Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Beyond Duty
Author: SJD Peterson
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 212 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 12, 2013
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
This edition is the expanded novel of the short story Beyond Duty which has been included in this novel. However it has been edited and changed to 3rd person POV.
After twenty-two years, Mac and Gunny are only months away from retiring from the marines. At the same time, Obama is repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Exclusively together as lovers for the last ten years or so, Mac and Gunny are both nervous and excited to finally take their relationship to a whole new level, one that means they can be as open as they want about their relationship without fearing for the careers. But before they can retire, Mac and Gunny have more important things to do… like telling their family they’re more than just friends.
This was a really lovely story. Right from the start we are thrust into the existing relationship between Gunny and Mac. Mac has been away for months on a mission and he’s finally returning home. I loved the turmoil surrounding both men during this time; their constant worry that the other would be there when they retired and could be out, whether their relationship meant anything at all or if it was just a way to pass the time until they could be free. Thankfully, this doesn’t last long and Mac shows them the error of their ways. I really loved that about them. They complimented each other perfectly. Where Mac is the cocky, playful tease, Gunny is more serious and worried. They balance each other and they both know just how to cheer up the other and how to soothe their worries.
They’re sweet, loving, gentle and caring men and they’ll fight to keep each other. They worry what will happen after retirement, what will happen when their families learn of their love or if they’ll even be able to last a few more months before they can do whatever they want. This is their story and their struggle through all that. It’s simply about anticipating the next stage in the life and coping with that. I adored the way they were so passionate and possessive of each other, their commitment to one another was so sweet and I especially loved that neither of them hesitated to want to marry the other. As I said, this was just a sweet romance between two guys who knew they had a good thing and refused to let anything come between that.
My biggest complaint with this one is that there was sooo much sex. The beginning was hard for me to get through because it seemed like Mac and Gunny had sex after sex. For someone like me, who prefers to have less smut than more, it was a struggle to keep reading. Soon, the sex lessened and the story really picked up but even after this point, there were still a lot more sex scenes. Beyond that, the transition between June, where they told Mac’s parents about them, and October, when the exit ceremony was to take place, was awkward and there was no indication that months had passed between one chapter and the next so it was a little disorienting at that point.
Overall, this was still a fabulous story. I adored Mac and Gunny. As best friends first and lovers second, they had a soul-deep relationship filled with funny banter, teasing and love. They’re a great couple and I loved that this book didn’t have any specific villain but was more about struggling with retirement, the repeal of DADT and finally coming out. A sweet, loving story that I’d definitely recommend for anyone looking for something smutty with just enough angst to move the book along.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*