Author ~ Ariel Tachna
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 6th March 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M/M Romance
Some things crumble under pressure. Others are tempered by it instead. For three former soldiers, a tragedy might be the catalyst that binds them together—stronger than ever.
Richard Horn and Timothy Davenport met in the SEALs twenty years ago and have been lovers ever since. Now running their own paramilitary organization, Strike Force Omega, they work in the shadows to protect their country and its people. When Tim falls for Eric Newton, a deadly sniper and strategist on their team, Richard accepts that Tim’s heart is big enough for two men. He respects, admires, and even desires Eric enough to accept him into their relationship—and their bed—but he’s never been fully a part of what Eric and Tim share.
Then Eric is captured by terrorists and Tim is gravely injured in an op gone wrong, bringing Richard’s world crashing down around his ears. Even if he gets his men out alive, Eric must face the aftermath of months of physical and psychological torture—and without Tim to lean on, Eric’s PTSD is tearing him apart. Richard has to figure out the third leg of their triangle fast, or Tim won’t have a life to come back to.
A military three-way tryst is what we have here. Ex-SEALS, Richard and Timothy, have been together for a long time. They lead a paramilitary organisation – Strike Force Omega. Tim falls for Eric and Richard agrees to have him join their relationship. When Eric gets captured and tortured, and Tim shot, Richard must hold them together.
Richard is the commander of Strike Force Omega; Eric is a sniper, Tim is a team leader and the action man. There are other members with strong roles to play, but these are the primaries. Being in command means that Richard holds back his emotions, which often gives others on the team the wrong impression. Some of Richard’s command persona carries over into his private life, whereas Tim and Eric are more demonstrative with their feelings.
This story isn’t about the military operations, but the fallout from them. Although, there is a secondary arc concerning the missions. As pointed out in the story, the trio are like a tripod, each has their niche in the relationship. When a leg of that stability is taken away - the other’s falter.
Tim is the connecting force in the trio - one both Richard and Eric love and he loves them in return. While Tim is unconscious and recovering from multiple bullet wounds, Eric is recovering from months of torture. The void left by Tim is one Richard finds difficult to fill, especially while also coping with the members of SF Omega. Understanding a partner’s needs is hard, especially when that partner doesn’t say what they need. Each partner and the Omega team, in general, have expectations. Some are met, and some are not. There’s a learning process to be initiated. Guilt, fear and irrational thoughts ensue, especially in those alone times when internal ghosts, inner daemons and triggers take over.
I appreciate that this is a story of recovery, communication, and reconnection. And it is a day by day detailed account in those areas. My heart broke when reading how Richard would look at the relationship between Tim and Eric and believe he was the third wheel. All he wanted was Tim’s happiness. Richard got things done; it’s what he did – it was how he showed he cared. Eric’s battle with the voices in his head and flip-flop of thoughts and emotions was well done.
It was an interesting read to see how each recognised what the others needed. However, as these men were hardened military, and the background of this story was military, I felt a little disappointed that there were no active operations for me to connect with. Yes, snippets were there, but they were dealt with in flashbacks and told rather than experienced.
There’s no doubt that this story is emotional, and intimate connection is a primary factor. So, if you are looking for a story of hardened men with gooey insides, broken and being put back together, this should be up your street.
Meet Ariel Tachna
When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.
She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands).