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REVIEW: “On Solid Ground” by Melissa Collins


When Jacob “Dax” Daxton returns home from war, he has to fight a new battle – the one to find his place in the world. The man who normally has a clear path to victory surrounded by brothers in combat is suddenly lost and alone. After meeting Beckett Ridge, a bearded tattoo artist, Dax’s journey begins winding down an unexpected path.

Still reeling from events that shook his foundation, Beck has never been part of anything meaningful. Now faced with responsibilities foreign and daunting, Dax’s broken spirit mends Beck in ways he never even knew he was destroyed.

As both struggle to find balance, they are healed by the comfort they find in one other. On the other side of chaos, they hope to find themselves On Solid Ground.



If I can’t say anything nice, I’m not supposed to say anything at all, right mom? But in this case, I have to (say not nice things) because this book is a real stinker with some deceptively high ratings, and, well, I feel the need to warn others.

The description for On Solid Ground pulled me in hook, line and sinker: troubled, closeted military hero meets troubled, bearded tattoo artist. Um. Yes, please.

MC Dax is returning home from his last tour of duty, and he’s looking for a fresh start, away from the family he thinks doesn’t know or understand him. He’s not out to anyone at home, save his one close gal pal (uh-oh, cliché!), so when she suggests they become roomies, he jumps at the chance.

Things started to unravel for me around the time MC Beck is introduced. Beck is battling some personal demons of his own (family stuff), but he’s got his tattoo parlor and things are chugging along. Until the fateful day Dax walks in looking for a meaningful military/tribute tattoo. I’m told by the author these two are attracted at first sight, but listen. See my words: there is zero chemistry between Dax and Beck. Touching another man’s pecs while prepping him for a tat, without ever knowing feelings are reciprocated does not a romance make! I didn’t get how or why that and one quick conversation equaled attraction. The author never showed me what motivated these guys to want to connect.

The writing in On Solid Ground is also extremely stiff; the further I got into the novel, the more it felt like I was reading a grocery list. What follows over the next hundred-plus pages are PTSD-style flashbacks, a great many misunderstandings and a lot of truly annoying and unnecessary angst. Honestly? I don’t think there’d have been much of a book if Dax and Beck had bothered to sit down with a couple of beers and talk some things out. That’s the reason why, for me, On Solid Ground felt more like het romance (yep, I remember those) than a story about two guys finding sanctuary from their weary lives, plus love and understanding with each other.

Sadly, I just don’t think this book is the right fit for this genre, and it’s definitely worth your while to carefully consider what other friends (those you know and trust) have to say about it before you buy.




Title: On Solid Ground
Author: Melissa Collins
Publisher: Self pub
Pages: 253
Release Date: Jan. 13, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon



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This entry was posted on January 22, 2015 by in Contemporary, Cops / Cowboys / Military, Reviewer: Jenni and tagged , , .

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