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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY – Secrets in the Air by Liz Borino

 

Wealthy family…
 
Childhood tragedy…
 
A love defying all odds…
 
Secrets in the Air
Flying is in Rhett O’Neil’s blood. And nothing makes this pilot fly higher than wrapping himself in his husband Kaden’s arms. He’s thrilled when his grandfather entrusts him with O’Neil Airways, the family’s charter airplane business. With a mix of humanitarian and corporate clients, Rhett plans a bright future where his success improves the world.
Elise, Rhett’s mother, begins offering advice to “help” her son through the transition into increased responsibility. As evidence surfaces that her words are escalating into devastating actions, the truth comes out about the death of Rhett’s sister Annabelle. Kaden has to race to protect his husband and himself from the consequences of the Secrets in the Air before it’s too late.

The wind assaulted Rhett O’Neil’s torso as he drove down Highway 495 on his motorcycle. He had every intention of heading straight home after landing his plane “Betsy,” but when he checked his phone, he found a message from his grandfather asking him to make a quick trip to the estate. What Pop wanted, he got. Rhett hoped they kept it short, because after a week away he would much prefer to make it home for dinner with his husband, who… Shit! I forgot to call Kaden. Before he could correct this grievous error, his phone rang through his Bluetooth helmet. He answered, “I love you.”
Kaden released a breath resonating with relief and exasperation. “Sure you do. I thought you’d be waiting for me after my shift. Isn’t that what we discussed forty-five minutes ago when you finished screwing around with Betsy?”
Rhett laughed. “Checking a faulty engine blade is far from screwing Betsy.”
“You made that unnecessarily dirty.” But Kaden laughed, too, so Rhett concluded it was very necessary.
When their laughs turned to chuckles, Rhett said, “I should have let you know Pop asked me to stop by for something quick. I’m not sure what, though.”
“Please don’t tell him about the engine blade, Rhett. I’d like to see you sometime before my next shift,” Kaden said. He worked as a nurse from seven a.m. to three p.m. at the drug rehab floor of the local hospital.
“Stop. We’re not going to talk all night. Believe me when I tell you, I’d rather be home without clothes on, eating the dinner you promised.”
Kaden quieted on the other end.
“You are making dinner, right?” Rhett clarified.
“Roast beef has been cooking in the crock pot all day. But, see, we’d have to eat it upstairs if you planned to be naked.” Kaden’s voice now held an element of concern.
“Why?” Rhett asked.
“I’ll tell you when you aren’t driving. Be careful on that death trap.”
Rhett never understood why his motorcycle was a death trap, but Betsy provided perfectly acceptable transportation. And then he heard a shriek in the background. “What is that?”
“Lassie,” he answered, concern turned to defeat.
“Doesn’t sound like a dog.”
“It’s a cat. We talked about this. We agreed a cat would be an acceptable pet for our lifestyle,” Kaden reminded him.
Flicking on the blinker, Rhett turned off the exit. He had said that, but he didn’t expect Kaden to go out and get a cat while he was away. “Why did you name it Lassie?”
“Her. And that was her name for the first six months of her life.”
“Fair enough. I’m here, and I won’t stay long. Then you can explain why we have to confine nudity to the bedroom like teenagers,” Rhett said as he leaned over and punched in the security code to open the gate to his grandfather’s estate.
“Tell him I’m making dinner. He’s very concerned about your nutritional intake.”
Rhett drove around the maze that led to the main house. “Yes, but he might invite himself over if I tell him what you’re making.”
“Not if you mention Lassie. I love you. Please call me before you sit on that bike.” Kaden hung up without leaving space for Rhett to protest.
He shook his head and removed his helmet as he dismounted the motorcycle. Rhett paused to stroke the sleek paint job on his red Kawasaki. He didn’t care what Kaden thought, Rhett relished the thrill of riding. Kaden had seen too many fatalities from motorcycle accidents during his ER rotation in nursing school to feel the same. So maybe he did understand, but the peace on the issue was hard-won. Rhett tucked his helmet into the compartment under the seat and strode up to the house. The door swung open and Rhett smiled at Martha, his grandfather’s long-time household manager. “Heard the muffler?” he asked, taking off his coat and handing it to her.
“Your grandfather did. He’s in his study. I left snacks in there for you two.”
Rhett kissed her cheek. “Thank you.” He made his way through the expansive rooms decorated with the best art money could buy. A modern painting stopped him in his tracks. The splash of color and uneven lines contrasted with everything else in house. Rhett dashed to the study, knocked once and opened the slightly ajar door. “Are you going insane, Pop?”
Donald Everett O’Neil sat up, raised his eyebrow and grinned. “Unfortunately, not yet.” He gestured Rhett into the study, which was covered by model planes and pictures of his grandfather posing with the greats of aviation. Rhett was included in quite a few of those, as well. Yet in every one, he stared admiringly at his grandfather, as opposed to the celebrity sharing the shot.
“Unfortunately?” Rhett asked.
“Yes, Everett, sanity can be so taxing in one’s old age. I believe dementia is a self-defense mechanism so we aren’t forced to watch history repeat itself again, while no one heeds our warning,” his grandfather said. “How’d the flight go?”
Rhett shrugged. “No real problems. I’m sure you checked the stats before asking, so you’re well aware.”
Don’s laugh turned to a cough, which he calmed with a few sips of water. “Don’t smoke.”
“You can stop, you know.”
“And you can get rid of the bike, but we all have our vices. I’m old. I deserve to keep mine until it kills me.” Don removed his reading glasses and sat back in his chair. “Which is sort of what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Smoking?”
“No. Dying.”
Rhett’s jaw dropped and his forehead moistened. “You’re… What’s wrong?”
Don waved him off. “Nothing’s wrong. Not that I know of, anyway. I am sixty-four, and don’t intend to live forever. Actually, I would love to die before asshole politicians run this country further into the ground. But not yet.”
“Pop,” Rhett started, raising his hand, “can you please get to the point?” He loved his grandfather, but he could not handle a rant about the government today.
“When did you get so impatient?”
“I have dinner and a husband at home waiting for me,” he answered.
“Your marriage is good then? You take care of each other?”
Rhett blinked, trying to follow the train of thought. His grandfather, while always supportive, never pried into his love life. “Yes.”
Don nodded. “I knew you would when you first brought him home.” The man’s voice had faded out again as he met Rhett’s eyes. “Your family is the most important ingredient of a happy life. I’m ensuring you have that before we continue this conversation. So, one more time, do you and Kaden have a strong relationship?”
“Yes.”
“That’s what I thought.” Don slid a paper across the desk to Rhett. “What I’m discussing will not make your mother happy. You need to be prepared for that.”
“Yeah, well, she made her choices.” Like to move to California with her husband after they released the asshole from prison. Rhett, at fifteen, had refused to move with them, and Pop adopted him. One of the best days of Rhett’s life was when he took his grandfather’s last name, shedding the otherwise permanent tie to the man who donated his sperm to fertilize his mother’s egg.
Don sighed again. “I wish you’d make peace with her.”
“I have. Mom and I are fine as long as she doesn’t reference the donor. If I don’t have to hear about him, I can pretend she divorced him like she should have. Now, Pop, what isn’t going to make her happy?” Rhett tried to keep his exasperation at bay as he picked at the hummus and pita bread.
“I will get there.”
Thought you wanted to die before the politicians ruined the country? Rhett nodded instead of voicing his thoughts. He’d have to find a way to make the delay up to Kaden later.
“You’re doing a fantastic job with taking on a leadership role in the company. I can tell you love it.”
The corners of Rhett’s mouth lifted. “You knew I would. I’ve worked for you since I was twelve.”
“I knew you loved flying, but that isn’t the same as leading. You’ve gained respect by taking responsibility of all parts of the business,” Don continued.
“That’s how you make sure it’s done right,” Rhett repeated the words his grandfather had told him throughout his childhood.
Don nodded again, wearing a smile of his own. “Everett, there’s something that I haven’t shared with you yet. The company does more than provide flights to wealthy people. We also work with the FBI.”
Rhett snapped his gaze back to his grandfather’s. “You do what? Aren’t they the same people ruining your beloved country?”
“No, I refuse to do business with stupid people. The company assists the rescue division of the FBI, particularly human trafficking cases,” Don said.
“Human trafficking, like the sex trade?”
“Yes, to put it broadly, the FBI tracks cases of girls and young women who go missing. This unfortunately happens every day, but the government pays special attention when the missing girls are of a lower socio-economic class and when the disappearances occur in the same geographic area,” he explained. “They’ve currently zoomed in on several larger organizations. The missions are to apprehend the traffickers and rescue the girls.”
“Are you qualified to help with that?” Rhett asked.
“I’m qualified to fly a plane and keep my mouth shut. The FBI has grown to rely on me, but the truth is I’m not as young as I used to be. Is this something you would be willing to do occasionally?”
Though not sure exactly what he was agreeing to, Rhett nodded.
“Perfect. Now for the part that’ll make your mother unhappy. I’m retiring, and I would like to give you part of your inheritance early, which means in the next few weeks I’ll draw up the paperwork so you and I will share all the assets of the company, in addition to about twenty-five percent of the money I have set aside for you.”
“Thank you, but… why?” Rhett’s head spun at the thought. His grandfather had already provided him with a trust fund that he used to put himself through school and buy Betsy. He finally glanced down at the paper, which detailed the money he would receive and the legalities of the co-ownership.
“Because you’re responsible. I trust you and I’d like to keep the wealth, especially the business, in the family.” His grandfather handed him a signed check, then stood and embraced his grandson. “Be careful on the road.”
After thanking him again, Rhett sent a text to Kaden, ‘Sorry that took so long, but trust me, it was worth it.’

The strength of this story lies in an established couple who are still very much in love. Rhett and Kaden have been married for two and a half years but together for thirteen years. They live for each other and very demonstrative with their affections. I love to see a book that shows a long-term couple who are still passionate.

Rhett is a pilot and works for his grandfather’s company. Pop (the grandfather) is also a star of this book– I loved his character and found his support of Rhett wonderful. Although he has money, Rhett’s life hasn’t always been a bed of roses, with a strange mom and a father he wants nothing to do with. This estrangement forms a large part of the story. Kaden is a nurse. He is a caring and supportive partner. He provides the family that Rhett has missed out on.

This is a story with romance but is largely a mystery. It has twists and turns, involving cross-country flights, the FBI, attempted murder, bribes, and family secrets. There’s enough action to keep you page turning to find out what’s going to happen next. Sometimes the scenes were a little brief and the transitions a little abrupt.  I found myself wanting to read a little more before moving on. For me, I also found the number of coincidences in the story a bit far-fetched. But parking reality for a moment, it was still an enjoyable story.

I was reading from an ARC which I think had some formatting issues, meaning the dialogue transition between characters was a little blurred and I had to stop to work out who was talking in some instances. But it wasn’t enough to detract too badly from the reading experience and I am sure will be corrected in the final version of the book.

This is a story for someone who likes a loving couple who are thrown into a situation that puts their lives at risk, where they have to race to solve a mystery and overcome obstacles in order to move on with their lives– sex, love, action, mystery and drama.

Liz Borino transcribes the world inside her head onto the page, and shares it with the people who are stuck in the “real world” to makes their lives a little more interesting. Because in her world, heroes fall and stand up again with the help of their partners and friends. Liz’s world is littered with formidable obstacles, which her heroes overcome with a fire of courage and passion. The beauty of love between two men is celebrated. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
When not with her heroes, Liz enjoys exploring cities, old abandoned buildings, working toward social justice, and editing for other authors. Liz published eleven books since 2012.  

 
 

 

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Excerpt for Angel’s Truth by Liz Borino

Did you read the excerpt and review of Angel’s Hero? Click here to check it out.

The follow up book is due to be released today (12th March) which is a good thing for those of you who read the first book but don’t like cliffhanger-type endings! 🙂

  • Angel’s Hero – book #1
  • Angel’s Truth – book #2

Angel's Truth

*Please Note: These Books Must Be Read In Order*
The Blurb:
“Freeze or I’ll shoot!” Aaron yelled and aimed the gun at Jordan’s chest.
 “Angel, no, please.” Hacking fluid-filled coughs broke up Jordan’s words.
 “Jordan?” Aaron whispered his name as recognition painted a mural of memories of their life together on his face. 
 “Yes.” He coughed red into his dirty hand. “Please help.”
So begins Angel’s Truth, the sequel to Angel’s Hero. Army Captain Jordan Collins arrives home, only to find the man responsible for his imprisonment, torture, and near-execution with his husband. Had his Angel moved on without him?
Aaron “Angel” Collins has driven his family and friends away in his quest to learn the truth of Jordan’s fate, leaving only Major General Troy Hart willing to help him. When Jordan miraculously returns, with a spirit more broken than his body, Aaron realizes Hart was really a liar with an agenda of his own. Aaron is unable to take time to heal his own emotional wounds, because he and Jordan learn Hart’s betrayal is even greater than they originally believed, threatening the entire nation. Now the reunited couple must race against time to keep a promise to Jordan’s savior and prevent Hart from bringing terrorism once again to American soil.
Excerpt:
“Freeze or I’ll shoot!” Aaron yelled and aimed the gun at Jordan’s chest.
“Angel, no, please.” Hacking fluid-filled coughs broke up Jordan’s words as he sat sprawled on the kitchen floor.
“Jordan?” Aaron whispered his name as recognition and memories of their life together
“Yes.” He coughed red into his dirty hand. “Please help.” After being imprisoned for more than two months in Afghanistan, Jordan needed his husband more than ever.
“No! Jordan’s dead.” Aaron’s hand shook so hard his grip on the gun loosened.
That’s what the Army told him. Now I have to deepen those memories. Show him they’re real. Jordan met Aaron’s gaze, and found confusion with a flickering spark of hope. “Not unless you shoot,” he replied, and somehow knew he had nothing to fear even with a gun pointed Aaron set the Glock on the table. He held it down while keeping his eyes locked on Jordan’s. Not moving closer. “How?”
Before Jordan could answer, the front door shut. “Who was that?” he asked, struggling to sit straighter, his gaze darting around the room. The faint click of the far away lock sent his pulse into overdrive.
“Um,” Aaron glanced at the door and back again, “Troy.”
Hart! No! Jordan’s breath came in short spurts, increasing his coughing… and blood on his sleeve. Blood that Hart caused by leaving him in that godforsaken prison. Angel doesn’t know that… and I can’t fucking tell him.
Aaron crouched down in front of Jordan. “You need to go to the hospital.”
“Not yet.” He coughed again. “Are you seeing him?”
“No,” Aaron answered. “He’s my only friend right now.” At Jordan’s confused expression, Aaron explained, “When they told me you died, I lost it because their story sucked. Cost me my job. Troy stuck by me and helped me investigate your ‘death,’” Aaron put air quotes around the last word. “Then he…” Aaron’s words trailed off.
“He what?” Jordan prompted.
“Showed me a picture of your body after they executed you,” Aaron answered. “But… it  obviously wasn’t you.”
“No,” Jordan responded.
“Troy must have made a mistake,” Aaron tried.
“You don’t believe that,” Jordan said.
Aaron shook his head. “Why were you scared when I told you his name?”
“He kept me there on purpose,” Jordan sputtered. And ordered my death.
“Jor-“
His head snapped up and he caught Aaron’s gaze. “Don’t give me that condescending tone.” More coughing.
“I’m sorry,” Aaron whispered. “I just…”
 “Angel.” Jordan softened his voice. “I can’t tell you how I know yet, but I promise you, I do.”
Aaron hesitated only slightly and then said, “I believe you.”
“Thank you.” Jordan extended his hand and brushed Aaron’s cheek. “My Angel.”
Aaron’s tears streaked a line through the dirt Jordan painted on his face. “Oh, Jordan,”
Aaron cried, kissing his palm, igniting his husband’s own wet cheeks. “I love you is not strong enough.”
Jordan leaned forward and kissed Aaron’s cheeks. “Maybe not, but we are. If …”
“If what?” Aaron questioned.
“If you want to be,” Jordan replied, flitting his gaze away again.
“Yes, more than you know,” Aaron answered. “Let’s get to the hospital.”
He shook his head. “I can’t.”
Aaron scrutinized him. “You’re coughing blood and pale.”
As pale as a mixed race Korean and African American could be, anyway. “I have either TB or pneumonia, an ankle that’s been broken repeatedly, and I haven’t slept in at least three days,” Jordan reported between coughs.
“Um. Yeah. You need a doctor. Probably a team of doctors.” Aaron started to stand up, but Jordan grabbed his arm.
“The Army thinks I’m dead.”
“Uh-huh. We’re not making them prophetic,” Aaron told him as he extracted his phone from his pocket. As Aaron dialed the last one, Jordan snatched the phone and threw it to the other side of the kitchen. “Jordan!”
 “I can’t! Angel, what if they lock me up?”
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Angel’s Hero by Liz Borino

The Angel series:

  • Angel’s Hero (book #1) – in this review
  • Angel’s Truth (book #2) – due to be released 14th March

Check out the book excerpt here.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Angel's Hero (Angel, #1)Angel’s Hero by Liz Borino

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

CIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins doesn’t take many things on faith. He trusts his gut, his eyes, and his husband, Jordan, an Army Captain. When his commanding officers deliver news of Jordan’s death, Aaron needs proof. The facts don’t add up, and Aaron must decide if he can trust Major General Troy Hart to assist in his quest to discover the truth.
Captain Jordan Collins is battered and disheartened in an Afghanistan prison, but definitely not dead, though he learns his own government believes he is. His only mission now is to stay alive and make it home to Angel, if he can find an ally among the enemy. But someone in the US government will stop at nothing to make sure he never leaves that prison, And Jordan must reevaluate the lines between friend and foe if he is ever to return to his Angel.

So what did I think?

If you enjoy a military story with some intrigue and mystery blended with your romance then this is for you. If you don’t like a cliffhanger, then hang on and don’t read it until after the release of book 2 , Angel’s Truth, which is due 14th March.

Angel and Jordan are married and have been together for many years but their love is still strong. It is interesting that the story is about a long established couple but weaves the story of their first meeting and early days together. The story moves back and forth a little and it took me a little while to get into the swing of things. Told with alternating POV, the story moves from present day to the past and also from Jordan’s POV (deployed overseas) and Angel’s POV (back home waiting for his man).

I did find some of the mystery a little hard to follow and I think this is the impact of the book being relatively short in length but covering a lot of ground without a lot of detail. For example, I still really don’t understand how Jordan made his way back to the US – it was too simple and too quick and I wanted to know more. I am looking forward to reading the second book to clarify a lot of what’s going on – I guess that’s part of the mystery! 🙂

There were a few moments in the story, where some characters said or did something I found a bit odd. (Check out my GR review if you are interested in details)  and I wasn’t overly keen on some of the wording in the sex scenes but overall, I’ve been hooked enough to be keen to see what book number 2 brings.

And of course I want to see them get their happy ending!

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for my honest review.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Liz Borino and her books visit her website.

Buy Angel’s Hero from Amazon.

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Released today! Angel’s Hero by Liz Borino

Angel's Hero

Angel’s Hero is book one in the Angel series and is released today. Book two is Angel’s Truth and is expected to be published on 14th March. Reviews for both books are to follow but in the meantime check out the excerpt for Angel’s Hero below.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

The blurb….

CIA Agent Aaron “Angel” Collins doesn’t take many things on faith. He trusts his gut, his eyes, and his husband, Jordan, an Army Captain. When his commanding officers deliver  news of Jordan’s death, Aaron needs proof. The facts don’t add up, and Aaron must decide if he can trust Major General Troy Hart to assist in his quest to discover the truth.
Captain Jordan Collins is battered and disheartened in an Afghanistan prison, but definitely not dead, though he learns his own government believes he is. His only mission now is to stay alive and make it home to Angel, if he can find an ally among the enemy. But someone in the US government will stop at nothing to make sure he never leaves that prison, And Jordan must reevaluate the lines between friend and foe if he is ever to return to his Angel.
Excerpt:
July 2013 Langley, Virginia
CIA Agent Aaron Collins pushed his shoulders together as he strode through the hallway to his supervisor Mick Keller’s office and rapped on the door. As if waiting for him, Keller swung it open. “Come in, Collins, come in. Have a seat. Can I get you a drink?”
“No, thank you, sir,” Aaron replied, shifting in the hard wooden chair. His boss wrung his hands as he circled his large desk. “Is everything all right?” Clearly not, he answered himself.
Bosses tended not to call emergency meetings on a Friday to discuss the company’s upcoming Keller sat behind his desk and adjusted his glasses.
“I need you to brief Foster on the POW situation in Afghanistan. The two of you are switching cases.”
Aaron blinked. “My team and I have been working with the military on that mission for months. We’re three weeks from deployment.”
“Yes, Foster will assume your leadership role.”
“Foster? He’s a paper pusher!” Aaron exclaimed.
“Collins.” Keller’s voice held a warning.
Yeah, God forbid the agency admits the truth about the competence of their employees.
“Sir, he really is not qualified.”
“He will be once you brief him. We need you here, Collins,” Keller told him.
Aaron tilted his head to the side. “Why do you need a field agent here?”
“You’re one of our best,” Keller said.
“And… you’re afraid to send me because you have reason to doubt safety?” Aaron extrapolated.
“It is a rather volatile situation,” Keller hedged.
Of course it’s volatile! Fucking enemies have our men! “What aren’t you telling me?”
Keller shook his head. “It wasn’t my decision.”
“Well, whose decision was it? Have you thought of calling them an idiot?”
“Not all of us have your finesse,” Keller replied.
“I’ll be there, or you need to give me a reason that I can’t, beyond the stuffed shirt above you said so,” Aaron said.
Keller removed his glasses and massaged his eyes. “No, that’s all the reason either one of us require. Your job is here for the next four months.”
“I have the most information about this mission,” Aaron tried once more, but even as he spoke, he knew the battle was over.
“None of us know very much,” Keller responded with a sigh. “I’m sorry.”
So am I. “Can I still get updates?”
“You know we can’t.” Keller paused, then added, “He’ll be all right, Collins.”
They weren’t talking about Foster’s competence anymore. Now Keller referred to Aaron’s husband, Jordan, an Army Captain also assigned to this mission. “Of course he will. I only wish I could help.”
“You’ll help by training Foster,” Keller replied.
Right. “Is there anything else, sir?” Aaron asked.
“No, you may go home.”
“Thank you.” Aaron stood, shook Keller’s hand, and walked out of the building after grabbing his messenger bag. Ducking into his car, Aaron leaned his head back on the seat. He dialed Jordan’s cell.
“Hey, Angel, you done already?” Jordan asked, the perkiness in his voice signaling that he did not get the same news today.
And like magic, the sound of Jordan’s nickname for him eroded the edges of Aaron’s own bad mood. “Yep, you?”
“Two beers in at home,” Jordan responded. “I’ve got dinner started.”
“See, now I think you’re vying to steal my nickname from me.” Aaron started the ignition and put his foot on the brake.
“Never happen. You okay?” Jordan asked.
“Uh… do we have anything stronger than beer, or should I stop?”
“Oh, boy.” Jordan’s tone grew serious. “We have whiskey, if that will do.”
Best you can get in the US. Aaron released a breath. “That’ll work. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” Jordan ended the call and Aaron began the twenty minute trek home to Maryland.
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To find out more about Liz Borino and her books visit her website.
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No Flag by Liz Borino

No FlagNo Flag by Liz Borino

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

For Mike and Will, “No Flag” meant “come home alive”, but will their love survive what happens next?

Captain Mike Kelley does not ignore his intuition, so when sexy bartender Will Hayes captures his heart, Mike embarks on a mission to win him over to a Domestic Discipline relationship. Will accepts with one caveat: Mike must promise not to renew his Army contract. Mike agrees, and they spend a year building a life together, getting married, and starting a business.

Only days before their café’s grand opening, Mike receives news that threatens everything he and Will have built. The Army invokes the Stop Loss military policy to involuntarily extend his commission and send him back overseas. Will, left alone to cope with the café, must rely on the support of old friends who may be no longer be trustworthy. Through emails and Skype calls, Mike and Will keep their love and structure alive…until the day a horrific terrorist attack occurs on Mike’s outpost.

Mike awakens in a hospital with a devastating injury and no his memory of the attack. As the only survivor, Mike’s memory may be the key to national security. Mike struggles to cope with his injury and Will struggles to support the man who always held him up. Both fear they have lost their previous relationship. Will has Mike back rather than a folded flag, but in the aftermath of war, can they rebuild the life they had before? Especially when those closest to them may not have their best interests at heart?

*Contains BDSM elements in the context of a loving relationship.*

So what did I think?

Let me start by saying that I enjoyed this book and the overall story of Mike and Will. It follows a really interesting journey as the two men embark on a relationship that is littered with hurdles. There was an emotional element to the story in which lots happens, and kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next.

The blurb (surprisingly?) gives away a lot of the plot – Mike and Will start a relationship in which Will accepts the rules of their partnership so long as Mike promises not to be redeployed. Things don’t go according to plan, Mike is sent back to the war zone, friends undermine Will’s relationship by questioning the terms of this relationship with Mike and doubting Mike’s fidelity and finally Mike suffers a terrible injury which threatens the very nature of their relationship. There is definitely heaps going on!

On the positive side I liked both characters. Mike is so honest and caring and Will shows the depth of his love when he cares for Mike on his return from hospital. I struggled at the beginning to imagine the men together, finding Mike’s OCD a bit over the top and Will’s acceptance of it just a bit too easy, but by the end of the book they were wonderful together. I loved the concept of ‘no flag’ and the inscription Will arranged for Mike’s wedding ring. Ending their calls with ‘no flag’ was such a lovely romantic symbol of love and promise.

I liked the fast pace. I liked the tension and the drama. The bombing and the government involvement made for an interesting story (but you’ve got to be concerned that the military couldn’t solve the mystery of who were the bombers without Mike’s help!)

So what were the short comings in my opinion? Firstly, I actually missed how Mike and Will got to the place where they were negotiating a domestic discipline relationship. I understood Mike with his OCD and need for order and control but didn’t feel as sold on Will’s submissive tendencies. It all just seemed a bit rushed. And when they finally had sex, I couldn’t understand the reasoning for Mike’s bottoming on their first encounter. I just found it a bit too confusing. Secondly, I didn’t really get the story line involving the psycho friend and why they behaved that way. From the sounds of both comments I just made, I think I need to read the book again to see if it gets clearer second time around! 🙂 Finally I disliked some of the terminology (I hate the use of ‘member’ and lines like ‘squeezing the white juice from their bodies.’) and didn’t find the sex all that sexy. But I wasn’t really reading for the sex, more the other interactions between the men.

There were minor editing issues in my copy but nothing that really stood out too much.

This is a “liked it and enjoyed it” book. 3.5 stars.

By the way, do any other readers have the same problem I do with chapter headings that are dates? By the time I get to the next chapter with the new date I have no idea what the previous date was so have no idea how long has passed. And since the dates are there I feel knowing this is significant so feel like I’m missing something important (but not so much that I feel the need to flick back and forth in the Kindle).

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

To find out more about Liz Borino and her books visit her website.

Buy No Flag from Amazon.