Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Army Green by J Rocci
Evan Miller and Cam Jackson have run Glenhaven Farm together on behalf of Evan's grandparents for the past couple years, giving the farm everything they have to make it a success. But when Evan’s old commanding officer asks for Evan’s help with the wild child of their squad, Evan and Cam don’t hesitate to find a place for Reo at Glenhaven. Reo is a city boy with a penchant for trouble, and he stirs up more dust than expected. Reo’s behavior -- and Evan ignoring it -- causes Cam to confront issues he hasn't been able to verbalize until now.
Evan has been juggling a whole set of worries, though, and they take their toll on his health. When he ends up in the hospital, it's up to Cam and the rest of Glenhaven to make sure he follows his doctor's orders.
Featuring the boys from the Torquere Press Single Shot "Taction.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This slice of life story grew on me, from an initial reaction of foot-tapping to ah, let the relationships bloom. While I’ve jumped in on the second in a series (eyes wallet, need to buy more books) I didn’t feel lost with Cam and Evan, who clearly had a long-standing and still evolving relationship. Reo, from Evan’s past in the military, stir up a lot of feelings and aggravation, but is a very engaging character, and makes Cam think.
Reo also makes Derrick, the nineteen year old Hooligan and stable hand think, and the two stories are very entwined. The point of view, although it seems to ooze back and forth sometimes between Cam and Evan, does spend about a third of the story with Derrick, and that makes his storyline real important. He’s attracted to Reo, and doesn’t know what to do about it. That’s kind of cute but it’s way incomplete.
So, it smells like sequel-bait, and while I love followon stories, I still feel like instead of getting two complete story lines, I’m getting about one and a half in this book, and that is a lot less satisfying. Any sequel would have to back up a bit to get these two introduced, so how bad would a hug and a kiss have spoiled anything? If we’d only watched these two through Evan’s eyes, leaving it incomplete would be a whole different matter, because he sure wouldn’t be watching their first gropes or thinking Derrick’s thoughts.
The cast of dozens introduced before page twenty also added to a bit of dissatisfaction, because while most of them had something to do with either backstory or running the stables, they didn’t have a lot to do with the story lines, except they all seemed so important that I had to remember them for the whole book. If Ostie’s kid had shown up at the picnic to play his tuba, that might have made recalling all those details worthwhile, but he’s never seen or heard of again and he's one of several flash in the pan characters.
The real strength of this book is Evan and Cam together, and I’d like to see more of them.