elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Latakia by J.F. Smith

Do you know how they say that self-published stories cannot be good? How they maybe can be original but lacking in all those details a publisher and/or an editor help the author with? Well, forget everything about it, since Latakia by JF Smith is one of the best novel I have read this year, including those by mainstream publishers. And if you considering I’m not much of a fan of thriller/adventure novel, it tells you even more about this novel.

Matt is a volunteer of Doctors Without Borders who was in the wrong café at the wrong time. He found himself kidnapped and without any hope of seeing freedom again since he was not even the one they wanted. Matt is a dead man only waiting for his last minute and he knows it. And then 4 men, Navy SEALS, enter the scene, rescue him, and completely change his life. The leader of the team is Travis “Mope”, the nickname for his tendency to mope a little; but Travis is also a real man, a good man, on the contrary of the vain boyfriend Matt has at home. Between the two it’s clear who is the best pick, but the problem is that Travis is not free to come out if he wants to maintain his job. And he loves his job.

Latakia is first of all an adventure novel, and there is a lot of action, some violence, explosions, secret missions, brother in army mentality, soldiers equal heroes, and so on. Basically more a manly man novel than a romance, but surprise, surprise, the author was also able to stuff the whole with a lot of romance, almost like a club sandwich, one layer of dangerous mission, one layer of tender kisses, one layer of perilous travel, one layer of “look this is my hunky new boyfriend” in front of your lame former boyfriend and his even lamer new boy, one layer of terroristic attack and one layer of we are brothers, no matter what happens, not matter who you love and loves you back.

This is also a sexy novel, even if nothing of what happens in the intimacy between Matt and Travis is shared with the reader; if you want to imagine, you have all the clues to fill the gaps, but mostly this is about the romance not the sex.

I like that the author didn’t minimize the issue about Travis and his homosexuality in the army, but I also like he gave him, and other like him, hope; it’s not easy but not impossible to come out, not at least if you are part of a team, a real team, one you can trust your life to, since they are brothers, and not simply colleagues. Yes, in the end I think this novel was as much about brotherhood as it was about romance. And I highlight again, it had a “mainly” flavour, without for this reason lacking at all on the romanticism department.

Amazon Kindle: Latakia
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: j.f. smith, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: military

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