Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher: Ballantine e-Books
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M, Action/Adventure
Length: Novella/61 print pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Review Summary: This romance, while quite good, would have resonated more with me if it were a bit longer.
Tony Vlachic, a ruggedly handsome Navy SEAL, has kept his sexuality a secret for years under the threat of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” That is, until he meets Adam Wyndham, a charismatic yet troubled film star. Tony knows that by approaching Adam in front of his teammates he’s jeopardizing his military career. And Adam, nursing a broken heart, has no interest in a relationship. Still, neither man can deny their instant attraction.Tony didn’t become a SEAL by accepting rejection, and his pursuit of Adam leads to one unforgettable night. But the next morning, Tony is ordered to ship out to Afghanistan, and he’s forced to leave Adam with too much left unsaid.
When Tony Met Adam is, I believe, Suzanne Brockmann’s second foray into the world of M/M romance but I understand that there are other gay characters in her Troubleshooters series although I haven’t read these books as they are heterosexual romances. This book picks up right after All Through the Night another gay romance which I hope to review within the next few weeks if it’s only M/M.
Adam had been dumped by his lover, FBI Agent Jules Cassidy when he first met Tony a young, brash Navy SEAL who appeared to be very taken with him. Tony and his teammates were standing on the sidewalk outside Adam’s ex’s house when he approached Adam and introduced himself. Adam wanted no part of him and indicated that he was nursing a broken heart and wasn’t interested in pursuing anything with Tony, but the Navy SEAL was not taking “no” for an answer and he wrote his phone number on Adam’s hand and told him to call him if his heart mended. This was done in full view of his teammates so they were now aware that he was gay. Apparently being with Adam was more important to Tony than the fallout from his actions.
Since DADT was still in effect (the story started in 2007) his teammates pretended that they didn’t see him trying to hit on Adam, as exposure of his sexual orientation would lead to his dishonourable discharge. His teammates had varying reactions to his outing, some of which he expected, but he wasn’t that concerned if his military career came to a crashing end because he had a job waiting for him in the private sector if he were let go.
Of course Adam never called him but Tony wasn’t going to walk away from the movie star so he used his ‘in’ with a friend to get his telephone number. At first Adam was not prepared to see him but Tony was so persistent he agreed on condition that it would be a brief one-time hookup and then Tony would leave him alone. When Tony arrived in L.A. Adam did everything he could to turn him off but Tony didn’t care – he was in love. Adam was still obsessed with his ex who now belonged to another man and he didn’t want any emotional entanglements with Tony, but his plan didn’t work out quite the way he expected.
They didn’t have much time together because the next morning Tony had to report back as his Team was headed to Afghanistan. When Adam didn’t hear from Tony after his deployment his feelings for him underwent a change and he realized that he cared about him a lot more than he wanted to admit.
Much maligned Adam, who apparently many fans of the series hated for good reason, did have a few redeeming qualities and it turned out that he wasn’t as much of a scoundrel as he was painted. His somewhat murky traits started when his mother threw him out of his home at 16 after he confessed that he was gay, and he lived on the streets for years until he got a lucky break. This molded his personality so he wasn’t the man his ex wanted him to be, and he screwed up both their lives. With Tony he tried the same tactics of being aloof and sabotaging what little relationship they had, but Tony was determined to keep Adam, even though he was given no encouragement from him that they could have anything more than a booty call.
To summarize: I didn’t like the insta-love aspect of Tony’s feelings for Adam whose reaction to his declaration seemed more realistic. Adam was very flawed and when he appeared to be falling for Tony I wondered whether this was a rebound affair, although in the end he seemed sincere as he was frantic when he couldn’t find out Tony’s status while he was in Afghanistan. With his characteristics his redemption was all the more surprising, and I had a few niggles about the speed of his and Tony’s feelings for each other. I liked the way that Tony’s teammates were supportive of him in Afghanistan when he was injured and their camaraderie in the field.
There is a fair amount of telling rather showing in When Tony Met Adam but I thought most of the prose worked well in the context of the story and the MCs seemed to have a lot of chemistry, although Tony at times appeared to be a bit young for jaded Adam. I enjoyed Tony’s character which was very upbeat and a foil for Adam who didn’t think he deserved Tony and he also couldn’t believe that someone as damaged as he could want Tony as more than a play toy. To give Adam credit he did his best to turn Tony off because he didn’t want to ruin his life, but he ended up falling for him.
Brockmann is an excellent writer but at times I felt the story was rushed and there was a bit of information overload because there was a fair amount of backstory on Adam, Tony and the Troubleshooters which, while necessary, would have benefited from another 30 pages to flesh out the romance. Tony and Adam didn’t have more than 12 hours together before he was deployed, which may or may not be enough to get to know someone really well.
The story is told in Tony’s and Adam’s third person POV.