I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter
Review completed October 19, 2012
"All is fair in love and war."
by Francis Edward Smedley
First read of the Director's Cut in October 2012. I've read the original version in August 2011. A huge and heartfelt thankyou to Kelly, Blacky, Steph & Heller for doing the buddy-read with me! <3
Fantastic! A-mazing with a capital A. I think it's even better the second time around. Honestly, Soldiers just blew me away once more.
Special Forces is the story of a Scottish SAS soldier and a Soviet spetsnaz soldier. Two enemies who meet in the line of duty during the early days of the Soviet Union's last war in Afghanistan. SF is an epic because the story of Dan and Vadim spans twenty-five years of their lives.
Special Forces--Soldiers is the first cycle of the Special Forces epic. Dan and Vadim are "meeting" for the first time in August 1980, in Kabul. The second cycle is Mercs I and II (2 books) and the third one is Veterans. The whole epic comprises around one million words. Take your time and read it.
Enemies…from hatred to love.
One million words of:
Anger. Hatred. Torture. Violence. Cruelty. Pain. Swearing. Agony. Anguish. Crying. Despair. Stress. Franticness. Blood, sweat and tears. Death. Insanity. Awfulness. Doubts. Separation. Communication. Lack of communication. Miscommunication. Tension. Frustration. Satisfaction. Lust. Need. Passion. Sex. Tenderness. Vulnerability. Dedication. Heroism. Mercy. Hope. Darkness. Shadow. Light. Happiness. Gratitude. And above and beyond…despite all the misgivings a deep-rooted love.
Prayer beads. Vadim's gift to Dan.
So many books pale compared to SF—a mere dust in the wind, vanished into Nothing. SF is pure insanity in its intensity, gripping from the get-go, oh-so shocking, brutal and ugly at times but this story will consume you and swallow you whole. As a matter of fact, the words and characters will cut right through your heart. The authors did a superb job at portraying two multi-layered and battle-scarred characters. War is showing its ugly and gruesome face. And yet I loved to see that among all this insanity there is honor to be found. Dan said he is not a good man but at his core he is honorable because he spared Vadim's life when he called to him as a soldier or when he tried to shelter the young German soldier.
"You want to know why I didn't cut your balls off, stuffed them down your throat and watched you die? You want to know it? I don't give a shit about you, Russkie, family kids, wife, village, country, beliefs, sexuality or not. I don't give a flying fuck. I saw you take down the village, I watched you bring out the mothers by splattering their children's brains into the dirt. You call yourself a killer? I call that a murderer, and if you had died under my hands, cunt, I would have been one of you. And that's why you live--no more, no less, no other reason. I didn't continue because you asked for the mercy to die as a soldier, because you called to me as a soldier, and that's what I am."--Dan
I adored Dan's deep, deep love for the Afghan mountains. Further, I adored the interaction between Dan and the British ambassador, Baroness de Vilde (Maggie). What he did for her is invaluable but she knows it, and she gave back by being loyal, very supportive, understanding and caring. Always. A true lady made of steel, however, at her core she is utterly kind-hearted. Throughout this epic I came to really like Vadim but then again, there is no love lost between him and me. My emotions are all over the place when a man is raping men because he enjoys to do it and when he has no qualms whatsoever to kill innocent children and women. My friends know where I stand and I will admit it's a somewhat lonely place to be. Yes, he made mistakes, he is flawed. However, all the Dan bashing is kinda depressing and not really fair because there are reasons why he changed. And please "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Isn't it rather convenient to forget about that? With that said, I'd appreciate it if we could differentiate a bit more.
Enemy mine. An “enemy” in a wilderness of insanity
“It’s another first today.” He paused. “You seem to be the one for firsts,” his breath caught, “and lasts and always.” --Dan
“Tell me what do you remember?”
“I don’t want to talk.” Dan’s neck muscles tensed resisting Vadim’s hand. He didn’t know the words and he didn’t want to search for them. “I just want to feel. But no, that wasn’t it. “I want to feel human.” --Dan
What follows suit is my favorite love scene. It was not about sex—it was so much more and went way deeper. It's love.
"You…" just you, always you. My Russian cunt, my enemy, my comrade, my prisoner, my gaoler and my life. Words, unthinking. "Love…you." --Dan
Couldn't hear his own groans echo in the cave, mind screaming for release, knew he'd do anything, absolutely everything for this man, suck him, kill, kill himself, run away, be something else, anything else, everything just blurred, darkness, a place inside that only held him and Dan. Nobody else, nothing else, no time, no place, no affiliations, no past, no future. --Vadim
First and foremost Dan and Vadim's "relationship" is about a profound lust and need. Their internal tensions are very palpable and engaging. But there's no going back--their relationship evolves slowly yet steadily and it's so incredibly rewarding to see them fall in love with each other. The sex is rough and edgy and that's why I treasured the rare moments of tenderness all the more. Death was always hovering over their heads and the reader has a hard time to really believe in their HEA. Well, you know the saying "Good things come to those who wait."
The ending of Soldiers is emotionally charged, frantic and full of despair and angst--I could feel the goosebumps on my skin. In fact, it will leave you absolutely breathless and wanting for more. While the war had kept them together, peace was tearing them apart.
Even though I can't recommend this epic enough, please be aware that Special Forces contains very graphic violence, language and sex. It's not for the faint of heart.
"Hold me," he murmured with a strained voice. "Just f***ing hold me."