The Barman and the Seal by R.J. Scott

17935116Title: The Barman and the SEAL     

Series: Ellery Mountain 06 

Author: R.J. Scott     

Genre: Contemporary     

Length: Novella (99pgs)     

Publisher: Total E-Bound (27th September 2013) Available from 30th August 2013 with TEB VIP club.    

Heat Level: Low – Moderate    

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts   

Reviewer: Pixie     

Blurb: A Navy SEAL with PTSD, a Barman starting a new life. Maybe they can find love in Ellery.

Travis Baranski, Navy SEAL, is the first veteran to attend the Ellery Mountain Veteran Center. He is having a hard time coming to terms with what he had seen and what he has done. When he has a very public meltdown in Ellery stores, Avery Gideon steps up to the plate and helps him.

Avery Gideon, a man cut off from his family for being gay, runs the only bar in town – The Alibi – and listens to many a person’s problems whilst trying to forget his own. He sees something in the wounded warrior who needs a friend and very soon finds himself falling in love with Travis.

Nothing will deter him from helping Travis, or from making Travis see he’s still capable of loving Avery in return. 

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Review: This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Travis is the first veteran at Ellery Mountain Veteran Center. Travis was a SEAL and after a mission gone wrong has several scars inside and out, trying to recover mentally is much harder than he hoped but the Veteran Center is slowly helping. When Travis has a meltdown in the grocery store Avery is the man who steps in and helps. Avery runs The Alibi; he listens to people’s problems as he serves them their drinks trying to forget his own problems with his estranged family. When he meets Travis he sees something in the other man who has him wanting to help him and it isn’t long before he’s head over heels in love and determined to show Travis that he is worthy of that love. 

This is a wonderful addition to the Ellery Mountain series introducing us to more incredible characters and their story of love. Travis is struggling with PTSD and nightmares, his time in hostile hands has scarred him badly, and he knows he has a long journey ahead of him before he can really begin to cope with the past. Avery loves his life in Ellery; he has put his overbearing father behind him and carved out a new life for himself as the barman every talk to. When Avery and Travis first meet, it isn’t in the best of circumstances but both men feel an attraction and they begin a slow dance of courtship. 

Ah hell, this has to be my favorite Ellery Mountain book so far with both Travis and Avery being incredible characters tugging at your heartstrings as their story unfolds. Avery is wonderful, so patient, and loving and he is the perfect man for Travis. Travis is a man torn by suffering, but he is incredible with his understanding of his own limitations but doesn’t let them rule him. Their relationship is slow but oh so powerful and the love they develop is especially strong because of the time they take as Travis begins to heal. While they fall in love, we see how well the Veteran Center is doing, we catch up with the characters from previous stories, and we see how Mikey is recovering from the brutal attack in The Paramedic and the Writer. 

I really can’t tell you how much I love this series and the development of each and every character, and I can’t tell you how much I love the support that shines through the pages as we continue to discover more love in Ellery, but we also see a touch of bigotry coming through from the ignorant which makes you grit your teeth. 

I recommend this to those who love damaged men pushing through their demons, support and love, a slow romance, incredible characters and a great ending that has you wanting Mikey’s story in The Agent and the Model


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