Title: Love Means… Patience (Farm #7)
Author Name & Publisher: Andrew Grey (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 23, 2014 – 200 pgs
Years after his discharge from the Marines under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Cody Culver lives in a PTSD-induced world all his own. On a mission, under misconceptions that Geoff and Eli are the enemy, Cody breaks into their farmhouse but is quickly brought back to his senses by a frying pan to the head. After receiving much needed help in the hospital, Cody has nowhere to go. Luckily, kindhearted Eli knows just where to turn.
When Eli asks former Marine Brick Hunter to help, Brick isn’t sure he wants to get involved. But Brick has worked through his own PTSD, and like it or not, he owes Eli a favor. With Cody struggling to rejoin the real world and Brick agreeing to take him in, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought possible.
Though Cody tries to stay in the here and now, he sometimes flashes to unexplainable traumatic events—events that don’t fit his usual war zone delusions. As the “delusions” grow more frequent, it becomes apparent they might not be delusions at all. Cody may have actually witnessed a murder.
This is another gentle, well observed romance from Andrew Grey. After being discharged from the Marines under DADT, Brick has fought his own battles with alcoholism and settled into a solitary life on his ranch. But while he had managed to sort himself, he doubts his ability to care for the very damaged Marine Eli brings to his door.
Cody has also been discharged under DADT, but has spent his years since living through a series of delusional “missions” in his tent, living out of his Marine survival pack. Bringing him firmly back to the present is a huge undertaking.
I really liked the story of Cody’s journey back to himself. I didn’t find myself fully believing the romance between Brick and Cody – it seemed more opportunistic than romantic. When Brick allows the sleep-walking, delusional Cody into his bed, it also felt a little predatory. I loved Cody – but he sounded much younger than someone who had served in both Gulf wars. I believed Brick was in his forties, but Cody seemed so damaged and vulnerable that he came across as very young.
I’m not sure the whole murder mystery plot was necessary. I have this hang-up about the lazy m/m plot device where one of the leads is rushed to hospital, prompting a declaration of undying love. Andrew Grey usually writes too well for this – but he only narrowly avoids the cliche this time.
This isn’t necessarily a sexy book. There is a little bit of sex, but nothing wild and nothing graphic. It is a story of healing, of romance and emotional connections.
By now, most m/m readers know Andrew Grey. This doesn’t necessarily stand out for me, but it is a satisfying emotional story – a sweet romance between two hot men.