Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Special Forces #2 - Mercenaries Part 2 (1992-1993) by Aleksandr Voinov (Vashtan) & Marquesate

It's quite difficult for me to rate this book. There is a part that says - Damned! it's Vadim and Dan and wan't to give this one the higher mark as I can but on the other hand this part, like the previous one isn't JUST Vadim and Dan, it's them alright with too many sex partners and too many sex scenes that suffocated the amazing epic love story the two of them used to have.

So I guess I'm disappointed because though there were beautiful scenes between the two of them, their relationship was evolving since it's the first time they are a real couple that live like on, it felt like the two of them are far from what they used to be. Dan is obsessed with finding more sex partners to share or just for his own pleasure and Vadim is there but he is somewhat different and Dan doesn't understand what's happening to him, doesn't understand what Vadim needs. 
This part (meaning Chapter 36) starts with the two of them planning their R&R, this time not just a vocation but also planning to meet Dan's brother and his family. I really enjoyed that, I thought it felt really real dealing with the fact that they are a couple now, unlike in the beginning, Vadim is the reluctant one to admit their relationship to the outside world and Dan wanting to shout it out from the tallest building. Yet they both made a step one toward the other and I really loved how it worked out. There is also (nearing the end I guess) another "reunion" with Katya as Vadim speaks to her and visits her after 3 years he kept to himself and there is what happened between Katya and Dan that looms over the three of them and have a huge impact Vadim and Dan (naturally on Katya as well but we don't hear her side of the story).

There was a heartbreaking scene in which we see just how much broken Vadim is, how unsure of who he is and what he wants. While Dan truly enjoys having sex with other partners what happens between him and Hooch when they meet one-on-one makes Dan realize that unlike him, Vadim has some feelings toward the American Delta even if Vadim chooses him over Hooch every time. Question that Dan asks himself and also Vadim - are the reasons they stay together are the right ones. There isn't a definite answer to this question since the answers are unsatisfactory enough (for the both of them). 

would say that Hooch and Vadim were kind of amazing together, I can see why they "work" and I must say that I find myself liking Hooch more that Dan who seems to be mostly distracted and distracting and Hooch is "full on" though I'm not sure that Hooch can be what Vadim needs and while Dan does a shitty job dealing with Vadim's problems I guess in his way he knows how to handle him, though there was one sex scene between the two of them I felt like strangling Dan and NOT in a way he would have enjoyed.. (the one after Vadim spends time with Hooch in Germany) If I thought that this series can't put me in a more uncomfortable way about their choices sex-wise - that specific scene showed me I was wrong.. 

I must admit there were few sex scenes I skipped, I just felt that we met too many sex partners that didn't have a "real" reason to be there (and if they do, did they HAVE to have sex?). This book was really a "sex-fest" and while the sex is well written and different from one individual to another it felt just redundant after a while. While all the wild sex scenes were going on, I should say that there is a lot of talk about sex partners, sexuality and admitting to one's true feelings and sexual orientation, I felt that it was right on mark and liked that I just wish it didn't mean the plot was put aside to deal with all the male hormones ;)

I really enjoyed reading a little bit of action in this one even though it was nearing the end. Both Vadim and Dan are kicking some major Chetnik ass! We also got to meet a friend of Vadim from his past as Spetsnaz who gave Dan a better look into how much Vadim means to him, how much he misses him when he isn't around and how much Vadim isn't who he used to be. 

The ending was heart breaking especially because you see it coming the whole book and you keep waiting for your heart to be broken and then it's there and it's the last sentence in the book. All I wanted to do was open the next one but I know that if I do THAT I won't write a good review since I get caught up with the next one forgetting all I wanted to write about the previous one.. which is why I'm quite annoyed of writing this specific book in two parts while there is no real reason for the separation plot wise. 

I think that while the first one was them getting back together and having that R&R finally together and forgiving one another this one is the first time they are together and we see how it looks like almost day by day (since this part is about a year and a half) dealing with what a "regular" couple would deal with. We see what they struggle with which I guess is Vadim's detachment and Dan's inability to stick to one partner. I really do think that if Dan was less about the fun and games with others he would have noticed what's going on with Vadim. 

I also think that in this one it's quite obvious they are both trying to enjoy life together as a couple and as mercenaries while ignoring what's really on the menu - Dan's right knee and Vadim's emotional detachment. While the both of them have their "check-up" they both put it aside, not talk about it with anyone especially not with one another which leaves the other in the dark while knowing that something is wrong. I'm waiting for the next one to see how the two aspect resolve for the both of them. 

Somewhere between

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 554 pages, 26 August - 2 September 2014 / On GoodReads
Special Forces by Aleksandr Voinov (Vashtan) & Marquesate is a MM Romance series telling the EPIC love story of Scottish SAS soldier Dan McFadyen and Soviet Spetsnaz soldier Vadim Petrovich Krasnorada. It was published on the authors' websites as a free novel in parts between July 2006 - April 2009 and can still be found on Marquesate's website (as HTML), Aleksandr decided to remove it from his website awhile ago. [ If you're interested in the second and third part in MOBI format please contact me. I made MOBI files from the HTML published on Marquesate's website. ]

Special Forces is the epic 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. Behind enemy lines respect and finally love grow... but that’s only the official version. 

The reality of these two men is dark, brutal, fueled by aggression and insane lust. Steeped in pain and killing, with death as their shoulder companion, these Special Forces soldiers meet in 1980. Their intense hatred caused by rape, revenge and torture turning into fucked-up lust and years of secret encounters in the rat-infested labyrinth of Kabul and the Afghan mountains. Time, despair and desolation smoothing down the sharpness of hatred, its venom drained with each physical encounter, the lust helping to form an understanding that only two men of the same kind can share. Enemy Mine and Brothers in Arms - on two different sides. 

This novel spans across over twenty-five years of their lives. It’s harsh and violent, but life is cruel and they just do what they need to survive. 

I truly feel like I have nothing more to add to what the authors themselves have to say about this series so I'll try and sum up my feelings - This is an EPIC love story between two enemies that started with hating each other and became inseparable. 25 years of so much heart ache I sometimes wonder how I went through it all. This series changes everything I think about romance, gay or hetero, it doesn't matter. What Dan and Vadim went through in the 25 years we are part of their lives put me out of my comfort zone too many times to count, right from the first chapter to the very ending which was beautiful and naturally left me with tears as too many scenes did (not something that happens to me very often..). 

Dan and Vadim aren't perfect, they are human and not that good or nice about a lot of things they do in the time we get to know them. I started off hating Vadim with a vengeance and generally disliking Dan yet somewhere along the line I fell for them both and wanted to see them truly happy together and it took quite a lot of time to get there through any torture possible. 

It was an EPIC ride. I truly felt changed when I finished reading it. Though I can't say that the series was perfect, it was out of this world amazing. My main issue with the series is there were, at times, too many sex scenes that in my personal opinion just made the story drag for no apparent reason, yet I don't begrudge the series for it.   

The first book in the series is the most viewed post on my blog strangely enough. Though I don't take back anything *I* wrote about this series, Aleksandr has said many times he disliked these as they were written in a darker period in his life and is very different from what he writes today and the general place he is on at the moment. He also said he was dabbling with writing more darker erotica (this book has it all..). While I didn't always like this fact, I liked the overall arc so much I just skipped those scenes. Yeah it means I skipped quite a lot in the second part but again, I was more invested in where all these experiences took Dan and Vadim and not specifically being "there" with them throughout it all. I don't think I'll even get to re-read this series as it's VERY long, and somewhat similar to Aleksandr I feel like I'm in a different place at the moment as well so reading something SO dark isn't a current fit for me. Yet still it doesn't change the strong feelings I was left with when I read these. They are still meaningful as they were back then when I read them. 

There are two more spin-off novels written separately by these authors.  
Deliverance by Marquesate and T.A. Brown (27 February 2012) ★★★★★
Tells the story of ex-Marine Matthew Donahue "Matt" and Delta Force Hubert Bozic "Hooch" whom we met in the second installment of Special Forces, both being friends with Dan and later on Vadim having a close relationship with Hooch. 
Gold Digger by Aleksandr Voinov (15 September 2012) ★★★★
Tells the story of Vadim's son - Nikolai Petrovich Krasnorada findig his HEA in Henri LeBeau. There was a sort of resemblance to the unlikely circumstances Vadim met Dan. We got to see Vadim again and see him as a father, a real father who talks to his son and gives him advice when needed which was beyond beautiful.

Special Forces #1 - Soldiers (1980-1989) ★★★★★
Special Forces #2 - Mercenaries Part One {Chapters 20-35} (1989-1992) ★★★★½
                                  Mercenaries Part Two {Chapters 36-53} (1992-1993) ★★★¾
Special Forces #3 - Veterans (1994-2006) ★★★★


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