Reviewed by JustJen
Title: The Tide of War
Author: Lori A. Witt
Series: Defending Epsilon #1
Heroes: Kyle West/Andrei Dezhnyov
Genre: MM Sci-Fi
Length: 371 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 22, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Lieutenant Commander Kyle West is one of Earth Fleet’s greatest fighter pilots. Every day, he leads his squadron into battle over Earth’s cities in a seemingly endless war against a vicious alien race, defending his home and his loved ones.
Millions of miles away, the Fleet’s Elite Squadron attacks from another angle, engaging the enemy on its home turf. Casualties are high, and the Squadron needs more of the Fleet’s very best. But joining the Elite is a death sentence—a surety Kyle isn’t willing to face. Until a devastating attack wipes out the family he refused to leave.
Commander Andrei Dezhnyov, an Elite Squadron gunner, isn’t sure what to make of the cocky new American pilot. Kyle is equally uncertain about the snarly Russian, but as they warm up to each other, their tentative alliance becomes a deep bond—one that endangers them both when a daring and disobedient rescue reveals secrets that call into question everything they’ve ever believed about their enemy. Secrets that their superiors would kill to protect.
Review: I am not generally into sci-fi stories, but this was Ms. Witt, so I had to give it a go. It was quite different than what I expected which made it interesting and rather unique. It was like Top Gun in space with a few extras thrown in.
So, there is a war going on between Earth and an alien race called the Menarians. There are fighters on Earth protecting from below, and fighters from above (the Elite force located on the battle station Epsilon). The first thing that is interesting is that the men are married and often paired up as teams of pilots and Gunners. Here, Andrei (the gunner) and his wife (the pilot) are two of the best on Epsilon, whereas Keith (the pilot) and his wife (the gunner) are two of the best who have fought from Earth. For years, the Elite force has been trying to recruit Keith and his wife, to no avail. It isn’t until Keith loses his lover and son to Menarian bombs that he gives in. Did I mention that the wives are all completely comfortable with their men pursuing their bisexual sides by taking lovers? Unfortunately though, not everyone feels that way, so Keith has kept his “family” a secret from all but his wife.
So, after finally becoming a part of the team on Epsilon, Keith and Andrei eventually give in and act on their mutual attraction. There is sex between the various parties, but while you know it is happening, you get very few details. Much of this story is world building and setting up the scenery. The men fly missions, fighting the Menarians, but, things always seem to be hampering their abilities, be it lack of supplies, sketchy attack orders, etc. It takes a while and a few events for the guys to really start questioning things, but once they do, it all begins to unravel rather quickly in quite an interesting turn.
I found I really liked the strong relationships these guys had with the women, who were all very strong characters. I can’t say more about the wives without giving too much away, but suffice to say, they didn’t hinder the m/m relationship at all. Things are now set up for the story to take a different direction, and while this one took me a little bit to get into at first, by the end, I was ready for more. This really picked up the pace as it went along with a lot of action and interesting twists and turns. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*