Aim High ~ A Pride Publishing Anthology

51UyLg20ENL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Aim High
Series: A Pride Publishing Anthology
Author: T.A. Chase, Stephani Hecht, Morticia Knight, Jenna Byrnes, Sarah Masters, Megan Slayer
Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (310 pages)

Publisher: Pride Publishing (September 29th 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate to Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts overall
ISBN: 9781784307523
Product Link:
Reviewer: Tams

possibilities_exlarge_PNG-180x288‘Possibilities’ by T.A. Chase

When Dixon and Carson meet during a hurricane, neither imagined that moment would be the beginning of a new relationship.

Dixon White owns Billy’s Diner in Brevard County, Florida—right down the road from Patrick Air Force Base. He serves a lot of the servicemen and their families who live and work on the base and does it in honor of his brother who served as a SEAL until a motorcycle accident ended his life. When Dixon finds himself stuck in a broken down car just as a hurricane hits the area, he’s not sure how’s he going to get home.

Master Chief Sergeant Carson LaSalle is headed to the base when he drives by Billy’s Diner. He sees Dixon’s car there and stops, checking to see if everything is okay. He takes Dixon home, but can’t stop thinking about him.

After the hurricane blows through, both men meet again and the sparks fly. Possibilities open up for them to have a chance at finding love. They just have to be willing to try.

Tams ♥♥♥♥4 Heart review:
Carson LaSalle has had his eye on Dixon White since the day he got stationed at Patrick Air Force Base. When a storm hits and Dixon’s car breaks down, Carson finally has a reason to not only spend some time with Dixon, but to finally ask him out on a date. The two hit it off and soon sparks fly.

There was a lot of meat to this short story. Chase gives the reader a brief glimpse into Dixon’s life, his past, and why he owns the diner and makes it his mission to take care of others. Carson was just the perfect addition for him, a man who would be proud to stand by his side.

I would read a full length story for these two, would be nice to get a glimpse into Carson’s background.

lonelyheartsandyellowribbons_exlarge_PNG-180x288‘Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons’ by Stephani Hecht

Being apart from the one you love is the hardest thing to do, until you get them back to find they’ve changed…

PJ Ross Ervin is part of an elite force of rescue men from the Air Force. Only the best of the best make it through the program and get to wear the maroon beret. As such, he is proud of what he does and is happy to serve his country. The one drawback is that it takes him away from his long-time lover, Aden. Thankfully Ross’ deployment is over and he’s coming home.

Aden is excited to see Ross. But he can’t help but notice that his partner is having trouble adjusting back into the civilian world. Plus, there is the looming danger that Ross could be deployed again at any time. Will Ross have to leave to serve his county once more? And if so, can the pair survive the separation yet again?

Tams ♥♥♥3 Heart review:
Ross and Aden have been together long enough that Aden knows what to expect from Ross’s career as a military man. When Ross comes home on leave, they use their time wisely to get reacquainted with one another. But this time Aden notices that Ross is having trouble leaving the job at the door. With another deployment looming, Aden worries for Ross more than ever, but supports his man regardless.

My favorite things about this short story were the yellow ribbons first off. As a former military wife and a military brat, I can appreciate that little addition. When Ross opened the cabinet and found the spools of ribbon, I smiled, that was perfect. And then Aden finally being accepted to the Wives group, which needs a new name by the way with the influx of same-sex military couplings.

Cute story though.

venetianskies_exlarge_PNG-180x288‘Venetian Skies’ by Morticia Knight

No one wants to lose a love that’s meant to be. Air Force test pilot, Chris Pierce, returns to Italy to discover that second chances are the sweetest.

They had a love that was the real thing, but Chris, an Air Force test pilot, returns to Aviano Air Base in Italy to discover that the only man he’s ever loved is still there. Yet wasn’t that why artist Brandon had dumped him? Because he didn’t want to be tied down to one place or one person?

Brandon made a huge mistake. It wasn’t until Chris transferred out of the local military base that he realizes what they had together was the real thing. Even though he’s never settled in one place for very long, he couldn’t bear to leave the town of Aviano where he and Chris were so happy together.

Chris unexpectedly returns and Brandon is devastated when Chris rejects him out of anger. Can’t Chris see how much Brandon has changed in the two years they’ve been apart?

Second chances are the sweetest and love that’s meant to be doesn’t die. But when a MiG fighter jet gone rogue shoots Chris down, will their second chance be taken away forever?

Tams ♥♥♥♥♥5 Heart review:
Chris is an Air Force pilot returning to the base he left when his former lover broke his heart. Since Brandon was such a free spirit that refused to be tied down, Chris is certain his ex is long gone from Aviano. His first night out at their old favorite haunt, Chris runs into Brandon. Well, more like Brandon is searching for Chris. With the pain of the past still fresh in Chris’s heart, can Brandon convince him he was wrong, to give them another shot at happiness?

Okay, I need a full novel for this one. I would love to see where Chris and Brandon started, where everything went wrong and then beyond this short story to the chaotic future I’m certain they have. What Knight delivered with Venetian Skies was a synopsis of a story that only made me thirsty for more.

Short, Sexy and Steamy!

searchandrescue_exlarge_PNG-180x288‘Search and Rescue’ by Jenna Byrnes

Two parajumpers freefall into a stealthy relationship before considering how quickly it might come crashing to an end.

Airman First Class Matthew Billings has almost completed a grueling two-year training program on his way to becoming a Pararescueman in the Air Force Special Operations Unit. On a mission to rescue a child lost in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico, he meets Master Sergeant Drake Bogart, a man who is as infuriating as he is handsome.

When Matt spots the child and Drake gets the credit, sparks fly, in more ways than one. But with graduation just a few days away, is their fledgling relationship over before it even gets started?

Tams ♥♥♥3 Heart review:
This short story has potential to be an enemies to lovers type of story. Matthew Billings is climbing the ranks as a Pararescueman and holding his own, to spite Drake Bogart taking all the credit.

When Drake goes against Matthew’s preconceived notions and not only admits his attraction to the Matthew, he takes him home and seduces him, it looks like the perfect friends with benefits relationship might be forming. Until Drake says something stupid again.

This story had potential, but I had trouble liking Drake. He came across as cocky and arrogant and even when he apologized, I just never warmed to the character. There were some sexy times and I liked that Matthew stood his ground with the more dominant Sergeant.

I think this one definitely needs to be a full story so things can be elaborated and expanded on.

livefortheday_exlarge_PNG-180x288‘Live for the Day’ by Sarah Masters

Loving your best friend is easy. Telling him you do…well, that’s the hard part.

Michael and Steven grew up together—just them, no girls allowed. They’d always planned to join the military, but when it came time to sign up, Michael couldn’t do it. For years, Michael has worried every time Steven is out in the desert, risking his life to serve and protect. He dreads the day Steven won’t come home.

Steven has been through a dreadful ordeal on duty, and while in the hospital, he’s had time to think about what’s important in life. He misses Michael—needs to get back home to be with him—and he has something he wishes to say, something he’s held inside as far back as he can remember…

When the two men reunite, revelations are the name of the game. There is no question they’ve always loved each other, but now that they have the chance to express that love, will they?

Tams ♥♥♥♥♥5 Heart review:
The way this particular story started reminded me of old Hollywood love stories. Seemingly unrequited love. Seeing your love coming toward you, certain it’s a dream or a mirage, and yet, he is real.

Michael is sitting in his favorite café missing his best friend Steven something fierce, wishing he were there so Michael could finally be honest with him about how he feels when suddenly, and Steven is there. Between the long absences that are driving Michael insane with worry, and Steven being hurt during his last deployment, both men are done dancing around the truth.

Oh but I love this story the best of them all. I could see Michael sitting in the café, staring out the window, longing for Steven to ride in on a white horse, and then they could ride off into the sunset together. Though it was far removed from that that was the feel of the story. Once these two were finally honest about their feelings, things got a little steamy.

This is another one I’d love to read going back and giving more details of their friendship and the years of them growing closer even if they were apart, then go forward and show their happy life together.

Le Sigh.

lifetimehitch_exlarge_PNG-180x288‘Lifetime Hitch’ by Megan Slayer

Sometimes the best laid plans are meant to be thrown way off course.

Hunter planned his life very well. He’s got his position in the Air National Guard, the family he’s always wanted and a life most people would love to have. Except he’s not happy. His friends all know his truths, but them knowing about his sexuality and him admitting it are two different things. Thankfully Ryder—his best friend—has always got his back.

Ryder has loved Hunter since they were in school. He wants to have more than Hunter’s back—he wants everything. Forcing his Guardsman to come out as a gay man wasn’t on his agenda, but Ryder isn’t above a bit of gentle nudging.

Will the things Hunter can’t control be his undoing, or will he accept who he is as well as the love he’s craved all of his life?

Tams ♥♥♥3 Hearts review:
This one was a little odd for me. Ryder and Hunter have been best friends forever, and that is about how long Ryder has been in love with Hunter. He is respectful and keeps his distance, hiding his true feelings while Hunter tries to convince everyone, including himself, that he is straight. When they finally face their feelings, it seems like a HEA is in the works. Not so fast… both men teeter back and forth to the extent that I almost got whiplash.

I liked that Hunter was adamant that he remain true to the commitment he made to those two little girls, but the I love you too, wait… I have to take care of the girls. I want you too… wait, I can’t come out. Ryder understands and doesn’t push. Then when Hunter changes his mind and wants to come out and be true, Ryder starts pushing Hunter away.

There was potential here, and a little bit of angst would have been fine, just too angsty for my taste.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *