Author: Sarah Black
Genre: MM / Contemporary
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
Blurb: General John Mitchel and his favorite pilot, Gabriel Sanchez, served together as comrades and brothers-in-arms for more than twenty-five years. They followed the warrior’s path: honor first, and service, and the safety of the tribe. Their own needs for love and companionship were secondary to the mission. Retirement from the army, however, proves challenging in ways neither expected.
When old warriors retire, their armor starts falling away, and the noise of the world crowds in. That changing world sets up longings in both men for the life they might have had. After years of loving on the down-low, the idea of living together in the light seems like pure sweet oxygen to men who have been underwater a little too long. But what will it cost them to turn their dreams into truth?
Review: General John Mitchel served his country his whole life. Living the life of the warrior, honor, service and the safety of the tribe always came first. His need for love and companionship were reduced to stolen moments and fragments of memories with his beloved pilot Gabriel Sanchez also known as the Horse-Lord. For twenty-five years they served together and loved each other on the down-low.
Now, nearly a year after his retirement, John is still trying to adapt to his new life. A life without wars and fights, without the army and his fellow warriors, or so he thinks. There is at least one constant in his life now, those little moments he shares with his friend and lover. Those stolen moments from Gabriel’s family where they both can be the men they truly are.
When Gabriel announces his divorce everything changes. Now John sees the opportunity to claim what he’s always wanted and never even dreamt of having. A life with his one and only love. A life where loneliness won’t have first stage honors. Where he won’t have to sleep and wake alone, but shared happiness with his Gabriel is a possibility.
Oh. I truly loved this book. This story is one of war outside the military. Outside in our world, where honor and dignity are not a given. Where people will use every low move they got to get what they want. where things are not as simple as a mathematic equation. And this book has so many, many characters to love and adore.
John is such an incredible man. At his fifty-two years old, he will find out that life is a constant battle. Now he has to fight for his own wants and dreams, for a place where loving the love of his life will be alright. He will have to fight for his family and his values more than he did when he was enlisted and in the middle of flying bullets. At fifty-two, John will learn to love himself and literally change his views of what he can claim and how open he will be.
Gabriel, the Horse-Lord and right hand of the General for way too many years. What a character, what bravery and passion and fierceness. How very lovable on all accounts and how very sad on some.
This pair was simply perfect together and their adaptation through their new life was just plain beautiful. In the end, I had the vision that they would reach eighty years old and still fight side by side in perfect harmony. The fear of all their enemies.
Another beautiful character here was Kim, John’s adoptive son. In this book Kim has a battle of his own to fight along with his fellow wingman, Billy. They are victims of an abusive man and while their parents will of course jump to the rescue, they will deal with this matter in their own way. And such a beautiful one it is. Very brave characters indeed.
So I understand I’m being completely vague and perhaps not in a straight line of thought. That is due to the complex plot this story has, too many things that link with each other. Details I don’t want to give, because this book deserves no spoilers. All I have to say is that it’s simply perfect. A book that will be enjoyable while making you think and giving it a serious thought. A book that refers to gay military men of another generation, an older one. How they were affected by their sexuality and what it meant to them back twenty years ago. What it means to them now days and how do they see themselves in comparison to the new generation. A book that will go through the fears that inflict both generation and how they deal with them. A beautiful, beautiful book.
I had a bit of an issue with the end here, of course. It felt like there was no full disclosure, or that perhaps the end deserved a bit more intel. I’m going to wonder about Juan and what was really bothering him. How did he evolved and his relationship with his father afterward. I will be wondering about Walker senior and his son. I know they got what they deserved, but boy did I want to read it with all the gruesome details. I’m going to wonder about the ex-wife, of course. Speaking of, I am so glad that the bitch ex-wife was not given an absolution and in the end didn’t “miraculously” change and became the all compassionate and supportive ex like it happens in most books. It was so damn invigorating seeing this character. Still I’d have loved a nice little paragraph with one final scene with her. What I did loved about the end was that it ended the way it began with Abdullah al Salim. That was perfect, and perhaps the promise of a sequel?
So at this point there is really no more to say but a final recommendation. Go read it. It’s a must.