4 and 5 Stars for Semper Fidelis Anthology – #Anthology #Military @Totally_Bound

1.3

Title: Semper Fidelis
Author Name: S.A. McAuley, T.A. Chase, Devon Rhodes, LE Franks, Sara York, Kendall McKenna & Morticia Knight
Publication Date:  January 23, 2015

Synopsis

Anomaly by S.A. McAuley

Warning: Untested chemical reactions in process…

When Staff Sergeant Galen Welc is handed Temporary Additional Duty orders that move him to the Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, he thinks he’s prepared for what’s to come. Known for his uncanny ability to spot improvised explosive devices, he’s pitted against the latest in defense technology. He trusts his instincts and his training, but they may just be leading him somewhere—and to an explosive reaction with someone—he could never see coming.

Always Ready by T.A. Chase

Making a living on the Bering Sea is hard enough, but throw love into the equation, and things can blow into a hurricane.

Senior Chief Dean ‘Jake’ Jacobson loves his job as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Saving lives is the second best thing he could ever do. The first is loving Phil ‘Rhody’ Rhodes.

Phil is a third generation crabber who fishes the Bering Sea. Being gay and in love with Dean isn’t something he talks about, especially not with the six men he lives with on the Angela Kayla for weeks on end. But he’s been happy with his life.

Until one day the Bering Sea reminds them that she is a dangerous place to work. As her icy waters surround them, they discover one truth. Dean and Phil must always be ready to love each other because life can be taken so easily when one works on the sea.

A Ring and a Vow by Devon Rhodes

Every promise must someday be fulfilled, and the best way Owen knows how to reward Cary’s faith is with a vow.

It’s been nearly five years since Owen went down on one knee with his Academy ring and promised Cary he’d someday do it for real. With Cary being a Naval aviator and Owen a Marine officer serving in Iraq, they’re rarely on the same continent, let alone together.

About time for them to fill out paperwork to re-up, Owen realizes that if they were married, they’d have a much better chance of being stationed nearby. But time is not on their side so he’s forced to compromise on his proposal in order to make it work.

Cary has been waiting for Owen for years—there was no chance he’d ever say anything but yes. Owen is coming home at last, and wants to make a home with him. However, between the chronic nightmares he’s been fighting and the ever more complicated wedding plans, the next month could be anything but a dream.

Publisher’s Note: This book is the sequel to A Ring and a Promise.

My Marine by LE Franks & Sara York

For a man who made his career in intelligence, falling for an Afghani national in the middle of a war zone wasn’t the smartest thing a Marine could do.

Marine Captain Sean Kelley loves his country and the men he serves with, but when he meets Akim, he’s tempted to throw it all away for the mysterious man. He knows better than to chase after a local, but repeat encounters culminating in a moment of passion leave him reeling—he’ll do almost anything to figure out how they can be together.

Akim Bijan has a secret of his own—one large enough to get more than just himself killed if it’s revealed. But from the moment he first lays eyes on the handsome Marine, he’s tempted to do just that rather than hide his growing attraction to the man. Being a translator allows him access to the base and he finds Sean alone one night. They take things farther than he ever intended. If only he could tell Sean everything, but his lips are sealed.

When tragedy strikes, Akim is afraid he’s lost Sean for good and he’s forced to make a decision that will change both their lives. Will love win, or will Sean and Akim be separated forever?

Soul Sick by Kendall McKenna

Jamie thought he made it home to Tucker, leaving war behind. Now, each day he battles to fit into his own life, and save the love that saved his life.

Jamie is a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps who carried a photo of Tucker with him throughout his deployment. His body and his heart both make it home, but he isn’t sure about his sanity. It no longer feels like his own life even fits.

Tucker is a reformed bad boy who has an advanced degree and an important job but still sports long hair and tattoos. He missed Jamie while he was on deployment, but he couldn’t stop living his own life. Now, they’re struggling to learn to live with one another again, and things are going downhill fast.

Jamie wants everything to be the way it used to, but his anger and self-destructive behaviour begin to push Tucker away. Too much alcohol and a night of violence inside their home take them nearly to the brink. Tucker is willing to fight alongside Jamie to keep it all from falling apart, if Jamie can learn to accept the help he needs…before it’s too late.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of domestic violence.

Safe Shores by Morticia Knight

Kirk’s Coast Guard lover, Shane, is the only person who can save his son from a vicious gale storm – if he’s not too late.

Fishing is the only life that Kirk has ever known. Born and raised in a small town on the Northern Oregon Coast, coming out of the closet was a struggle. Fortunately, he’s been lucky to find an amazing man to be with who serves in the Coast Guard. But he can’t help but wonder whether Shane wants more than just a shore leave romance.

Shane loves the Coast Guard, loves the sea. That’s one of the main things he has in common with his fisherman lover, Kirk. He just needs to make sure that Kirk knows how serious he is about their relationship and what he plans on doing about it.

Shane and Kirk’s joyful reunion is interrupted when a vicious gale storm threatens the coast. Kirk has to stand by helplessly and wait while his lover battles the raging seas to save his son. In an instant, Kirk could lose everyone he holds dear.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of BDSM.

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Review

FiveStars

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. The sex was hot, the stories all contained yummy men in uniform.

I really liked that these were just snippets of stories. Several of these would make awesome books – if the author wanted to expand the characters and the story. I appreciated that each of these stories were not cookie cutter. Too easily, anthologies can be all the same story with just different names.

I think A Ring and a Vow by Devon Rhodes was my favorite story. It was more sentimental than the rest, more symbolic – at least to me. The story was sweet without being candy sweet. I think my second favorite in this anthology wasAnomaly by S.A.McAuley. This was just an awesome story. I enjoyed the banter between the two characters and the sex…it was yummy.

Overall, these were fun, quick, hot reads.

AvidReader

FourStars

Overall I’d say 4 stars as a set.
 
I suppose as a former Marine, when I see a book titled Semper Fidelis with the words Always Faithful on the cover, I was a bit off when I expected all the stories to be about Marines since that is their motto. 
 

Anomaly by S.A. McAuley – 3.5 stars

I had issues with this story and where the men were as there are Marine bases much closer to LA than 29 Palms (especially if the man was on TAD orders). Not to mention that they would’ve simply put him in a hotel instead of having Galen drive 2 1/2 hours for this project. 
Besides the basic knowledge of how the military works being wrong, the story itself was kind of cute. I liked the different way they met, it was unique as was the story line. But I felt like there was a lot of oversight in the research that should’ve been done for this story like this. 
 
Always Ready by T.A. Chase
Sadly, I can’t give this story even 3 stars. It wasn’t about a Marine, which to me meant it shouldn’t have been in the set since most of the other stories were about Marines. All military branches are not the same. 
The story itself was dragged out and dull as we learned plenty about fishing and what it’s like to be apart from the person you love for extended periods of time, but I didn’t find myself connected with either character or their stories and ended up skimming through the last part of the story.
A Ring and a Vow by Devon Rhodes – 4 Stars
I actually really adored this story… until it dragged on so long I lost interest. I found the way the men made the long distance thing work and their reunion after being apart for so long to be great. It was when we got down into all the wedding details that I lost interest. Maybe it’s cause I’m a girl that doesn’t care for any of those details no matter who is getting married.
My Marine by LE Franks & Sara York – 3.5 Stars
This was a love at first site, instalove/lust story. Even though that is totally not my thing, it worked for me. Until the tragedy and the whole ‘I’m so hurt’ part. They hadn’t been together to have such a strong emotion to finding out the man wasn’t who he thought he was as it was essentially a one ‘night’ stand. I did like the characters though, but thought that more explanation in parts would’ve helped the story instead of skimming through how Akim became this secret agent. And he wouldn’t have been pulled aside by a recruiter to be a secret agent. 
 
Soul Sick by Kendall McKenna – 4.5 Stars
By far my favorite story in this set. I absolutely loved the Marine aspect for it because it was REAL. That’s what it’s like over there. That is what it is like when you come back. Its hard, not everyone understand the emotion trama that can come from being at war or the effects they take on a person. 
 
That being said I didn’t like how there was really no time line so we had no idea how much time had passed at certain points. And because of that it felt like Jamie ‘got over it’ kind of quickly. However, all in all I loved the story. 
 
Safe Shores by Morticia Knight – 4 Stars
Again I have to mention that I was a bit disappointed that this was a Coastie, not a Marine. However, I loved the relationship the two men had together and the worries they went through at different points of the story were very real. I’ll say this was by far the hottest story in the set (for me at least). I think it dragged on through the rescue part of the story as I was more focused on this relationship that was going through such a pivotal point. Then toward the end it felt like a bit of whiplash as time was skipped and it felt like we missed some big stuff between them (Shane’s location, Kirk’s future) was just BOOM done when it had been a long discussion earlier in the story.
Renee

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