Always Ready

Always Ready - T.A. Chase 3.5 stars

Originally included in the [b:Semper Fidelis|24058781|Semper Fidelis|S.A. McAuley||43656495] anthology this short story focuses on 28 year old crab fisherman Phil and 38 year old Coast Guard rescue swimmer Dean. Together for two years, the men both have incredibly dangerous jobs that keep them apart most of the time. While Skype, texting and phone calls keep them connected, they are lucky if they manage to see each other once per month.

I am used to reading stories about closeted military men, but this one was a bit different since Dean is out and Phil is the closeted one. Working on his father’s crab boat, out on the Bering Sea is dangerous on the best of days (if you’ve ever watched Deadliest Catch you know it’s brutal), and he is not sure how his family or the men on the crew would react if he came out. Meeting up with Dean again before shipping out, the two men can’t keep their hands off each other and they are definitely hot together. Hiding who he is and denying Dean as a full part of his life isn’t enough anymore and Phil is determined to come out, but first he needs to cast off and Dean needs to get back to work. As a huge storm hits while Phil is on the boat there is every chance that one of them might not make it back.

As short as the story is, I felt I got to know each of the men rather well as they discussed their families and Phil’s plans to come out. There was some action and tension when the storm hits and Dean has to make a choice when his personal life collides with his professional life. I felt the connection between the two men as their emotions warred with the practicalities of their lives and professions and was glad to see them working out a plan for their HEA.

A copy of this story was provided by the publisher for an honest review.