Laura Baumbach – Designated Target

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Author: Laura Baumbach 
Reviewed by: Gawain
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
ISBN 13:
9781608207916

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Summary:  A soldier returns to his commander’s hometown to tell his brother the truth about what happened in the field and finds forgiveness and love. 

Review: An interesting story of love and loss in a time of DADT. Carson has a thing for strong burly men in his life, which does not always go well. It is just after one such unfortunate encounter that Carson finds himself under the enchanting gaze of ‘China’. ‘China’ is Carson’s most erotic wet dream come true, solid muscle from head to toe with the attitude to match. ‘China’ has come to find Carson to let him know how his brother died and to ask for forgiveness for what he feels was his fault. Not only does ‘China’ gain Carson’s forgiveness but also his love.

Laura’s writing draws you into the story and life of the characters. As a short story certain elements come across as predictable. Is there ever a good time to tell a painful story, or a right way to tell it? This is a question for both Carson and ‘China’. It is even harder to know how or when to tell the story when you are forced to hide a part of yourself. It has been a very long time since I have felt the need to hide who I am from anyone so it is a little more difficult to relate to ‘China’s’ position under DADT. The intensity of the intimate time the two men share is high, it brief due to the nature of the genre.

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