At nineteen, Shane Tucker joins the army. Tucker is gay but not ready to be open about it, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell seems like a convenient way to avoid dealing with his sexuality.
The army suits Tucker; he does well from the beginning. Then, during boot camp, he’s assigned a “battle buddy,” Owen Bradford. Owen is a walking, talking wet dream with no concept of personal space. Tucker only survives the constant temptation by venting to his diary.
Two years later, Tucker—now in the Army Ranger program—is paired up with Owen once again. Getting through training while ignoring the sexual tension between him and his battle buddy might be the biggest test of Tucker’s military career.
Tuck & Cover
You may have read Tuck’s diary entries, but they don’t tell the whole story. Tuck will argue the point, but he definitely got a few details wrong—not that I blame him. He was, if you remember, a little sexually frustrated at the time. He probably wasn’t thinking straight. I’ll never get tired of teasing him about that. Anyway, here’s what really happened.
Rangers lead the way! – Owen
First things first: This is an older story by the author, but if you haven’t read it, you really ought to.
Tucker and Owen are how I met SJD Peterson. Why? Because this book is damned amazing! Imagine it. Military men. Hot, sweaty, sexy as sin. Yeah, that’s the beginning of Tuck and Owen, but it’s not the end. This book is two novellas put together by Dreamspinner Press. The original was from Silver Publishing way back when.
So, anyway, back to Shane Tucker: The first thing you need to know about Tuck is that he’s a virgin. An honest to goodness, dyed in the wool, tight assed bastard. It’s not that he hasn’t wanted to experience sex. It’s more that he’s from a small town, and he’s got a dream that something like sex can’t be allowed to interfere with. All that’s well and good, until he meets Owen Bradford. If a cockier son of a bitch walked the face of the earth, Tuck never met him. The problem? Tuck wants Owen in the worst way. He creeps under Tuck’s skin and takes up residence there. Tuck pushes the thoughts and feelings down deep, though, to preserve his sanity. Unfortunately, Owen likes a challenge, and that’s exactly how he sees Tuck.
In the first part of the story, told in first-person from Tuck’s point of view, we get to see how he gets a handle on his lust, how aggravated Owen makes him, and how desperately he wants him. Then we get to find out how Owen has him.
In the second part of the story, we’re told Owen’s side of the story. It varies some from Tuck’s, but it’s no less fascinating. And hot. Did I mention hot? Owen was my first book crush from SJD Peterson–but not the last one, obviously–and reading his story left me with a serious case of the vapors (yes, that’s what we’re going to call it).
Before you think the story is all about sex, it isn’t. It’s about two men who find one another in the most trying of times to be a gay man in the military. And it also shows us how what started out as competition, antagonism, and outright hostility, became something else.