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Monday, September 8, 2014

Special Forces #3 - Veterans (1994-2006) by Aleksandr Voinov (Vashtan) & Marquesate ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

Finishing this book, and this series in general was tough. In a way I was SO ready yet wasn't ready at all. I wanted for them to FINALLY get their Happily Ever After, and yet, I really didn't want to leave them behind. 

Both Vadim and Dan left SUCH an impression on me I have a feeling not many books will EVER make me feel like I did while reading this series. I WILL admit that I felt that we got too much sex in this one as was in the previous book (part 1 & 2) which felt at times redundant, but the overall feel of the series, the building of the relationship was simply amazing and yeah, about half way through this book we got their happily ever after, a place in their relationship that they are truly at peace with their life with each other. The rest of the book was about finding more peace around them and it felt so right the way it ended though I wouldn't have minded enjoying their company for more than the 25 years span that we got. 

I feel like I'm running ahead of myself here but somehow I felt I had to start with the general feeling before I relate to the plot itself.

We start this book with Dan being in the hospital dealing AT LAST with his knee. It was long awaited, though not by Dan, but it was there for a while now and I knew it was coming and knew it would be the way out of their occupation but though Vadim was ready to leave, Dan wasn't. 

While Dan was in the hospital recovering while not really recovering, Vadim started working on their Veteran carrier as consultants (as Maggie promised them she'd help establish). They needed the money for Dan's recovery as well as working on their house in New Zealand so he got working pretty fast and found he actually liked it. Being apart made Vadim miss the fact that Dan is suffering from a HUGE depression and it took the both of them time to solve this issue as well as their broken relationship. I felt like crying the whole time. I wanted to yell at both of them for not opening their mouth and speaking their heart out but finally Vadim took the initiative and did the one thing that was bound to bring Dan back. I so loved Vadim for that, it was simply PERFECT.

From there we had a sub plot that I don't really feel was necessary for anything.. Got to do with someone who was sorta stalking Vadim and trying to claim him as his own. Naturally it brought on a few sex scenes with other partners. This is the main reason this book doesn't get 5 stars, there were parts I didn't feel like were necessary.. The next one was learning a bit more of Jean's relationship with his wife. I never liked neither him nor his boring quiet wife and when I heard more of them and saw what ideas it put on Dan's head I was really disgusted! It also made for 2 sex scenes between Dan and Vadim I wanted to puke while reading them. Felt totally wrong considering their relationship and also Vadim's past (I don't want to spoiler so I'm leaving this statement as it is...)

The most important thing that happens in this book is Vadim FINALLY getting treatment for his PTSD. It got out of hand (I was heart broken from all the scenes with the PTSD symptoms especially the one that made Vadim and Dan seek the doctor's help). This part was so emotional for me (and them..). The treatment itself, how Vadim reacted to it, what Dan went through at the time, and naturally the "end" where Vadim shares with Dan so many truths he didn't dare say to him like his problem with Dan having sex with his buddies. It was LONG awaited and though I would have loved for them to reach monogamy you don't have to even guess to know that it won't happen (and there IS Hooch in the mix as well..).

Right about this time (and about half way into the book) I really felt that the both of them are FINALLY comfortable in the relationship so we get a little bit of a side story with Hooch and since I love his character it was captivating and heart breaking. I really want to read his and Matt's story but I won't do that in the near future, I want to have a little break.. when I'll read it though I'll probably add the one of Vadim's son as well. I have my issues with their open relationship. I wouldn't accept that in a relationship myself.. and though I "get" Dan and the fact that this is who he is, and the fact that Vadim can accept it in some occasions which means it's actually working for them - this is NOT something I enjoy reading in a romance.. I really feel like going back to my more, well, conventional romance novels.. 

Before the book ends there are more closures to be made, mainly concerns Katya and the kids. It was long awaited as well. I really enjoyed this part and felt it was written in the most sensitive and beautiful way. 

The ending blew me to pieces. If not for an annoying sex scene(s) with Jean I would say the last three chapters broke my heart and glues it right back together. I finished this book in tears of joy in my eyes happy I got to meet Dan and Vadim, their friends and family but mostly that I was "a part" of this amazing 25 years journey from hatred into love, from enemy to friends, from loneliness without a place in the world to finding a match, a partner, a place they call home. The whole day I was walking on clouds, thinking of the whole ride not being able to pick any book in my hand, just wanting to float a little in the HEA.

This series is beautiful beyond words! Sure, there are too many sex scenes, yeah it violent and uncomfortable some of the time and yes the open relationship puts a damper on things but that's life for you, it's not perfect it's just IS. Which is why I SO recommend this series to anyone with the guts to read it and put aside everything he knows and accepts as the "proper" way to fall in love and maintain a relationship. 

Cheers! 




Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 573 pages, 2-7 September 2014 / On GoodReads

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