Book Reviews

Force of Nature (Coming About 4) by J.K. Hogan at Euphoria Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Officers of the Law / Erotic Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 08-May-2019

Book Blurb

Everyone knows that bonds formed under extreme circumstances never last.

Harbor Patrol officer Neal Hesse has had his life turned upside down by a sudden break-up with his partner of ten years. After sleeping his way through Seattle failed to take his mind off his broken heart, he decides to take a leave of absence from work to find himself again. He hires a professional wilderness guide to take him up into the mountains, so he can get away from everything and live off the grid for a few days.

Travis “Rock” McCreary, ex-Army Ranger turned survivalist, hates doing guided excursions, but it’s his primary source of income while he’s working towards getting his own survival show. Working in such a testosterone-fueled profession has forced him so deep into the closet, he feels like he might never see the light of day again, which makes it even harder to put on a friendly face for his happy, normal clients.

When Rock is hired by clumsy city-boy Neal to take him up into the North Cascades for a survival adventure, his patience and his resolve are tested at every turn. He has to teach Neal to survive in the wilderness while fighting an attraction he can’t allow himself to act on. When their trip doesn’t go as planned, Neal’s getaway turns into a true survival situation, and he and Rock are forced to rely on each other to stay alive. If they make it out of the wilderness, can their newfound connection survive in the real world?

**Possible trigger warning: situations where consent may appear dubious

Book Review

Neal’s story is the first one of the series where the other main character isn’t a part of the Rory, Bennett, Justice, Nic, Rich, and Patrick crew, so I was eagerly anticipating it. Plus, the description is hot, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Cascades, and Rock sounded like a great partner for Neal. If only the two stubborn men could work through their issues.

Neal’s long-term relationship of ten years just ended six months before and it has left him feeling very lost, a little insecure, and unsure of himself in ways he never expected. His ex took a job in Boston without talking to Neal about it simply assuming Neal would follow along because he’s just a Harbor Patrol cop… not as important as a partner in a prestigious law firm. Neal is still reeling and decides he needs to get away from everything and everyone for a week – be somewhere where he can try to find his confidence and way again. Since he’s a closet reality survivor TV show addict he decides to hire Travis “Rock” McCreary, the soon-to-be next big thing once he gets his own show, and spend a week in the wilderness living off the land. Unfortunately, as nimble as Neal is on water doesn’t translate to land as he has been known to trip over air. *grins*

Rock is, in his own words, the typical sad, gay boy cliché - highly religious parents, threatened with gay conversion therapy, and ran away to join the Army. He lived through DODT and has spent his life deeply closeted. He is on the verge of getting his own survival show and he really wants it, but that’s not a target group that will accept a gay man teaching them how to survive in the wilderness. He’s accepted his lonely all-work, no-play life but spending time with Neal shows him just how much he’s missing out on.

“But because they’d clicked so well, Rock was starting to feel…things. Things a man buried so far in the closet that he found all the missing left socks had no right to feel.”

Mother Nature can be a gorgeous goddess or a tyrannical bitch, and Neal and Rock get up close and personal with her seriously cantankerous side. Trust me when I say, I’ve been hiking and camping in the Pacific Northwest and in the Cascade Mountains, specifically, and rain is never a welcome companion. Even worse, though, is twenty-four hours of rain that causes mudslides, washouts, and tremendous waterfalls raging down the side of a mountain. All I can say is that Rock with all of his survival, wilderness skills, and Neal with his paramedic and Harbor Patrol (i.e., water) experience, had to lean on each other to make it through.

I really loved this book! I especially adored the ending as I felt the way Neal handled “them” when they came back to civilization was definitely the right way to go in order for Rock to be able to come to his own realizations of what he needed in, and from, his life. An excellent addition to the series!





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 278 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 04-July-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
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