This was an amazing book. I'm always looking for books that deal with actual military life - boot camp, training, in the war zone - and I don't find many so reading this one was a lovely treat because it takes place over a five year span and deals with much more than just basic training.
This book has a bit of everything in it. A majority of the story is sweet but its also suspenseful, touching, heartbreaking, horrifying, sad and unbelievably sexy. I loved the connection between Chris and Col and how it starts as just sex but leads to a solid relationship. Both these boys are stubborn and at times bone-headed but they are a perfect fit for each other. Chris is young, fresh, openly gay and hot as hell while Col is older (by fourteen years), a bit bitter, sometimes angry and in the closet. The two clash at first but the attraction is always there and seeing them develop feelings for each other was amazing because of who these men really are.
The story, IMO, is about Col accepting who he really is. He's been in the closet forever and when Chris comes along it turns Col's life upside down but in the end, Col comes a long way to be with Chris. When thinking back to this book, these boys had sex a lot. Their relationship for a good part of the time is based on solely that even though they both develop feelings for each other. However, even though there was a lot of sex, most of it is kind of glossed over so I didn't have a problem with seeing these boys getting it on (I have a pretty low tolerance for smut :-/). That's not to say ALL of the sex is glossed over just a portion because these boys were definitely hot!. I mean, like scorching. I absolutely loved them.
The only problems I had with the story (which didn't really bother me that much but were still noticeable) was the fact that 32 weeks of basic training are very quickly went through. I was hoping for a bit more details on those weeks, what the soldiers had to do, how Col and Chris acted in some of those situations, etc. There was also a few times when the POV switched from Col to Chris, or vice versa, without any indication and for very brief periods of time before it was switched back to the original POV.
Even with those two things, I really loved this story. Col and Chris are definitely something special and their relationship is intense, sweet and touching. I'm hoping for a sequel, but then again, I'm just greedy because this story truly ended perfectly, IMO.