Author: A. R. Moler
Length: Novella (63 pages)
Publisher: MLR Press (November 7th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb:Sometimes, inevitably, life hits a snag. What if love turns up at the same time? Aidan Sterling’s life has hit one of those moments-the times when things might just change whether he wants it to or not. Outside of the inherent paranoia of his active career in covert ops, he’s recovering from some serious physical and emotional trauma from a mission gone disastrously wrong. His bosses aren’t sure if he’s up to returning to active fieldwork—and neither is he.
And Kris Jameson is the kind of guy who’ll take the time to understand and care about Aiden. He’s a regular guy with a large heart. Kris is a carpenter and a part-time bouncer, easy-going and hardworking. But not all danger can be found overseas, and nice guys aren’t always safe even here at home.
Purchase Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=ALRTERMS
Review: I wondered how such a short book could do justice to such a very involved topic. The issue of PTSD is one which is well documented and has been focused on quite heavily in this genre as many authors tackle DADT and its aftermath for gay men in the military. Aidan is struggling with PTSD but meets and begins a relationship with Kris. Aidan is uncertain what the relationship between them will mean as he’s trying to get his life together in order to return to active duty. He is surprised when Kris is not put off by his PTSD in the form of nightmares and flashbacks. However, when Kris is attacked, Aidan feels guilty that his condition could have had serious repercussions.
The story focuses on how Aidan must manage his PTSD which is the reality of many service men. His relationship with Kris, who has experience with PTDS, illustrates that there are always people who will love you and support your despite an issue you may have. The story while short focuses on clear, distinct situations and scenarios that allow the story to move forward without seeming rushed. You empathize with Aidan and you want him and Kris to be able to forge a relationship. The end of the story is a nice solution for everyone and provides the reader with the hope that there can be normalcy after trauma.
The story is short but well written, moderate heat, but realistic and believable. While PTSD is a heavy topic, the story provides a good look into what they could look like within a relationship but is not so depressing that the story of the men is not explored. A good short read.