The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” didn’t come soon enough for Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones, career US Marines who met at boot camp in the 1990s. They’ve been somewhere between best friends and lovers in peacetime and wartime both, but as the clock ticks toward Mac’s and Gunny’s retirements, the guys have much more to worry about than coming out.
Whether their relationship will survive outside of the closet they’ve had to shove it into for over two decades is a big question mark. Gunny questions why a hot military man like Mac – who could get any guy he wanted, including a younger, sexier one – would want him. But as Gunny and Mac navigate emotional waters as choppy as any they saw on duty, they just might learn Semper Fi applies to more than their careers.
The first part of this story is Gunny facing retirement and the possible loss of his “fuck buddy”, another military man forced into hiding by “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. Gunny is afraid that given the opportunity to be out, Mac will find another, younger, better lover – he’s afraid that’s he’s been nothing but convenient all these years.
Fortunately, this concern is rapidly dispelled by Mac, who is not only psyched about the end of DADT, psyched about retirement, but wants to marry Gunny and walk hand in hand with him at their retirement ceremony to show all other closeted gay military men that true, tough, and honored marines can be gay too.
Gunny is excited to be married to the man he’s been in love with for years and together he and Mac wrestle with their new lot in life. Retirement. Coming out to their friends, family and their community. Neither man can predict which of those will be the toughest, but they are at least doing it together.
I LOVED this book and especially adored it on Audio. There is relatively no angst, though plenty of emotion. Both men have huge adjustments to make – not just as retired military, but as a couple living together after years of occasional hook up week-ends. Neither is out to their family and even their community is unaware of their status. It’s a very thorough look at the process and so touching how these tough guys lean on each other in surprisingly sappy ways.
I loved how “handsy” Mac got when drunk and how sweet Mac’s family was when Gunny’s family doesn’t support him.
There is a bit of BDSM, one scene to be precise, but it is not the central focus of the story. I wasn’t bothered by it and BDSM is not my taste.
The narrator, Jonathan Young, does a fantastic job with Mac’s southern drawl and his “mama” is hysterical and wonderful as well. I really thought the audio is the way to go to appreciate this story, Jonathan adds so much to the reading – giving nice emotional impact to the story.
5 of 5 hearts