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Johnny's Toy Soldier by Angelique Voisen

Price:
$2.99
SKU:
978-1-77233-234-6
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Product Description

Learning his older brother's unit came back one man short devastated Johnny Santiago beyond words. The only way he can deal with his grief is to blame Josh Miller, his brother’s best friend and lover—but how can Josh blame a broken soldier? 

Josh’s pain cuts Johnny deep, and when he makes the hasty decision to comfort him, he didn’t know a single kiss could change everything.

Be Warned: m/m sex

 

Excerpt:

“On a scale of one to ten, how horrible was it?” Josh asked, grabbing more popcorn.

One piece landed on his chest and I absent-mindedly picked it up. That was an error. My hand brushing his naked skin wasn’t just a colossal mistake. It felt like a sin. One mere touch is enough to send a jolt up my arm and right down to my dick. I told myself Josh wouldn’t notice how I reacted, but he did. Josh watched me intently, and I tried to pass off the moment by scooping up the bit and tossing it into my mouth.

“One being horrible or one being good?” I asked, noticing how he abruptly stood to pick up a fresh shirt from the drawer by the TV where he kept his clothes, despite sleeping in Eli’s room. I understood. I wanted to leave Eli’s belongings in tact too, at least for a while.

“What the hell are you doing? It’s not like I haven’t seen you without a damn shirt on.” The words left my mouth before I could take them back.

“You don’t need to see my…accident.” Josh pulled the plain white shirt quickly over his neck and a part of me—to be honest, a huge part—was sorry to see the expanse of his muscles covered up.

“Accident? Josh, I hadn’t even noticed until you mentioned it.”

“Stop it, Johnny. I fucking hate it when you take pity on me.”

“You think I pity you? Well, I don’t.” I crossed my arms. “Why can’t you see you’re fine just the way you are, even without one arm?”

“Stop lying. No one wants a one-armed broken soldier,” he said.

Striding over to him, I grabbed a handful of his shirt and glowered at him. “Sometimes, you can be so fucking stupid, Josh. Who the fuck do you suppose I think of when I go on these stupid dates?”

“Well, yeah. You have to worry about the cripple you left at home, scared he’s going to commit suicide or something.” Josh said, stepping back.

But I refused to let go of his shirt. He tightened his hand over mine, and my pulse leaped at the physical contact.

“Is that what you think?” I asked softly.

His expression turned to one of surprise, then realization, then shock.

“You aren’t a chore to me, Josh. You never were.”

He drew away first, as if my touch was a brand, a brand he was terrified of being burned by. By the way the bulge in his boxers grew, I knew what I felt wasn’t one-sided. Don’t get me wrong. I was terrified too, and equal parts ashamed of what I felt. By wanting Josh, I was betraying my brother. But my brother was dead. Was he floating in some version of heaven, or was his soul resting in some form of sweet oblivion? How could Eli leave, knowing he’d abandoned Josh and I, left us in turmoil?

“We can’t do this,” Josh whispered, agony evident in his eyes.

Feeling bold, reckless, drunk, hell, maybe all three, I took the leap like I did at the party. I kissed him again and felt him cave under my kiss. The heat between our bodies wasn’t imagined, because the room grew hotter. I deepened my kiss and suddenly felt his hand pressing me away, tearing my mouth away from his.

“We can’t,” he repeated, weakly at first, then more resolute. “We can’t, Johnny. This is wrong.”

“How are you certain it’s wrong? The way your body reacted tells me it’s not.”

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Product Reviews

  1. Rainbow Book Reviews 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Nov 2015

    Neither dealing with the death of a sibling nor dealing with the death of a lover is ever easy. But in this story the situation is even more complicated. Johnny’s older brother Eli died on duty, and Josh wasn’t able to stop it. It’s easy for Johnny to blame Josh, who has been a shared friend for many years, even though he knows it’s not Johnny’s fault. Johnny for his part has lost not just his right arm, but his lover – and he blames himself. There is more than enough guilt going around already, but when Johnny begins to realize he could fall for Josh, and vice versa, the situation becomes untenable. What follows is a struggle to deal with their guilt, anger, and beginnings of a love that seems entirely misplaced.

    Johnny ‘s initial reaction to his brother Eli’s death, aside from feeling lost and left behind, is anger at Josh for letting it happen. As irrational as it is, it is part of the grieving process that allows Johnny to deal with the situation. At the same time he wants to help Josh because he can see how broken Josh is about losing Eli. His growing attraction would be inappropriate under different circumstances, but with Eli gone, the rules are slightly different. It takes Johnny a while to understand an accept this, but once he does, there is no stopping him.

    If you like stories about loss and how people deal with it, if two men united by their grief and struggling with what’s the right thing to do sound interesting, and if you’re looking for a read about characters who go from devastated to hopeful, then you might like this short story.


  2. Gay Guy Reading and Friends GGR 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Apr 2015

    Here is one of those stories that needs to be told and Angelique told it absolutely brilliantly. Every week you hear about a soldier maimed from combat, yet there are few stories told about them in our genre.

    Johnny lost his brother to war and he blames his brother’s lover for not bringing Eli back alive. But Josh is also hurting and is looking at Johnny to hate him as consolation for the loss of Johnny’s brother. I’m really torn on whether or not I want to call this a dark tale. On one hand yes it is sad and depressing but on the other hand I really feel that Angelique brought real emotions to the story, for the characters placed in this circumstance. So instead of calling it dark I’m just going to say realistic for a dark situation.

    Here is the most surprising thing for me when I finished reading, it was the amount of story that was contained in such a short amount of pages. The story was so complete and whole that somehow we got through the introduction, the breaking down of walls for Johnny and Josh and the eventual happiness that comes at the end. This is the first story I have read by Angelique but I dare say that if she puts together the rest of her books the way she did this one, she most definitely has gained a fan.


  3. MMGoodBookReviews 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Apr 2015

    I have read many of Angelique’s stories but this one is quite a bit different from the others. To me this story is one of the saddest I have ever read even though it has a nice ending. It comes off a bit dark but it doesn’t put the story off though. I can’t say that I enjoyed it, because it was just not a happy story.

    Although I did enjoy the fact that they ended up together.

    Johnny had lost his older brother and blamed Josh for it. Josh was Eli’s best friend and lover. He had seen Josh at the welcome home party given to the soldiers, and wanted to smash his face in. The thing was Josh had been injured badly from the same explosion that had killed Eli. He saw his face and realized that he was grieving also. He realized he would need to care for his brother’s lover. Josh on the other hand is broken and wants Johnny to hate him. However he realizes Johnny is the one he needs.

    It is too depressing to read this story. If you are into heart filled short stories then this is a recommend read. It was well written but not for me. It had me in tears and that is a no gamer. I must have a story that has a bit of laughter to it, and this story does not give it.
     


  4. Intriguing and touching story! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 12th Feb 2015

    The Story got me the instant I read the blurb, I just had to read it. And I loved it!
    It's touching and catching you from the first page to the last.
    Johnny lost his older brother and blames his brothers best friend and lover Josh for it. Josh, a hurt and broken man, both physical and heart, tries to get along and wants Johnny to hate him for not saving his brother.
    Both men know that they can't live without another but are afraid of it, too, and don't tell. Will they find their way out of the terrible past and head to a better future? Together?
    It#S a short and quick read but it really has it all! Can't wait to read more of this author!


  5. What an intriguing and touching story! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Feb 2015

    The Story got me the instant I read the blurb, I just had to read it. And I loved it!
    It's touching and catching you from the first page to the last.
    Johnny lost his older brother and blames his brothers best friend and lover Josh for it. Josh, a hurt and broken man, both physical and heart, tries to get along and wants Johnny to hate him for not saving his brother.
    Both men know that they can't live without another but are afraid of it, too, and don't tell. Will they find their way out of the terrible past and head to a better future? Together?
    It#S a short and quick read but it really has it all! Can't wait to read more of this author!


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