Title: The Only One Who Knows
Author: L.A. Witt and Cat Grant
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M, Military
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Review Summary: An intense, emotional love affair in the military that almost destroyed the careers of two Navy SEALs.
Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.
When Navy SEAL training pushed Lieutenant Josh Walker to his limit, Chief David Flint’s stern heart-to-heart—more like boot-to-ass—helped Josh realize his potential. When the holidays found them alone together and sharing a mutual attraction, they couldn’t help breaking a few regulations. And nearly breaking some furniture in the process.
Years after their short-lived fling, Senior Chief Flint returns to SEAL duty and finds himself under the command of the man he’s never been able to forget: Lieutenant Commander Walker. And Josh hasn’t forgotten David, either. Rules be damned, they can’t keep their hands off each other.
Despite their discretion, another SEAL catches on and threatens to expose their relationship, forcing Josh to bend to his demands to avoid strife within the team just before a dangerous mission. David is the last man he can down stress.
When a life-or-death decision calls Josh’s leadership into question, coming clean could cost him what he values most – his coveted trident…and the man he loves.
WARNING: Contains a pair of Navy SEALs who don’t like playing by the rules, scorching-hot sex between two Alphas who like to be in charge, cursing as only Navy men can curse, lots of camouflage and badassery in the wilds of North Korea, and enough emotion to sink a battleship.
The Only One
This emotion-packed military drama and love affair between two SEALs, that almost ended their careers, grabbed me by the throat and never let go.
As many of you know who read my reviews, I love military romances and here L.A. Witt and Cat Grant have written a story that amped up the drama to almost a crescendo. In The Only One Who Knows Witt joined forces with Grant and together they produced an exciting book that had thrill after thrill after thrill, and I hope that the sequel, The Only One Who Matters, will complete their story and be just as exciting.
3 years ago Chief David Flint was a badass instructor for the Navy SEALs stationed in Coronado, California. Lieutenant Josh Walker was one of his trainees and they butted heads many times and not just because one was enlisted and the other an officer; the Chief was much harder on Josh than on any of the other trainees because his expectations of him were higher. One fateful New Year’s Eve everyone was celebrating the end of HELL week by getting drunk, except Josh. When he saw that the Chief intended to drive himself home after more than a few drinks he offered to take him, and that’s where the trouble started because Josh let slip in the car that he was gay. He feared that his career was over even though Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was no longer in effect, but to his shock David admitted that he, too, was gay.. That night, against their better judgment, they had hot and heavy sex that gave no quarter, as only two men who were hungry for relief could. But the next morning the recriminations and guilt set in and they agreed that it was a one night stand because the risks of a repeat were too great.
3 years later Senior Chief Flint was assigned to serve under Lieutenant Commander Josh Walker for his last tour before he retired, and the attraction between them flared up again and burned up the pages. This time there was no holding them back, despite the potential cost to their careers if they were found out. But one month after their affair started the reality of exposure that he feared stared Josh in the face, as another officer under his command tried to blackmail him with pictures he had taken of Josh and David in compromising positions. He demanded that Josh give him an excellent FIT REP in return for his silence as he wanted to retire at a higher rank than his current status. The troubling question hanging over Josh’s head was whether he should give in to the blackmailer’s demands to protect David’s career as well as his own. He couldn’t tell David about the blackmail attempt because he was afraid of what he might do, and if he reported the blackmailer Josh would have to admit to the affair, which could lead to his dismissal for conduct unbecoming because he was David’s commanding officer. While trying to decide his best option Josh was informed that he and a contingent of his men would be deployed on an extremely dangerous mission to extract a CIA agent captured by the North Koreans, and both David and the blackmailer would be part of his team.
During the mission Josh had to make a life and death decision, which called his leadership into question, and the blackmailer accused him publicly of saving his lover at the expense of someone else under his command. Could this be the end of Josh’s career in the Navy?
The Only One Who Knows has all the intensity that I look for in books about the military and the tension between Josh and David was like a live electrical wire just waiting to ignite. These two characters embodied the traits expected of men serving in the military – discipline, the need to serve their country and protect their fellow citizens at all costs, even at the expense of their own lives, the danger they faced every day and the possibility that any day could be their last, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom as they knew how to have fun. The MCs showed their emotions throughout the book and Josh’s conflicts were evident as he worried about placing his men in danger whenever they were out on a mission. Witt and Grant captured the essence of the daily grind of life in the armed forces, minus the glamour. What impressed me most was the excellent writing of these two experienced authors and the accuracy of the world they created, which shouldn’t be a surprise as L.A. Witt lived on a number of military bases where her husband was stationed. I also understand that most of the research on Navy SEALs was done by Cat Grant, so kudos to her for a great job. If you’re looking for authenticity in a book about the military it’s a good bet that you’ll find most of it here. I believe this is the first time that these two writers have collaborated and the integration of their individual styles was flawless – I couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended or even who had written which MC, which is the way writing partnerships should work in an ideal world.
While some of the actions taken and decisions made by the protagonists and other characters may seem improbable, this is fiction and there would have been no story if Josh and David had followed military protocol at all times.
This book will be released January 7, 2014 but can be pre-ordered from Samhain or Amazon.
Definitely recommended if you like military romances, and even if you don’t, as the characterizations and romance didn’t take second place to the military world.
The sequel, The Only One Who Matters, will be reviewed in about a week.