for depth and emotion but overall it was nicely put together and I look forward to reading this new series.
I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I'm a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you'll find throughout my books.