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Fight pilot Bennett “Roid-Rage” McKinney has had a crush on one of his squadron mates, Aaron “Tex” Austin, for ages. The snarly RIO is sexy, sarcastic, gay… everything Bennett wants in a man.
When Tex has a rare night off from the chronic pain caused by an ejection a few years ago, he reaches for the nearest warm body… which just so happens to be Bennett’s.
After a hot night, though, Bennett wakes up alone. Tex starts sending him mixed messages—one minute he wants him, the next he’s cold-shouldering him. Bennett isn’t interested in playing games, not even with the man he’s been lusting after. One night stands are fine, but he’s not getting involved with someone who might disappear at the drop of a hat.
But as the men try to resist each other, he realizes he’s not the only one who’s afraid of getting involved with a flight risk…
Witt is one of my comfort authors. So the other day when I was feeling like I needed a hug, I scanned through my mountain of need-to-read books and this one winked at me.
Two pilots? “Snarly, sexy and sarcastic”? Score! This is exactly what I needed. Military boys are one of my guilty pleasures and Witt knows how to create the best of the best when it comes to a man in a uniform. Bennett and Aaron are prime examples. Bennett has kept his tongue in his mouth when Aaron, ‘Tex’, has been around but it hasn’t been easy. He’s been crushing on Tex for too long and decides he needs to get out and scratch his itch elsewhere before he makes a dire mistake. When he swings by the bar to get his pre-prowl drink on, Tex sets his itch on fire.
It’s no secret that Tex suffers from chronic pain. He tries to swallow the pain, but some days the feat is impossible. On a rare night when he’s free from its typical iron-grip hand, he feels invincible. Knocking back drinks with the boys he pretends for the moment that he is not on the fast track towards the end of his beloved career. He doesn’t want this high to end and when Bennett slips into the bar, he perks up even higher.
Tex embraces his devil-may-care attitude and pounces on Bennett. Bennett can’t believe his luck. A steamy night brings his dreams to reality. Just as quickly, his dream becomes a nightmare. How can they work together when they can’t even look at each other?
Pain, chronic pain, changes people. It consumes your life and the urge to return to normalcy can be severe. Tex is losing his spirit and along with it, his hopes at finding a partner. Why would any man choose to walk this life with him? It’s no picnic and he can’t imagine anyone saddling up for the burdens he is sure to bring to the table.
Bennett is not looking for someone to simply push his release button. He is ready for more. He is certain he found the man to give this, if only he can convince him that he’s in it for the long haul.
I was reminded of L.A.’s Conduct Unbecoming series which made me smile. Tex was grumpy and made me frown for a bit, but I couldn’t forget his internal struggle as well as physical struggle. Bennett was just the medicine that Tex needed, if only he wouldn’t be stubborn about what’s good for him.
Short, steamy with a striking message: A light sprinkle becomes a drizzle and a drizzle can morph into a brutal storm. When the storms of our life roar around us we must have faith that the sun will shine again. When the storm calms, the beauty it leaves in its wake can take your breath away. Don’t close your eyes and wish the storm away. Hold on and understand that love can be your wings if you let it. The view from atop the clouds is soo much better when you fly with another.
Thanks for the hug L.A. You can count on me to come back for more.