A Nix MM Review – High and Tight by Vanessa North (3.5 Stars)

Posted May 20, 2014 by Nix in review / 0 Comments

High and Tight by Vanessa North
Published by Carina Press on 2014-05-19
Genres: Male-Male
Pages: 81
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

Pilot Adam Walker has had one great love in his life: Harris Kingston. But twelve years ago, when he accepted a scholarship and joined the Navy, he chose duty to his country over love. Their on-again off-again relationship was never more than private joy, a frustrating fact of military life.

Harris never wanted to be anyone's dirty little secret. When Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed two years ago, Adam broke his heart one last time. He's picked up the pieces and moved on, building a great career and dating guys who aren't afraid to be seen in public with him. But when Adam strolls into his salon asking for a haircut, his newfound happiness goes to hell in a handbasket.

Adam's been at war with himself for over a decade. Now on the verge of leaving the military, he's desperate to court Harris the right way and be forgiven. With two weeks' leave and a Navy man's conviction, he's ready to start over…if he can convince Harris he's ready to come out and commit.

26,000 words

FTC : I requested this book for a fair and honest review. The author has been on the site a number of times.

Wow, this book was an emotionally challenging read. For such a short story, it certainly packed in a lot of angst and, with a mixture of flashbacks and present day scenes, the author did a good job in making sure that the love story didn’t feel rushed. I’m not sure I liked Adam’s methods, or his timing, but it certainly made for a compelling novella. I read it in one sitting… yes, it hooked me in with its angsty goodness 🙂

Adam comes back to tell the man he has loved ever since he was a teenager that he is ready to come out and have a proper relationship with him. Unfortunately, that very same man has since moved on to a new, and very happy, relationship. Completely disregarding this fact, Adam, arse that he is, decides to pursue Harris anyway. I was torn at this point. Although I knew whose love story this was, and who I was supposed to be routing for, I couldn’t help feeling Adam’s course of action was crappy. Jason (the new boyfriend) was a nice guy and, although it was blatant that Harris didn’t love him, it was such unhero-like behaviour it made me question what I wanted from this romance. I was so bloody confused!

I completely understood why Harris was so mad. I’d have been mad. In fact, I think I’d have been completely unforgiving. He expected Adam to come back when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed. When that barrier to their relationship was lifted, he expected to be able to be with the man he loved and whom he thought loved him back. Instead, Adam stayed away. Honestly, this alone made me question what I, as a reader, wanted for Harris. I knew Adam was sorry, and I knew that Harris loved him desperately, but I didn’t know if it was too little too late. I liked Harris, respected the way he dealt with the things life had thrown at him and I just didn’t know that Adam could redeem himself enough. It was a very clever decision by Vanessa North to write this tale with Adam as the dominant voice; it made it very difficult for me to hate him, even a little, even when he was the one completely in the wrong.

The sex scenes are all completely on the page and I enjoyed the desperation and bittersweet emotions that flowed through them. Adam was touching the man that he loved for the first time in years and Harris, whilst trying to resist, was completely helpless to resist the chemistry and emotion that flowed between them. They were hot, lovely and a little bit sad. I can’t decide whether this is a gay-for-you story or just one of someone finding their soulmate very young. Either way it was lovely.

There was two secondary characters in the story and, although I liked the sisters’ role in the story, the other felt like nothing more than a plot device. I found her presence to be a distraction, her role seemingly only to be a sounding board for characters to make decisions aloud to drive the romance forward. I’m not a fan of the secondary-character plot device but it is nothing more than my pet peeve; she wasn’t in there for me to get to know as it wasn’t her story.

Overall, this was a very emotionally confusing read for me. I didn’t know I wanted to see happen but I sure enjoyed reading it!


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