Authors: Brenda Cothern, H.L. Holston & Eleanor Bruce, Whitley Gray, E.M. Leya, Ethan Stone, Sara York
Title: Uniform: A Man in Uniform MM Bundle
Release Date: November 30, 2015
Tags: Military, Seal, Cop, Police, bundle, gay, GLBT
Heat Level (1 being no sexual content, 5 being erotica): 4
Length: 198 pdf pages
Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Meet the men in uniform. These are everyday men who put on a uniform and become our heroes. Through good times and bad, they are there to save the day, sacrificing more than most of us can imagine as they put their lives on hold in service to us.
Love doesn’t wait until life is calm, and sometimes it’s the pressure of the job that throws two men together. Under stress and demand, they find solace in each other, forming bonds that can’t be ignored.
Follow our heroes as they fight not only for what is right and just, but also for their hearts and the men they love.
Recruited by Brenda Cothern
Michael Knight. No, not that Michael Knight, but undercover Officer Michael Knight in Tampa. Being fed up with the harassment and practical jokes from his co-workers for the last two months, he finally snaps and requests a transfer, little does he know he’s already been recruited by another agency. Lone wolf Aaron Slade was not very happy about being assigned a partner, but he still makes an attempt to introduce himself so Knight won’t be surprised they are working together come Monday morning.
This was a hard read for me because of the author changing POVs without warning during the story. I had to re-read a lot of it to figure out what was happening. But, that’s on me because they style is one used quite often in books.
Michael and Aaron’s story is one about attraction and lust. Michael does not know that Aaron is about to become his new partner when Aaron pursues him for a sexual encounter. The sexual tension is off-the-charts and the eventual sex hot and heavy, but in the end, there is no romance and we don;t get to see the men working together come Monday morning. No HEA of HFN.
The Last Easy Day by Whitley Gray
The day Lieutenant Kurt Crandall entered Navy SEAL training, the last person he expected to encounter was the guy who seduced him two nights ago. Despite the risk, Kurt can’t resist JJ’s invitation for a covert fling. Days short of graduation JJ drops out; he shows up eight years later, newly assigned to the SEAL team under Kurt’s command. It doesn’t take long for them to succumb to temptation. A fellow SEAL tries to stir up trouble, but the threat pales when a mission leaves a life hanging in the balance.
Kurt and JJ have a sexual liaison in the bathroom of a bar without realizing they will be will be training together for the Navy SEAL program. They continue a clandestine sexual relationship until JJ is gay-bashed and has to take a medical leave. It bothered me that Kurt b=never found out what happened to JJ about his bashing, but the two do end up meeting again eight years later and continue a sexual relationship. Because of fear of being found out, the two have to decide what is more important: their Navy careers or their relationship. You’ll have to read the book for the outcome, but I can tell you there is no HEA. HFN? Maybe!
Love Undercover by E.M. Leya
Nick spent the last few years deep undercover, trying to bring down one of the most notorious biker gangs in the country. As the case is coming to a close, one last surprise puts all his hard work at risk.
Tony didn’t think he’d ever see Nick again after they went their separate ways, both choosing their careers over love. Still, he never forgot how good it was between them, and the memories kept him going over the years.
Be it bad luck or fate, the two men are thrown together once more when Nick comes home to find Tony with a gun to his head, and his life in Nick’s hands.
Oh, I LOVED this one! It had all the elements I love in a goof M/M romance. Excitement, adventure, peril, hurt/healing/comfort and a spectacular epilogue. We get a big ‘ol HEA too. Bravo!
Hand to Hand by H.L. Holston and Eleanor Bruce
Navy medic Gavin Rathman has been attracted to his Lieutenant, Jackson Blackwater, ever since they were put on the same SEAL team. When Jack is shot on a mission in Afghanistan and put on medical leave, Gavin finally has the opportunity to act on those desires.
But when Jack recovers, and Gavin and he are paired up again, will their status as lovers change their working relationship? It could prove to be disastrous. Is it a gamble worth taking?
This was a great hurt/healing/comfort story with a Navy SEAL medic falling for his team commander. Though it is risky, they decide to try for a slightly modified version of a relationship. Not a lot of warm/fuzzies, but we get to see a hint of a HEA in their HFN.
One More Time by Ethan Stone
Small town cop Will Jacoby is comfortable in his life until he starts to see his younger neighbor and friend in a different light. Brannon Frost is a handsome young man and Will is confused by his interest. After the death of Brannon’s father Will is no longer able to deny his feelings, even though it could damage his carefully constructed life and career.
This was a sweet gay-for-you coming of age story. I enjoyed it very much, but the “uniform” with the other stories didn’t happen. Will is a small town cop but we didn’t get any cop related action. But as a short story, this one wins. Even without the alpha-male adrenaline-pumping aspect.
Training Buds by Sara York
Dixon Carter’s world is shattered when he finds his husband cheating, but heading to BUDs training might be the only thing that saves him. Once in California he puts his all into the class and the last thing he’s looking for is someone to love.
Kyle Sauter wants to make his dad proud, and that means never admitting that he is gay. So far, he’s hidden his desires, kept his lust at bay, and has vowed to continue on the path of celibacy.
This was a sweet, slow burn romance with two men in training together. Dixon is recently divorced and Kyle is deeply in the closet so,his,father doesn’t figure out his son is gay. When he Kyle finally reveals the truth, his father is furious. But Dixon is there to soothe his pain and we get some “L” words from both of them
With the two men possibly heading to two different parts of the country, we don’t get a HEA but after they reveal their feeling for one another, this turned into a solid HFN.
Interview with Eleanor Bruce
As a young Army wife living overseas in the early 1980s (yes, I’m that old), I got to experience the military without actually being in the military. I was 23 years old, and in a foreign country. Prior to arriving in Panama, I’d never even lived anywhere other than my hometown.
It was there that I learned that I was not cut out to be a military spouse, and I salute those who can and have survived. It’s not easy. Imagine being 23 years old and, never having lived on your own, being left alone in a foreign country when your husband goes on a three-month deployment.
Somehow I managed to survive. Panama was not the worst place we could have ended up. I spoke some Spanish and many Panamanians speak at least some English. The Canal Zone was still in place, so we were in a mini-America, in a way. (Not sure if that was good, or bad.)
It’s warm all year, there are lots of beaches, and the people are lovely. Of course, I did encounter some racism from my fellow Americans. The less said about that, the better. It’s tough being a liberal surrounded by conservatives, but I was pretty used to that since the vast majority of my family is conservative.
My only regret is that I let my homesickness keep me from enjoying Panama for the first year I lived there and that I didn’t travel as much as I could have. Although, in my defense, we were newly married and Mr. Bruce was a lowly E-4 (Specialist). I wish now that I’d gotten to know my temporary home better. It’s also why I’m trying to get my writing partner, H.L. Holston to consider Panama as a retirement option!
So while I’ve never been in the military, I understand how the military works, and was excited to be asked to be in the anthology, Uniform: A Man in Uniform. I hope you’ll like our story of two Navy SEALs in the same unit who fall for each other.
Eleanor Bruce has been a professional business writer since 1989 and an amateur fiction writer for over fifteen years. She was content to stay that way until her friend H.L. Holston asked her to collaborate on a short story. The rest, as they say, is history. She is looking forward to writing many more books. She has two cats, a mortgage and is a Bruce Springsteen fanatic. Her blog is here: http://authoreleanorbruce.blogspot.com
Love Undercover Excerpt
Curt shut off his bike and pulled the helmet from his head. Sweat dripped down his spine as he glanced up at the sky, wondering how it could be so damn hot so late in the day. The sun was just setting, but it had been an unusually hot summer for the area with temperatures reaching into the triple digits in early June.
He ran his fingers through his thick, long brown hair, wishing he could cut the length off and go back to the buzz cut he enjoyed before going undercover. It wasn’t just the hair, but the beard too. It itched and added to the already sweltering heat, but it also helped to hide his identity.
Too many years. Sometimes it seemed like a lifetime since he swung his leg over the bike and infiltrated the biker gang. The Boars had their hand in every illegal activity you could think of, and Curt worked hard to gather evidence and build a case so they could take the group down. He was close. Each day he woke up, he wondered if it would be the day he would get the call that they were ready to make arrests.
As he glanced at the clubhouse, he sighed. The newest venture for the club really bothered him, and it was also why he was pushing to close things down and make arrests. He glanced past the long driveway where several bikes were parked to the covered sheds behind the house.
Inside those sheds were dogs, several strong pit bulls that the club now used for fighting. It turned Curt’s stomach to think about those dogs suffering. He’d seen all kinds of shit go down in this club, but few things bothered him as bad as seeing the dogs fight.
Every instinct in him was to put a stop to it right away, but they had too much invested in this case to rush anything. Still, he’d met with his superiors, letting them know the time had come. They couldn’t wait any longer. He hoped they would listen and they could make arrests soon.
Fatigue and stress consumed his body, but he had to keep focused. One mistake and his life would be over. This wasn’t a simple game. This was a world of life and death, and he needed to be at his best.
One benefit to his years of working with the gang was he now held leadership for his area. He was third in command in the state, which meant he had final say in many of the things going on. With the agency behind him, everything he touched was golden. He had access to the best drugs, the cheapest guns, and nothing ever seemed to touch him. He could get away with anything. The men beneath him had to listen or risk his wrath. He was firm enough, while trying to stay within the law, so that most had a healthy respect for him.
Some things, like the dog fighting, he couldn’t control, that was a new thing that came from higher up, but what took place inside his clubhouse and within his small group of members, he could do with as he wished.
He rolled his shoulders as he headed up the path to the clubhouse, noticing that the lawn needed to be mowed. He was strict about keeping the clubhouse looking somewhat neat. His men bitched and whined, but he reminded them that a rundown place attracted attention, attention they didn’t need. He always said if he was running drugs, he’d put an ‘I Love Jesus’ sticker on his bumper, and hire two young girls in homely dresses to drive the car. It blew his mind how people would use beat up, old clunkers to do their illegal activity.
He didn’t expect some Home and Gardens cover look from them, but he did demand that it wasn’t an eyesore like so many other clubhouses were.
“Dylan!” he yelled as he walked through the front door. “Who the fuck is supposed to mow the lawn. Get your ass on it. This place is starting to look like the city dump.” He blinked as his eyes adjusted from sunlight to the interior.
“Curt, shit, get in here.” Dylan called from the back living room. “You got to see what we found sneaking around the place.”
Curt groaned at the excitement in Dylan’s voice. It meant something major was going on. Readying himself for anything, he kicked aside someone’s backpack as he made his way to the back room.
Several of the other bikers stood in the doorway, but parted as Curt’s large frame pushed his way through them. The emotion in the room crackled, and as he watched the other members, his heart sank. This wasn’t going to be good. It was the same feel that he got when they were about to do a big job. The looks on some of the faces were ones he saw right before someone died.
“Look what we found sneaking around the dog pens,” Dylan called.
Curt finally pushed through the mass of bodies and he froze, letting his calm demeanor slip for just an instant, but quickly schooling his features and forcing himself back into character. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Kneeling before Dylan was a uniformed police officer. His hands were tied behind his back.
“What the fuck is this, Dylan?” Curt walked around the men, coming to stand beside him. As he got his first glimpse of the officer’s face, his breath caught. He knew this man. More than knew him, he would never forget him. He quickly looked away, turning his focus on Dylan, praying that the man on his knees didn’t recognize him, and if he did, he would know enough to keep quiet.
“Found him sneaking around the dog pens in back. He said someone reported we were abusing animals. He’s seen too much, Curt. We gotta take him out.” Dylan held his gun in one hand and ran the muzzle under the officer’s chin.
Curt’s gut twisted. The man on his knees wasn’t just some officer, his name was Tony and he’d been in the police academy with Curt, God knows how many years back. The two didn’t just know each other, they’d dated during their training, ending things when they graduated and both went their separate ways. Once Curt moved and went undercover, he was sure he’d never see him again.
He stared at Tony, trying to see if he recognized him. With his beard and the tattoos that now covered his body, he didn’t look anything like the fresh shaved, clean cut recruit that he had been back then.
Tony on the other hand, looked just as good as he had when they met, if not better. His body was thicker, his muscles larger, and his eyes more alert and aware. The blond hair now longer than the buzz cut he remembered him having. His pale blue eyes reflected the fear he must have been feeling.
There was no doubt in Curt’s mind that Tony knew how much trouble he’d walked into, and with one wrong move, his life was over.