Title: Yours to Command
Author: Cameron Lawton
Length: 7,000 words
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
You don’t advertise your sexuality in the British Army, especially if you’re in love with your Commanding Officer.
Don’t let anyone fool you! The Military Police is no place for sissies. Captain Rory Sumner has a lot to lose. Discovered having a gay affair with a corporal, he’s already been busted down the ranks once and the British Army are watching him very carefully. Joachim (Jack) Jones is blond-haired, blue-eyed and half-German … plus he’s in love with Rory. Unfortunately he’s also Rory’s assistant. They’re both trying hard to ignore the fact that they’re desperate for each other, which works…. until Rory finds Jack moonlighting as a rent-boy. He’ll teach him a lesson!
This military themed story begins well. Captain Rory works for the Military Police. He loves his job, but bemoans the fact that an ill thought out affair in his past means he’s unlikely to advance further up the ranks. Added to this is his feelings for his assistant. He knows Jack is holding a torch for him but won’t allow anything to happen and possibly ruin Jack’s future career, until circumstances force them to face up to their feelings.
I like military stories, especially those which deal realistically with being gay. This story is set in the UK, where there’s supposedly no such thing as DADT, but in reality prejudice is still rife. I really enjoyed the first part of the story where we see Rory trying to keep a tight control on his emotions. He cares for Jack but experience has shown that nothing good can come of a relationship with a co-worker. I really felt for Rory, felt his frustration and bitterness over the past, and his determination not to allow that to happen to Jack.
I also enjoyed seeing things from Jack’s point of view, especially in the way that he shows frustration too over his strong feelings for Rory and a longing that they can be together. There’s a lot of emotions and feelings crammed in to the first half of the story but it worked well for me in providing a solid base for their relationship.
*Spoilers in this next bit*
Where the story didn’t work for me was in the events that end the story. Rory makes an assumption about Jack which forces a confrontation, but it seemed out of the blue, showed a distinct lack of trust from Rory and didn’t fit with what we know about the characters from the start of the story. Earlier in the story we are told that Jack once went behind Rory’s back as part of an investigation, and for some reason that means that Rory can jump to a conclusion about Jack’s sex life. However, I couldn’t understand why Rory would think such a thing about a man he has worked with for so long, and knows so well. It left me scratching my head a little.
So whilst the situation towards the end allowed for the pair to come together, I was a little worried about Rory’s true feelings for Jack if he could make such assumptions about him. The story ends on a HFN, so we never really see how the men could fit in this new facet of their relationship into their work situation. I see that there’s a new story out soon with these characters. I shall look forward to reading that one, and seeing how their relationship has progressed.