Title: Hell Dogs Squadron
Author: A.R Moler
Cover Artist: Alessia Brio
Publisher: Torquere Press
Buy Link: Hell Dogs Squadron
Genre: M/M Contemporary Paranormal romantic suspense
Length: 50,000 words
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
Summary Review: An enjoyable second read for what was once a TQ Chaser series.
Navy F/A-18 pilot Lt. Cameron Bradshaw juggles a second government job in addition to his military commitments. He’s a psychic finder for a mysterious agency known as Division P. Just as he starts the next Division P assignment, nearly lethal motorcycle accident nearly takes his life.
If not for the talents of gifted healer Dr. Mason Flynn, the Lt. might be dead. As the slow process of recovery begins, Mason Flynn is drawn to the injured pilot. A mix of shared psychic talents and physical attraction slowly binds them together, but the people responsible for Cam’s accident escalate the affair, and soon Mason is running for his life.
A mad impromptu flight to Meridian Naval Air Station leads Cam and naval intelligence to a direct confrontation with a group of missile thieves. A vicious firefight leaves Mason scrambling to save teammates, but the final endgame forces Mason to do the unthinkable, and put his own sanity in jeopardy in the process. Can Cameron and Mason survive the trials thrown at them and their burgeoning relationship?
Originally published as the Chaser series Hell Dogs Squadron.
If this title sounds familiar to some long term readers (or should I say, Old Timers – better not :) ) then no, you’re not going senile, this book is a compilation of a Chaser series which I reviewed here about 3 years ago. I remember enjoying it as a series and so decided to see whether a second read, with the complete story in one volume, would be just as enjoyable.
The story concerns naval pilot Cameron. He’s also connected to P Division which finds people with Psi Talent and uses their Talents to assist the government. Cam is a ‘finder’ in that he can locate objects and people easily. At the start of the story he is called in to find a stolen missile, but before he can help he is put on hold. The bad guys don’t know this though and set out to have Cam killed by ploughing into his motorcycle at at junction. Fortunately for Cam, doctor Mason sees the accident. Mason is a Psi healer who has hidden his Talents to others. He uses his healing power to keep Cam alive until help arrives, after which he feels a connection to Cam. Mason is gay, and apart from a bit of College experimentation, Cam is straight but that doesn’t seem to prevent the attraction growing between them.
What I was really interested in seeing was how successful this story was when placed into one book. My main gripe about the stories in my previous reviews was that the way that the story was split into three made the plot seem disjointed. I was unhappy about the slight cliffhanger endings and felt slightly cheated out of my money when I had to spend a third as much on three separate stories. Those niggles aren’t present in this story but I was slightly disappointed that there didn’t seem to be much re-editing of the stories to make them fit comfortably into one, rather than three parts. For example, the book is still split into parts one, two and three. Part one sets up the story nicely and introduces the romance aspect. When part two begins there are a couple of paragraphs which retell some of the background to part one, basically repeating what we already know. Given that part two starts on page 82 of 185, I didn’t need to reminder of the previous events in the book. It annoyed me slightly that this unneeded information hadn’t been edited out of the book to give a smoother feel to the narrative.
That was really my only main gripe about the story. Other than that, I found it to be a quick and very pleasant read. The characters are both good men who are coping with a change in circumstance. The relationship works well because Cam admits that he’s not entirely straight and so his attraction to Mason, whilst a little surprising, seems natural. The book is set during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell which means that Cam is worried about the consequences to his career, but not enough that he spends hours stressing about the fact that he is attracted to a man. Both men seemed real to me, their reactions reasonable and sensible. I also liked that there are a number of tense action scenes in the book which then feed into quieter times where the men get to know each other. Their attraction develops quickly into deeper feelings, but again given the circumstances that seemed inevitable. Like many romantic suspense stories there’s the capable action hero in Cam, paired with the intelligent thoughtful one in Mason. This worked for me because I liked the way that the story concentrates on Mason’s realisation that there are others out there like him and with Cam’s role in that.
Overall, I had a good time revisiting these characters and this story. The pages turned quickly and I found the plot engaging. If you didn’t read this as a chaser series when it first came out then I’d recommend this story to those looking for a military romantic suspense with a slight paranormal twist.