Review: Operation Better Tomorrow (Rock-Hard Heroes #2) by Brandi Evans

The interview of a lifetime.

When Aaron Strickland is assigned to write a feature article on Caleb Douglas, the first openly gay soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, he’s over the moon. Meet a sexy, real-life hero? Yes, please. And in the weeks leading up to their interview, the former soldier becomes a recurring player in Aaron’s fantasies.

A man Caleb can’t forget.

Years earlier, lost in the throes of depression and PTSD after an ambush left his body and soul scarred, Caleb was on the brink of giving up when a magazine article changed his life forever--an article written by Aaron. Emerging from the depths of his pain, Operation Better Tomorrow--part homestead, part halfway house for those down on their luck--was born.

Tragedy lurking on the horizon.

As the days pass, Caleb and Aaron’s tragic pasts bind them in ways they aren’t prepared for, but it also leaves them vulnerable. Pushing forward means breaking down walls they’ve built to protect themselves, and just as they’re poised on the precipice of happiness, darkness descends on the homestead--a hatred that will leave one man clinging to life and the other willing to risk everything to save him.

Aaron and Caleb *happy sigh*.

These two men are beautiful. I fell for them both within minutes of reading this book, and I stuck with them through the entire story. Not once did I want to shake either of them, nor did they create unnecessary drama. While the relationship development was quick, and somewhat rocky, I was convinced of their instant spark and had no problem with how quickly they fell for each other. There was some hesitation, and some old wounds that needed patching, but it added to their development together.

The story set up was great. A photographer/reporter come to interview an honored veteran at a Ranch developed for caring for vulnerable and lost people. I was enchanted by Caleb’s vision, and how Aaron captured that in imagery. I really appreciated the rich descriptives used for the scenery and the photography. Without it, the premise would have fallen flat. The writing was tight, and the style flowed easily.

The subplot was intriguing, if a little uncomfortable. I wanted mushy and squishy, but there was some drama and external angst. I appreciated it, but I could have done without it. These two had enough to carry the story.

The secondary characters were as interesting as the main characters, and I loved Aaron’s mother.

There is a spot appearance of Tyler and Dean in this story, from book one, but this can be read as a standalone in my opinion (I actually read book one after this one, so I speak from experience).

If you’re looking for something feel good, with two slightly bent characters who support each other and have great chemistry this is the story for you.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion

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