Soldier by AKM Miles

Torquere Press

Contemporary (M/M)

ISBN: 978-1-60370-637-7, 1-60370-637-2

Reviewed by Sabella

   

 

Soldier is a man scarred, both physically and mentally, by the trauma that resulted from being too close to a bomb while rescuing men from his military unit.  For the last two years he has wandered the U.S., avoiding all human contact and believing that his scars are too repulsive. He can’t stand the looks of pity and horror from strangers.  When he goes to Texas to “inspect” some properties he owns, Soldier finds that one of the houses is occupied by an interesting looking man and a group of little boys who all act in a very suspicious, yet fascinating way.  This peaks Soldier’s interest and makes him stick around to find out what, if anything, is going on.

Dillon is also a scarred man, but as a result of a vicious attack when he was a young man.  In his wanderings from the traumatic memories, Dillon somehow finds himself caring for young abused boys that the Social Services system can’t handle. Dill, at the moment, has a house full of young boys to feed and clothe with limited resources, while maintaining a low profile as his “boys’ home” isn’t exactly legal yet.  So, when his youngest charge reports seeing a large man lurking in the shadows of the yard Dill investigates. After all, he can’t risk being exposed or scrutinized too closely, which would cause the boys he is nurturing back to health taken away from him.  However, the last thing Dill expected to find was a man that was as mysterious as the night and as giving as Soldier.

Dill knows he needs to be careful in caring for the boys. While Soldier is incredibly attractive, he might not be the best to have around if Dill wants to keep his kids.  But what will both these men do when they can’t seem to tear away from each other and when the children fall in love with Soldier too?

Soldier is an interesting romance with enough angst to satisfy all those who like to read about their heroes being put through the wringer. Not to mention enough drama to satisfy even the most demanding of drama queens.  Soldier, while portrayed as a man that hardly speaks and very reserved, seems to pour his heart out to Dill upon first acquaintance and behaves in a completely opposite manner to every description given of his character and habits.  Dill, on the other hand, shares too many similarities with Soldier on the scar issue, which made it feel contrived rather than an issue that bonded them together. As a whole, the issue of the foster kids was touching and wrenching as their stories are told, but the book seemed to focus more attention on the children rather than the romance itself. This made the romance a little icky in that context, especially given that most of the children have been sexually abused.  Also, both men are sometimes a little girly and syrupy as they discuss their feelings and self-analysis.  The declarations of love happen so soon after they start their relationship that it rang a little false. Especially when Soldier completely involves himself in the care of the children in the blink of an eye, swooping in like the proverbial white knight with boatloads of money that resolves every issue.  All in all, Soldier is not really a very fascinating read, so I would recommend giving it a pass when shopping for a good romance.

     

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