Tuck & Cover
Title : Tuck & Cover
Author : SJD Peterson
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 141 pages (e-book)
Published : June 5, 2013
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 Editions published by Silver Publishing, March 2012 (Battle Buddy) and November 2012 (Tuck & Cover)
The 2nd Edition Tuck & Cover is a combining of the previously separately released short novella and longer novella Battle Buddy and Tuck & Cover respectively. During Part One, Battle Buddy, of the new edition we follow Tucker and Owen’s story from the POV of Tucker. At nineteen, Shane Tucker joins the army as a great alternative to mucking cow shit and mending fences. The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy at the time was also a convenient justification not to come out to his family and friends in his small Texan town.
During the final week of Phase I of bootcamp, Owen Bradford gets assigned as Tucker’s Battle Buddy. Tall (6’4″), brown-haired, golden-eyed, dimple-cheeked, strong jawed, ripped and sexy Owen Bradford. He’s also the cockiest bastard Tucker had ever met. It was lust at first sight, so naturally Tucker found him all kinds of annoying! During Phase III, Tucker finds himself in a trench with his Battle Buddy. There he was, nineteen and a horny as hell virgin, up close and personal with his walking wet dream and, just to top it off, apparently his straight pain-in-the-arse Buddy had no concept of space; and he liked to snuggle. Shortly after that night, Tucker and Owen go their separate ways with Tucker moving onto his Military Occupational Specialty in Washington DC. But the images of Owen’s hard body and his lopsided, dimpled grin follow him, haunting all his dreams and his fantasies.
In the following two years, Tucker discovers that not only did he like military life, but he’s damned good at it. Having decided to make a career of it, Tucker embarks on his mission to become an Army Ranger. After being selected to attend the Ranger Orientation Program, Tucker is ready and eager to get started. Then he hears a deep, husky and all too familiar voice. Yep, Owen Bradford has come back into Tucker’s life to make it one long hell of temptation. Cocky grin and all. Once again, Tucker and Owen dance around each other. Tucker can’t deny his complete infatuation with a straight guy who, with a word, could end his military career. His struggle with his need to hide his attraction comes to a head during a wrestling match when Tucker and Owen, thanks to their similarity in body types, are once again matched up. Owen’s teasing innuendos start to make Tucker doubt just how straight Owen actually is. Or is he just trying to mess with his head? Either way, Tucker can’t risk getting outed. Over the weeks of Ranger training, Tucker gets to know Owen better and realises that he wants Owen to be the first and last man in his bed, but he’s still unsure of Owen’s interest in him.
In Part Two, Tuck & Cover, the story switches POV to Owen. The first two thirds is basically a retelling of part one. For the most part, there were enough differences from the change of POV to keep it from feeling like a straight re-hashing. And Owen is just as cocky as Tuck’s story said he was! It’s also during Owen’s telling of events that we see Tuck’s softer, vulnerable side. The voices of each character felt very distinct and true to what we were learning of them in each part.
Owen will be the third generation of Army Rangers in his family and, as his very traditional father’s only son, Owen felt the need to keep his sexuality a secret from his family. As a consequence, he also has his own struggles with the attraction between Tuck and himself. While I did still like Owen in Part Two, his cockiness tipped over into an arrogance that had me rolling my eyes at times, although I felt there was more growth in Owen’s character than there had been in Tuck’s. When we get to the part of Owen’s story after where Part One finishes, we see just how sweet both of them are underneath all their alpha macho badassness and I loved that! Hot, sexy, sweet, still somewhat in denial, it was good to see their relationship start to develop.
There is a lot of description of the phases of army training. Although it really was quite well done, I have to admit my eyes did glaze over a bit during some of the military aspects of the story. That was mostly due to my complete lack of interest in things military, so for anyone who does enjoy that knowledge, it will be a whole lot more interesting than I might have found it. One little thing that confused me was the occasional use of both O.B. and OB as Tucker’s nickname for Owen. It was used too inconsistently to make me think of Owen as anything but Owen and only served to make me wonder if it was referring to something else as there were already a lot of acronyms for army things in the story. Since it was only ever used in Tucker’s internal thoughts, it didn’t seem to add anything to the story or the characters. As cocky as both characters were, I did like them quite a lot, although due to the length of both parts, I didn’t feel they were as developed as I would have liked. The story was fun and sexy with enough depth in both of their struggles to come to terms with their sexuality within the confines of the military to be interesting. I’ll be on the lookout for the next book in the series.
Rated 4 stars by BookSmitten