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Veterans 2: Nothing to Lose Paperback – May 6, 2008
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"Nothing to Lose" by Mechele Armstrong - 7/10
- Some very hot sex if you're into m/f/m.
- One GREAT scene involving a cat and mouse game with remote-controlled vibrators.
- All three partners are giving and selfless with the others, not just in bed, but emotionally as well.
- Didn't believe at the end that the three characters were "forever" together. I don't read a lot of ménage fiction, and the reason is that I want each person in a relationship to be as into his partner(s) as the other(s) are into him. The one ménage book I've read that I really enjoyed was 911 by Chris Owen because I felt that each of the three characters loved the other two equally; I didn't feel (although some other readers of that book did) that any one of the guys was left out. In Nothing to Lose, however, I felt that two of the characters just sort of allowed the other into their lives but that they were devoted to each other first and foremost.
- Slightly forced internal conflict in one of the characters. When the reason for his emotional standoffishness is revealed, I didn't think, "Oh, NOW I get it." Granted, I've never experienced what has him all tied in knots, so I'm probably being a bit harsh here.
- There's an intense, passionate sex scene about three-quarters of the way through the book that is HOT and HEAVY, but then the sex scene after it falls flat.
"For the Love of the Corps" by Bobby Michaels - 6/10
- I love reading about masculine military guys falling for each other, especially since the American "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy makes it necessary for them to hide their feelings until their desire just can't be contained and comes bursting out.
- Lots of sex scenes that are loving, graphic, and...strangely, educational. I actually learned something I didn't know about uncircumcised bodies, which I'm completely unfamiliar with. And I had to look one thing up on Urban Dictionary.
- Good depiction of one man's fortune in having two different relationships (not simultaneously) with unique men, each of which is as loving as the other, but in different ways.
- Little puzzled/disappointed by the amount of time spent on each phase of the narrator's story. Having read the synopsis, I thought the majority of the book would cover the relationship with Paul, who helps Mike to get over the death of his first love and move on with his life. But almost the first half of the novella covers his relationship with Scott--from their meeting through five years together. This isn't a problem in itself, but Michaels spends so much time developing the relationship between Scott and Mike that the emotional aftermath of Scott's death should be examined in detail, and it's not. It's brushed over in a couple of chapters, and then Paul is on the scene and things pick up with him.
- Quite a bit of telling as opposed to showing. Example: "The desert we had trained in was in the States and was nothing like the desert in Egypt." This is interesting to me; I've seen deserts in the States, but I've never been to Egypt. HOW are they different? The landscape? The culture? The weather? There are also some instances in which the text is needlessly repetitive: "I knew what I needed to do was to go home and see my mom, but I didn't want to do anything without Scott. 'I need to go home and see my mother. I know she wants me to come home, but I don't want to go anywhere without you.'" These sentences occur back to back. Very similar to John Simpson's writing style (same author, perhaps?).
- Unrealistic timeline with one of the relationships. I understand that some couples fall in love before ever touching each other, and I find that very romantic, especially since the resulting love scenes are tender and giving and passionate (another huge PRO here). All the great stuff sex scenes should have, in my opinion. But these two guys take a BIG step VERY soon after having admitted to each other their feelings and having had sex for the first time.
Overall comments: I've read other books that had better writing than these two novellas. But I really enjoyed the stories themselves. I liked all of the characters, and I never could get them out of my head while I was in the middle of reading their stories. I think overall this is a good read.
Mike is a only son of a single mother. He has never had the chance to have a real sense of brotherhood during school and when he enters the Corps he bakes in the feel to have finally a "family". He loves the Corps and loves to be a Marine, but he has to admit that he even loves Scott, his boot camp buddy. Mike is a big man, very selfconsciousness of his strenght and proud of it, instead Scott is shorter and leaner. When they confess their reciprocate feelings, is easy for Mike to take the upper hand in the relationship. It's not a thing about being bottom or top (even if Mike could frankly admit he prefers to top) it's more a thing of how they rely one to the other. Even if Scott is more experienced and in the beginnins he is who teaches to Mike the joy of gay sex, it's Mike who is the engine of the relationship.
They spend five years in the Corps and they are happy, stolen moments during their assignments to be together. But then Scott is killed in mission, and Mike is wounded. His big body manages to recover, but his souls is teared apart: he only wants to die and be forever with his lover. But duty calls, and he finds himself again in the Corps: good, he thinks, a way to go again in mission and kill himself without no one suspect.
His new officer, thought, has other ideas: Paul is a outed gay (not in the Corps, obviously, but with his family and friends) and the first day he meets Mike, he decides he will have this man. Paul is on the opposite of Scott, bigger, bigger then Mike, and with a leader attitudine given him by his well-born and wealthy family. He is not accustomed to being refused and Mike finds himself swept away by this man. For Paul is so different from Scott, Mike can love again: the new relationship he has with Paul is completely different from before, he knows he can let the hand to another person.
As always my problem (but it's not a "bad" problem which prevents me from reagind the book, instead I eagerly bought it and read it as soon as possibile) with Bobby Michaels' novel is to "really" believe in the sex scenes: they are extreme, exagerate and very, very explicit. Graphic and physical. But maybe the "problem" is that I'm a woman and I think with a "woman" head.
The book deals with a lot of issue: gay Marine, the war first in Afghanistan then in Iraq, the disagree among the officers for some political decisions taken by Washington, gay marriage, even a little hint to the gay adoptation... And overall you feel the love that Babby Michaels has for the Marine (a "pure" love, don't think bad... well, maybe not so pure...). The book is for entertainment, and it reaches its scope, but I can hardly definy it a "light" entertainment.
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Being gay could result in Mike and Scott being ousted from the military and they take great pride in their occupation.Read more