Title: Battle Buddy (Rough Rangers #1)
Author: SJD Peterson
Length: 14,504 words (65 pdf pages)
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: m/m contemporary
Shane Tucker joins Uncle Sam’s Army at nineteen. Tucker is gay, but not ready to be open about his orientation and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” seems like a convenient way to avoid having to dealing with his sexuality.
The Army suits Tucker; he does well right from the beginning. Things get harder for Tucker during boot camp when he is assigned a “Battle Buddy”. Owen Bradford is a walking, talking wet dream, with no concept of personal space–he especially likes being in Tucker’s personal space. Tucker barely survives boot camp living with the constant temptation that is Owen Bradford.
Two years later, Tucker–now in the Army Ranger program–is paired up with Owen once again. Getting through training while ignoring the sizzling sexual tension between him and his “Battle Buddy” might be the biggest test of Tucker’s military career.
This was a fun sexy read with a lot of information about army training, but I didn’t find it too much, it definitely added to the atmosphere of the story. As the blurb states, ever since basic training Tucker has found Owen Bradford a distraction. Joining the military allowed Tucker to have a good reason to hide his sexuality, but Owen is surely testing him. He manages to make it though basic training and two years later applies to the Army Rangers and much to his dismay, finds Owen in the same training group, and sadly, his reaction to the man hasn’t changed. Also, Owen seems to delight in taunting Tucker.
Finally as training finishes, Tucker decides that he needs to lose his virginity and that will get Owen out of his head, although Owen is determined to follow through on the last time he tried to come on to Tucker. I could understand Tucker’s confusion as to Owen’s treatment of him. The man teases and taunts, but Tucker’s not sure if he truly feels something or if he’s just being a dick. Is he trying to catch Tucker out and then report him to the military and have him kicked out? Is he just bored and there’s no girls so figures Tucker is a convenient substitute.
The story is told from Tucker’s point of view and he’s telling you the reader the story. He turns into a cocky and confident soldier, who’s good at his job and not afraid to prove it, but he’s also a bit self-deprecating which makes him come across as extremely likable and not a macho jerk. He often ponders his life and why he’s being tortured by being forced into close proximity with the man who causes all the blood in his body to rush to his groin.
Hearing the CO call my name along with Owen’s had me questioning who in the hell up there hated me so much. What had I ever done so wrong that I was constantly being put through these trials? I seriously needed to start taking a closer look at my life and figure out how I was fucking up so badly.
The story ends just as they agree to give it a try. I see this is #1 in the series and as the men are stationed across the country from each other, and neither is out to their families, I think there is a lot more room for an interesting story with the two. It’s got touches of humour, and the sex when they finally get to it is two tough strong alpha guys fighting for dominance, hot and rough and steamy. I think it’s definitely worth a read and is a complete story in itself, even given the series notation.