Latakia by J.F. Smith
Military Romance M/M
December 4, 2011
So far, my July reading month has been pretty fun. I’ve been randomly choosing books based on my current mood, and I haven’t been following a schedule at all. When I started the month I had a tentative list to play around with, but so far I haven’t read any of those books. Instead, I took a dive into my old To Read list, and that’s where I found Latakia, which I bought so long ago (I don’t even remember how long ago) and then forgot all about it. Reading the synopsis today, it was so freaking obvious why I bought this without knowing much beforehand. It’s such a Wendy book. (That’s me, for those who don’t know. I’m not sure I’ve ever said it, but Birdie is a pseudonym -which is actually pretty obvious, now that I’m writing this. Let’s carry on…) It’s all about Navy Seals, and secret missions, and luuurve. It sounded like a recipe for success, but maybe could have been huge disappointment too, which is probably what took me so long to read it.
Latakia followed Matt mostly, who’s a really wonderful character (a wonderful but flawed character) who’s in a terrible relationship with the most passive aggressive jerkwad of a boyfriend. I’m serious too, Brian is awful. Right from the beginning I was snarling. I mean, when you say ‘I Love You’ and their response is ‘You’re lucky to have me’, every time, you have a grade A douchebag on your hands. It killed me to watch Matt bend over backwards trying to be a great boyfriend to someone who treated him so badly. Luckily, the fact that Brian was an asshat played a very integral part of the story. He was supposed to be a terrible person.
Poor Matt, who already has it pretty rough (even though he refuses to recognize it), goes through some deep stuff in Latakia and needs rescuing. Enter the Navy Seals, which I have a soft spot for because of Troubleshooters. Through this SEAL team, even as off putting as they seem in the beginning (Damn Petey, how I love you!), Matt finds family, a brother, and the love of his life.
There was one comment, one line really, which made me curl a lip. It was the idea that someone holding you steady, helping you breathe, and keeping eye contact may have prevented Matt from developing PTSD. It felt wrong, and like it trivialized soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, all for the sake of romance.
Still, that one line wasn’t enough to make me dislike Latakia. In fact, I loved it. You know what’s proof of how much this book hit me? I remembered every single character’s name. I didn’t have to scroll up and look, or sit and try to remember. Matt, Petey, Mope, and the rest of their Platoon are seared into my brain by their bonds with each other and my ties to this story.
It’s definitely one of my favorite romance novels.