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Home on compassionate leave for his brother’s funeral, Navy SEAL Garrison Matthews needs to blow off a lot of stress and grief before he returns to active duty. In honor of his brother, he takes Bettie, the brothers’ souped-up vintage truck, out for a spin. A bit of an adrenaline junkie, Garrison has no problem finding trouble. This time trouble’s named Walt, and he happens to be Garrison’s sister-in-law’s brother.
Neither man expects their fun to amount to anything else, but after an injury sends Garrison home for good, he turns to Walt, hoping to start a new life. Walt is a closeted sheriff’s deputy, and while he adores Garrison, he isn’t sure he’s ready to come out… or for such a big commitment. Being fresh out of the service isn’t easy on Garrison either. To find their happy ending, Walt and Garrison must overcome their trust issues and get ready to settle down together.
For me – one who’s read this genre for awhile now – the story is pretty much a ‘standard’ read, in terms of what it offers and the way I enjoyed it. It is a straightforward romance with two men-in-uniform and one of them was in the closet – complete with (the almost cliché) hospital scene.
Garrison and Walt meet for the first time when Garrison comes home for his brother’s funeral. Walt is the older brother of Garrison’s brother’s wife. They connect quite soon and Garrison finds consolation in Walt. Later on, when Garrison is discharged from Navy SEALs due to an injury and stays at Walt’s house, they continue their attraction. Even if they have to be careful in public due to Walt’s decision to hide his sexuality.
Thankfully, I thought both men were pretty level-headed when it came to their relationship, even if they had to deal with their own issues: Garrison with his recklessness (which worried Walt to hell) and Walt who still couldn’t gather enough courage to come out in his workforce. Sure, they had their arguments but they sat down and talked over how to deal with everything, especially after one incident that involved Walt. For me, it was never dramatic, it moved along nicely, however, it might also didn’t stand out after awhile.
By the way, somehow, from the title, I was expecting a kind of road-trip with the truck. I didn’t understand why I got that perception. It was a bit of a downer that the truck didn’t have more frequent appearances – but I got a dog who liked garlic bread *smile*.
Oh, and also why did these guys like to use “man” on pretty much most of their conversations? “Look, man”, “Hey, man”, “On your knees, man”, “You’re welcome, man”, “You’re fast to get hard, man”, … really, I just cannot take you seriously when you speak like that, man!