Rating: 4 stars out of 5
After devoting eighteen years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn’t make Chief Petty Officer before his twenty—and it doesn’t seem likely that he will—he’ll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn’t civilian material.
Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn’t an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back hindered his every step, he survived Battle Stations and did his time. Six years out of uniform and Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.
On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a friend and each other in the process.
After some initial confusion about the opening, I found Treading Water (Forgotten Soldier #2) by Jessie G to be a heartwarming and wonderful story about love, recovery and family. I haven’t read the first story so the beginning pages about Jared, Aiden and The Ramos Foundation threw me. At first I thought I’d fallen into the wrong story and had to read the blurb again to remember who I was supposed to be reading about. But once that initial setup about the foundation was laid, I settled into the story of Julian Brand, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker and Julian’s cousin Sean, who’s been severely injured in a naval carrier accident. Sean, who is het btw, is a huge part of this story. He is the glue that brings the two men together in the first place and his love for them as his brothers and family as well as theirs for him makes such an incredible foundation for this story that everything else that follows seems right and happily complete.
Told from multiple perspectives (Shane, Julian, and Sean’s) Treading Water progresses as each man works through the different issues holding them back in life, each man’s fears, issues from the pasts, or in Sean’s case, his injuries and fears about what they mean to him as a man. Their interactions with each other is funny, tender, realistic and loving. The care that this author has written into the story flows off the page and into your heart. And finally, when each man makes that breakthrough, whether it’s Sean in the barbershop (bring out the tissues), or Shane and Julian realizing their love for each other and making that final step towards HEA, you’ll be cheering them on.
Now I suppose I’ll have to go back and pick up that first story.
And honestly, Jessie G has me intrigued about Jared and Aiden as well.
Until then I absolutely recommend Treading Water. It’s well-written, heartwarming and oh so wonderful. Pick it up and get started today.
Cover art is ok. I like the model but would have wished for more about the storyline. I mean it takes place in Key West!!!!
Kindle Edition, 168 pages
Published July 17th 2017
SeriesForgotten Soldier #2