Mission: All In
by Nicole Edwards
Release Date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Nicole Edwards Limited
Book #1 in the Brantley Walker: Off the Books series
Number of Pages: 246
Source: ARC from author
Contemporary Romance/Suspense M/M
Read 4/29/20 to 4/30/20
Brantley Walker has dedicated his life to fighting for his country. Having given eighteen years to the US Navy, the last ten as a SEAL, the mission was the only thing he knew, the only thing that mattered. He never even considered what life would look like after the mission was over.
Until he’s forced to.
After spending months recovering from career-ending injuries, Brantley finds himself back in his hometown of Coyote Ridge, Texas. Now a permanent resident once again, with the full support of his family and friends, he sets forth to start over, forced to figure out what to do with the rest of his life, which, as it turns out, is far easier said than done.
Then the unthinkable happens.
When his cousin Travis’s daughter goes missing, Brantley puts himself right back in the action, partnering up with Reese Tavoularis to find the little girl and bring her back home where she belongs.
Along the way, Brantley and Reese end up immersed in another mission. Only this one results in a journey that takes them in a direction neither of them expected to go.
Man oh man, I adore this story. The premise, the characters, the heat, the uncertainty. All of it! And I cannot wait to read more. While this book does not have a cliffhanger, it’s written in a way that it’s open for there to be many adventures with the same characters.
I definitely have a soft spot for military men. After all, my husband was a Navy man himself. In this story we have both of the main characters as former military. Brantley was on track to be a lifer until a medical discharge. He was gung-ho Navy. Part of a SEAL team and not one to make the trek back home other than the occasional holiday or special occasion. Reese was Air Force and had enlisted in honor of his brother rather than because it was his own dream. He was good at his job and had no issues with the military, it just wasn’t his life goal. But, in my experience (so many family members of mine are military or former military), once you’re in the military it sticks with you no matter how long you’re out. That makes Brantley and Reese seem like a perfect fit for friendship. But there’s a spark between them that makes Brantley wonder if it’s more than friendship Reese wants.
If you’ve read any of the other stories about the Walkers, be it the in the Alluring Indulgence series or the Walkers of Coyote Ridge series, you know they are an inclusive and open-minded bunch. Although Reese isn’t a Walker by blood, he’s been part of the family for years. He grew up in the same town and his brother was friends with some of the older Walker brothers through their school years. In fact, Reese’s brother (who has his own wonderful story in the Sniper 1 Security series, Never Say Never) is gay and Reese has no problems with that at all. But Reese never had an attraction to men himself. That’s why the instant chemistry he feels with Brantley is so confusing to him. Is he gay, bisexual, something else? Does it even matter? These are all questions Reese is grappling with.
While Brantley feels the connection as well, he has never doubted his sexual orientation. The man has never “experimented” with a woman, never had an urge to do so. And though he’s very confident in the fact that he is gay, his reaction to Reese and vice versa is even confusing to him since he assumed Reese was straight. Brantley’s not one to stick his nose where it’s not wanted, but once the door is ajar and there is opportunity…he’s going to pursue it to the end.
This whole book is foreplay. I mean that in a good way. With Reese’s confusion and Brantley not wanting to get invested in someone who cannot reciprocate feelings, things are taken really slowly. Sweet kisses, hot kisses, all kinds of kisses, gradually building up to more. It’s hot and exciting and gave me all the feels. Brantley doesn’t want to change Reese. He wants Reese to come to his own realizations in his own time. Because of that, he has more patience than he even knew he was capable of having.
Although this relationship has a lot of room to grow by the end of the book, there’s no disappointment. There is satisfaction for the reader as well as the characters. As I mentioned before, there is no cliffhanger. We get a beginning, middle, and ending. We get action, relationships (romantic, friendly, and familial), lust, heat, tenderness, yearning. The reader gets it all and then some. And while I always recommend you read all of this authors books because I lover her writing, I will say that this can definitely be read as a standalone. Trust me, you won’t regret this read.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**