Semper fidelis is a Latin phrase that means “always faithful” or “always loyal”. Well known in the United States as the motto of the United States Marine Corps (and often shortened to semper fi in Marine contexts).
This is a story of two marines who fought the war together. Jim and Cal have been inseparable since they first met at the train on their way to training camp and up to the coast of the pacific to defend the country. Both survived the ugly war but both men will never be the same again. This is also a story of love.
This book begins each chapter with a flashback from their time together in the war and ends each at present time (three years since they got back). I normally don’t like tons of flashbacks in a story because it tends to dispel the buildup of the story for me despite the back-story it would provide. Here though, these flashbacks throughout the story are welcome distractions as they let us see how these two men formed their bond.
Jim’s wife just died and was left with two kids to take care of. In need of a hand to tend his apple orchard, Cal immediately lends himself to his best friend and the love of his life.
In an era where blatant homosexuality was considered a criminal offense, Cal was always careful especially around Jim who had no idea at all about his secret. Not until their friendship developed into something deeper that neither Jim nor Cal ever hoped to flourish. It was difficult for them especially for Jim who has been raised to deem what they’re doing as a sin.
I loved that Keira Andrews stayed with the era and didn’t deviate from its hostile acceptance / non-acceptance towards homosexuality [which sadly is still prevalent at some parts of the world]. The vividness of each flashback was also drawn to make you feel like you’re actually watching it happen in front of you. It feels like watching The Pacific while reading their war memories. Jim and Cal’s character are both so realistic that you’d really feel for them and root for them real bad.
This story is a story that is made for the movies. I think it’s high time for people to embrace another tandem [aside from Jack And Ennis] in the mainstream cinema. [Just a thought though, it’s a good one yeah?]
I wouldn’t change anything in the story because there’s perfect balance of the main characters, the secondary ones and even the era where the story evolves. This was my first read by Keira Andrews and I’m sure glad to have chosen this one. Miss Andrews, you are truly magnificent!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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About The Author
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and–although she loves delicious angst along the way–Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” Find out more about Keira and her books at http://www.keiraandrews.com