Review: A Marine and a Gentleman by Heather Long

Posted February 13, 2013 by B. in 4 stars, Rating A Tags: , , , ,

A Marine and a Gentleman
Author: Heather Long 
Release Date: Feb. 6, 2013
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Always A Marine Series, 1 Night Stand 
Genre: Military Romance – m/m
Format(s): e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Lieutenant Brenden Fitzpatrick is a dedicated Marine, loyal son, and devoted uncle but he’s lonely. When he went Marine, the rule was don’t ask, don’t tell. His brothers-in-arms pretty much didn’t ask and didn’t care. Watching so many friends settle into long-term relationships highlighted the absence of someone to come home to in his life. When his unit encourages him to give the 1Night Stand service a try, he asks for the impossible—a night with the one man he almost gave up the Marines for in the first place. A man he called best friend but let time and distance carry away.
Liam Gardiner grew up on the same Boston block as his best friend, Brenden. Unlike Brenden, Liam always accepted that he was gay—a fact he didn’t mind flaunting to all the bullies and naysayers in school. It got his ass kicked more than once but Brenden always had his back, rescuing him time and time again, until the day Brenden left for the Marines. He missed his buddy—the crush he never confessed, lest it cost him the precious friendship—so when Madame Eve’s invitation arrived to meet Brenden, Liam faces uncertainty for the first time.
What B is talking about:
Unlike most of the other 1 Night Stand stories I’ve had the pleasure to read, A Marine and A Gentleman is a “happy for now” tale of two childhood friends reconnecting with one another, each filled with a lot of hope, but neither offering a promise of forever. Set against the possible romance between a civilian and a Marine who’s dedicated himself to a lifetime of service, it is an open, sincere look at what might happen if only second chances could be given a little extra help to come around. 
Having read quite a few Military m/m stories by now, I found this one particularly interesting. Brendan comes from a military family, and never questioned that he’d follow the same path, except once. Knowing that his best friend, Liam, wouldn’t be content to live his life in the closet, bound by the required code of silence imposed by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Brendan let any thoughts of pursuing Liam go, remaining the steadfast friend until he left to join the military. Not that Brendan did so without regrets, but he always lived his life with the acceptance of a man eager to do whatever needed to be done in service to others, as heroes tend to do. 
Since this is a 1 Night Stand story, things heat up very quickly between the pair once Liam lets go of his understandable skepticism. There’s no real awkwardness between the two old friends, their mutually realized desire not to waste another moment taking over and resulting in a sweet, yet thoroughly hot, sexual encounter. Brendan and Liam are absolutely perfect together, and their lingering familiarity with each other makes the affection they both know they’re lucky to have feel warm and alive. 
Not to let the reader forget one of the major points of the story, the end of A Marine and A Gentleman brings the truth of Liam and Brendan’s situation back into focus. Ms. Long does a wonderful job of keeping the spell she’s woven around the couple vivid, without making more of their future than there really is, all while giving proper due to our heroes fighting abroad, as well as those waiting at home. There is a kind of bravery that’s equally as strong found in those who dare to reach for happiness despite the possibility of loss, a fact that this story illustrates simply and concisely. Liam and Brendan both felt very real to me, and their mutual desire to take what happiness they have now with a hope for the future made this one of my favorites in the series yet.
Bs Rating:
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

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