HIGH AND TIGHT by Vanessa North
Details: Received from Carina Press
Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle
“Pilot Adam Walker has had one great love in his life: Harris Kingston. But twelve years ago, when he accepted a scholarship and joined the Navy, he chose duty to his country over love. Their on-again off-again relationship was never more than private joy, a frustrating fact of military life.
Harris never wanted to be anyone's dirty little secret. When Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed two years ago, Adam broke his heart one last time. He's picked up the pieces and moved on, building a great career and dating guys who aren't afraid to be seen in public with him. But when Adam strolls into his salon asking for a haircut, his newfound happiness goes to hell in a handbasket.
Adam's been at war with himself for over a decade. Now on the verge of leaving the military, he's desperate to court Harris the right way and be forgiven. With two weeks' leave and a Navy man's conviction, he's ready to start over…if he can convince Harris he's ready to come out and commit.”
Adam Walker was a teenager when he discovered girls didn’t excite him whereas his sister’s friend Harris Kingston did. Adam wasn’t prepared to admit he was gay though. His big dream was to be a pilot and join the navy, a dream that made the love he felt for Harris impossible. For the past twelve years Adam and Harris have only hooked up in secret while Adam was home on leave.
Harris Kingston has loved Adam since he was a teenager. For ten years he’s patiently waited for Adam while accepting his on again off again lover couldn’t commit to him. He’d hoped the reversal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ would make it possible for them to have a future together, but Adam hasn’t come back home or contacted him since. That final rejection brought Harris to the end of his patience. He’s moved on, is together with a man he’s happy with even if he can’t call it love and determined not to allow Adam to mess up his life again.
When Adam returns home on leave while deciding whether or not to extend his contract with the Navy he is determined to win Harris back. He only has two weeks to convince Harris that he is ready to come out and commit. Harris, after more than a decade of being someone’s dirty little secret isn’t sure he can face the emotional rollercoaster again. He may not be able to deny his love for Adam, he can and will put his own emotional welfare first this time.
I’m a bit ambivalent about this novella. On the one hand I loved the idea of two men who have loved each other for over a decade at last finding the courage to be together. On the other hand I wanted to slap both Adam and Harris. I found it hard to like Adam considering how he’s been treating Harris and while I adore Harris for his loyalty I wanted to scream at him to stop thinking about others and put himself first for a change. Having said that, the way the author described the two men together made the story plausible and their relationship, flawed as it was, easy to believe in, if not to accept.
I wasn’t completely convinced by Adam’s sudden change in attitude. For someone who denied his homosexuality for over a decade and actively avoided coming home in order not to deal with the man he’s supposed to love, he suddenly finds it very easy to admit to everything he’d been so afraid of. And I didn’t like the way he expected Harris to just fall in with his change of heart.
I did sympathise with Harris and completely understood his reluctance to believe Adam’s sudden change of heart. What I did have an issue with was his decision after Adam has at last come out and they spend a wonderful night together.
Adam and Harris together were beautiful and hot though and made up for a lot of my reservations. In fact, the scenes of the two men together, be it in a social setting or in private, made this book a sweet, if at times exasperating, read.
“Trust was a fragile thing, and this little bridge they built with their bodies was precious to him, he wouldn’t destroy it by beings selfish.”