Title: Seeking the Balance (Division P Book 3)
Author: A.R Moler
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Paranormal romance
Length: 43,800 words
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
Summary review: This book which revists Cam and Mason from Hell Dogs Squadron was weaker than the first book but had some strong romantic elements.
Lt. Cameron Bradshaw is an adrenaline junkie. You have to be to be a navy fighter pilot. It would never occur to him that his new lover, Dr. Mason Flynn, would think buying a new motorcycle to replace the one that was destroyed in his near fatal accident, was an insanely stupid idea. A vicious argument, an opportunity to cheat and some mistaken assumptions lead to worry and stress between the two men. A dying patient and assignment in Boston leads Cam and Mason to making choices that are both uncomfortable and difficult.
As Mason tries to come to terms with the concept of a patient he cannot save, seeing an old lover, and realizing that Cam Bradshaw’s love for him may run deeper and stronger than he dared to hope all weave together into Mason working toward learning when it’s time to let go of old fears.
This book was originally published separately as three chasers. The story follows straight on from the previous book Hell Dogs Squadron which I reviewed here last week. Cam has recovered from being forced off his motorcycle and decides that it’s time to get back on the bike. When Mason sees him, he’s furious and they have a huge argument. Later in the book Cam and Mason are sent into a potentially dangerous situation. Mason is coping with the frustration that his healing powers do not seem to be enough to cure a small boy of cancer, and Cam is coping with trying to have a relationship with Mason, whilst also keeping things quiet as he risks his navy career should he be found out.
This first part of this book is basically a slice of life for Cam and Mason. There’s also the beginnings of a commitment being made between them. The fight makes both men evaluate what they’ve got and both of them realise that some compromise must take place if they are going to move on in their relationship. I enjoyed seeing the two men working through the beginnings of their feelings towards each other but I was left scratching my head over the lack of plot when compared to the previous book. There is a sort of circular pattern to the story with the motorcycle theme being revisited towards the end but it still meant that the book has a weak beginning when compared to the tense excitement of the last book.
The story starts to pick up the pace about thirty pages in as there’s a balance of tense action and quieter moments. I felt that the way the two men are slowly coming to terms with the push and pull of their relationship was handled well in this part of the book, as they both want more commitment in terms of time but also realise that Cam has much to lose. The focus is mainly on Mason as he learns to use his healing powers safely without risking his life and I thought it quite poignant that Mason is torn between his drive to heal someone but also keeping himself out of harm for the sake of Cam. As the story wraps up this becomes a major theme with Mason now focusing on using a little healing and a lot of training so that he doesn’t burn out.
It’s the romantic story arc which has interested me most about this series and whilst I enjoyed some of the action sequences, especially with Mason using his healing powers for good, it’s the quieter time when the men are talking and working through their relationship which has been the highlight of these stories for me. I finished this final story, pleased that the two men were on their way to a HEA.
The title, Seeking the Balance, has been a good one for this book as there are several balancing acts which take place in the lives of these characters. Mason has to balance his drive to heal with the consequences of his powers. He also has to balance his life as a doctor with that of being an agent for P division. Cam has to balance his need for thrills and speed with the knowledge that Mason worries about him. He also has to balance his relationship with Mason and his navy career. Both men have to balance their very different personalities with their love and care for each other. It was all very interesting to read about the way these men juggle their lives but in the end find that perfect balance with each other.
If you’ve read the Hell Dog’s Squadron books then you’ll want to read this book as well. A weak start and a slightly episodic nature was offset by the romance between the main characters. I was happy to revisit Mason and Cam and enjoyed seeing them head off into a future together.