Book Review: Beyond Duty by S.J.D. Peterson

Beyond Duty by S.J.D. PetersonTitle: Beyond Duty
Series: Beyond Duty, Book 1
Author: S.J.D. Peterson
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: August 2, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell didn’t come soon enough for Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones, career US Marines who met at boot camp in the 1990s. They’ve been somewhere between best friends and lovers in peacetime and wartime both, but as the clock ticks toward Mac’s and Gunny’s retirements, the guys have much more to worry about than coming out.

Whether their relationship will survive outside of the closet they’ve had to shove it into for over two decades is a big question mark. After all, Gunny questions why a hot military man like Mac--who could get any guy he wanted, including a younger, sexier one--would want him. But as Gunny and Mac navigate emotional waters as choppy as any they saw on duty, they just might learn Semper Fi applies to more than their careers

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Excellent MM romance with delicious military men and light BDSM well integrated into the romance.

The Set Up: Mac and Gunny have served in the Marines for twenty years and been secret lovers that entire time. Now that their retirement is months away the two men need to figure out if their secret relationship will bear up if they come out of the closet.

Why I Read this Book: I love gay military men!

What I Liked: This is a delightful romance with the tension being what-happens-after-the-I-love-you. Most MM romance is about how two men become lovers but this is a story of how two lovers become a couple. Mac and Gunny have been secret lovers but now that retirement is upon them they have to figure out what they want to do with their relationship. They’ve been best friends and lovers since boot camp twenty years before. They’ve been each other’s emotional ballast over the years, especially Mac for Gunny. Gunny gets lost in his worries and can’t function well so Mac has found ways to level Gunny out and how the men do this is emotional and erotic—my favorite combo in MM romance.

I love how the men communicate with each other, with maturity, honesty and vulnerability. This is beautifully illustrated when Mac and Gunny are visiting Mac’s parents and the visit doesn’t go well. How Gunny comforts Mac and how Mac opens up to Gunny is delightful. And this kind of thing happens for both men over and over again in the book as they navigate a changed relationship.

What I Also Liked: There isn’t a big mystery or any real tension, other than how the men will build a relationship together and I loved this. Mac and Gunny are complex, mature characters who deserve a developed story and that’s what I got. Mac and Gunny’s family, what they’ll do in retirement and how public they want their relationship are all part of this story. This is a holistic look at a mature relationship and I simply adored it.

What I Didn’t Like: Normally I’m anti-BDSM and this novel had a little. But it was light and very well integrated into the relationship. In fact, this is one of the few BDSM romances that convincingly showed why one character needed the oblivion that BDSM provides him. I understood why Mac and Gunny would include this in their relationship but at the same time it was only one part of their erotic relationship. They had more emotionally connected sex than they did BDSM so I accepted and understood the BDSM component.

IMO: This is a unique story about a relationship after the HEA. I couldn’t be happier to have read it and to recommend it to other fans of MM romance featuring military men.

J9’s Rating:
4 1/2 Frogs

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About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


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