14 April 2015

At War (War Trilogy #1) by Andria Large

The love of my life is dead.

Is there really a reason to live anymore?

I’m a war veteran who has suffered great tragedies overseas. Not only have I lost my right foot, but I have also lost my wife. Both at the hands of terrorists. Recurrent nightmares, a dead end job, and a painful limp are all I have left. Not much of a reason to wake up in the morning if you ask me. I’m struggling to carry on in this very lonely excuse of a life. The only reason I’m still swimming is because I have my best friend, Tucker, and my sister, Lizette, keeping me afloat.

Tucker has been my saving grace. I would not be here if it weren’t for him…literally. We have become practically inseparable since moving in together. And then, out of nowhere, there are these feelings and emotions. The kind that I haven’t felt in years; not since I lost the love of my life. The kind that I’m not sure I can handle, or even want to. But they have started wrapping around my broken and shattered heart, trying to mend it - whether I’m ready for it or not. Only they are not for a woman as you would expect, but for the man suddenly sharing my bed.

Am I ready to give love another go? I’m not so sure that I have it in me.

But then again, I’m tired of being at war.

*Warning: For mature audiences only. Contains some sensitive situations and graphic m/m sex scenes. Please remember that this is a work of fiction and comes from my own imagination.
The easiest way for me to express how much I enjoyed At War is to tell you that I got so caught up in the book that I devoured it in 3 hours AND, more importantly, forgot that it was the first book in a trilogy. The closer I got to 100% on my Kindle, the more I worried about how Ms. Large was going to wrap everything up. When I got to the end of the book, I was happy to be reminded that it was the first book in the trilogy. Why? Because that means I’ve got two more books in which I get to spend time with Dennis and Tucker. And I love, Love, LOVE these guys.

At War is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Dennis and Tucker are both veterans who returned from the war with injuries. Tucker lost most of his hearing, while Dennis lost part of his leg and his wife. Because both men suffer from PTSD and nightmares, we relive the events that led to their trauma and injuries and they were devastating. As scary as the scene was, Dennis’s suicide attempt and related depression enhanced the overall realism of his plight. What probably struck me most about the book, was that despite their pasts and everything Dennis and Tucker deal with on a daily basis, these two men retained their ability to laugh. While the sarcasm and humor increased over the course of the book as their relationship strengthened, the stuff they would think and say had me laughing out loud from the very beginning. As hot as the ménage scene was, it was the scenes of sexual exploration as Dennis and Tucker navigated their way through a type of relationship neither had ever contemplated before that really got my juices going. Of course, the pièce de résistance is when they fully commit to the love between them. Sigh!

I found the supporting characters that Ms. Large created to be almost as enjoyable as Tucker and Dennis. Duke was an absolute hoot. I enjoyed how his presence ignited Dennis’s jealousy and how they ultimately were able to become friends – their insult trading was another source of amusement for me. I loved the unwavering support that Dennis received from his sister throughout the entire book. It wasn’t so much a case of “he could do no wrong” in her eyes, but rather unconditional love; and it was vital to each of them considering the dreadful people they had for parents. While Tucker’s entire family was supportive of his adjustment to society, his hesitancy to tell them of his relationship with Dennis was sad. Yet Ms. Large managed to work in the most important source of approval from that camp from Tucker’s mom while she talked to Dennis during an extremely touching moment of lucidity. I loved reading At War and hope that Ms. Large is almost ready to release its sequel because I HAVE to know the answer to the question at the end of the book – not a cliffhanger, but certainly a dun-dun-duuuun moment.


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