Friday, March 23, 2012

Shadow Soldier

Title: Shadow Soldier
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-0-85715-900-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Being the head of a secret government agency is getting old for Deacon McConnell. He’s lost his partner and he’s lonely, but his cover as a furniture maker allows him a sense of normalcy. It also brings him into contact with Aaron, a man dishonorably discharged from the Army and who still struggles to deal with what happened to him while in the Middle East. Getting to know Aaron makes Deacon determined to help him any way he can. He just never expects to fall in love.  

Aaron is miserable and each day’s a trial. The first time he sees an elegantly carved headboard in Deacon’s store window, Aaron knows he has to buy it. Then the day comes and he walks inside…and feels an instant attraction to Deacon he can’t deny. Being with Deacon gives Aaron hope and makes him feel safe and comfortable for the first time in months. Can these two men, separated by age and military service, find a path to happiness or will their differences and Deacon’s agency work drive a wedge between them forever? 

Shadow Soldier is the latest release in Carol Lynn’s popular Cattle Valley series. Like all the stories in this series, the characters overlap, so reading the books in order would be best. This one could be read as a standalone, if desired. 

The length of this one is 88 pages, and Ms. Lynn packs in a lot of story and handles a tough topic while doing it…PTSD…and does it well. She’s created an interesting man in Aaron and shows how affected he is by what happened to him during his military service. He lives in silence, keeping himself cut off from people except during his work hours. Realizing how difficult life is for these individuals…in this case Aaron…made my heart hurt. Deacon could relate to Aaron and his care and tenderness…his slow approach… is just what was needed to help his lover come out of his self-imposed isolation. 

Deacon’s an interesting character, too. He’s dedicated, loyal, protective…and just the type of man Aaron needs in his life. There’s twenty years difference in their ages and while touched on, I’m glad a big deal wasn’t made of it. Instead, Ms. Lynn dealt with the important part of their relationship…the emotional support and encouragement Aaron needs. It’s not all just Deacon helping Aaron heal. They have a good time together too. So there’s fun, bantering conversation, sizzling sex and even some action and danger. Watch for the next one in this series, coming in May.

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