Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.
Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.
But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.
Nat is the leader of that team and he’s been in war zones for years. He’s lost a lot of friends, as well as big pieces of his heart. He’s not happy about being stuck with a journalist but he quickly finds himself drawn to Connor and he’s challenged to start opening up the emotional parts of himself that he thought were long gone. Nat’s lost men in his command before that he feels responsible for and he’s consumed with fear that something might happen to Connor on his watch and that’s something he can’t live with.
The story is mostly set in Iraq so there is fighting and bloodshed. I didn’t find especially violent though and I do not think it will be an issue for most. There are some social and political issues raised but nothing that makes it preachy in either pro or con views. The war as a back drop to a budding romance just served to highlight the beauty of these two men’s relationship.
The highlight of this book are the relationships. Not just between Connor and Nat but between each of them and the other men in the group. Also important are the “ghosts” in their pasts. The brother that Connor lost and the best friend who’s death Nat feels responsible for. I loved both Connor and Nat and found them to be great MC’s. I empathized with what both of them were going through in the course of the story.