Title: Beyond Duty
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb: The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell didn’t come soon enough for Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones, career US Marines who met at boot camp in the 1990s. They’ve been somewhere between best friends and lovers in peacetime and wartime both, but as the clock ticks toward Mac’s and Gunny’s retirements, the guys have much more to worry about than coming out.
Whether their relationship will survive outside of the closet they’ve had to shove it into for over two decades is a big question mark. Gunny questions why a hot military man like Mac—who could get any guy he wanted, including a younger, sexier one—would want him. But as Gunny and Mac navigate emotional waters as choppy as any they saw on duty, they just might learn Semper Fi applies to more than their careers.
Review: Back when this was a freebie short for the GoodReads MM Romance Group I read Beyond Duty and fell in love with Mac and Gunny. I was so glad that Peterson took this great inspiration picture and was able to make it into a full length novel.
Mac and Gunny are two career Marines that have been best friends, fuck buddies, occasional lovers, and are currently in an almost de facto relationship. After 20+ years of service these men are coming to the end of their military careers. As their retirements approach so does the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a huge pall over their lives.
I actually was expecting this book to go in a different direction when I started reading. This wasn’t really about DADT like I had thought. Really this book delves into what happens after, after years of hiding, years of half truths, and years of uncertainty. The conflict in Beyond Duty is almost all emotional, the effects of Mac and Gunny finding their way out of the closet and into a committed relationship. How one goes about telling family, friends, co-workers, etc. that you are gay is something covered in multiple places.
One thing I in no way was prepared for was how emotional this one is! There are some very, very tearjerker moments, even to the point of ‘the ugly cry.’ Because this has a BDSM label I assumed there would be lots of D/s play and not a lot of discussion of feelings. I was very wrong. The BDSM is pretty light and not very prevalent throughout the story but the emotional connection of the characters is.
If you want a heartwarming, tearjerker of a story about two mature men blending their lives together I know you will enjoy Beyond Duty.
Reviewed by Jules