SEAL candidates Cooper Fitch and Eli Jones are cut off from the outside world and pushed to their physical and mental limits by the demands of the Navy’s elite training program. Their reliance on each other takes an unexpected turn after Hell Week, the most grueling stretch of basic conditioning, when Cooper and Eli surrender to passion fueled by fatigue, horniness, and alcohol. Despite the danger of being discovered, their intense attraction begins to feel like a natural extension of living, working, and training side by side, and neither is willing to give it up, no matter the risk.
Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS training or Hell Week was over and they had survived … barely. Dead on their feet, Cooper Fitch and Eli Jones were catching their breath when their relationship changed. It started innocently enough, a night out to celebrate with liquor and, of course, women, or as Cooper put it he “cornered a UCSD grad student just after two and had her on her back with her heels in the air by four.” I’ll come back to that comment in my summary. When Cooper returned to base Eli was still awake and after catching up on their evening’s activities Eli went to the latrine and Cooper followed him … one thing led to another and they had a mutual jerk off session before going back to bed. After a while this became a regular and very enjoyable activity between them and they even managed a 24 hour pass together where they got naked.
The next stage of their training involved airborne drills, specifically jumping out of airplanes, and Cooper was ready to call it quits because he balked at the jumps and saw his career as a SEAL taking a dive. However, as usual, Eli had a solution and took control by talking him through his fear, and performed his own brand of behaviour modification by sucking him off right in the Airborne Instructor’s office, and promising a repeat peformance if he made the jump. Of course Cooper passed with flying colours;) The promise of blowjobs after every jump proved to be an incredible incentive as he made it through Jump Week.
Cooper and Eli kept up their close connection over the term of their training and eventually passed and became full fledged Navy SEALS. One aspect of their relationship that grew during this time into something much deeper was the initial bond when they went through the Navy’s elite training program together.
What did I like about the book? The terrific prose and dialogue between the guys and the tight friendship and bonding as a result of being in such close quarters during their training. The relationship between Cooper and Eli was well done and not over the top, after all they were guys, and a hug was as good as a kiss at times. The story was moving in parts as all the recruits supported each other and showed how much they cared for the other person, through all the stresses and phases of basic training.
What didn’t I like? The way the young women were portrayed in the story. In the first paragraph I gave you a sense of one of the references and I wonder if the author felt that she needed to project how men in the forces supposedly talk about women. Another example is this one “Cooper watched her walk back to the bar—legs up to here, hair down to
there?and shook his head. What was wrong with letting a little trim come to you now and then instead of working for it?” I could have done without these comments where the women were treated as if they had nothing going for them except an ability to suck and f**k. Maybe it’s just me but I felt that some of these observations were unnecessary if the only intent was to establish some form of male bonding.
To sum up – the story and the writing are both good, and the characters were well drawn. If you like stories about men in the military you will definitely like Maritime Men.