Author: JC Santo
Cover Designer: T.E. Black Designs
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Genre: M/M, Military Romance
Two men brought together by chance. What was only supposed to be a one night stand evolves, and now two years later they’ve found something in one another that they’ve never had with anyone else.
Marshall Stevenson has always lived his life in the open, never answering to anyone. He owns his own successful business and has a loving family and a supportive group of friends. The one thing he wants and doesn’t have, is a real relationship. The man he’s been seeing for the past two years, has pressed to keep their causal relationship a secret due to his own insecurities; however, Marshall is ready for that to change.
Preston Clark has lived the last five years of his life afraid of people judging his sexuality. The secrecy isn’t ideal, but he has come to terms with it. His career in the Navy has been his main focus after leaving home, but Marshall changes everything. In order to be with Marshall and become the man he’s meant to be, Preston must face the past he’s been running from.
Can Marshall convince Preston to face his fears? Or will the combination of facing them and his past cause him to run away from his future?
Falling in love was easy, revealing it to the world will be the hard part.
*This book is intended for mature audiences(18 and up). It does contain explicit language and detailed sexual scenes. While Love Revealed is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone.*
“That’s not how a relationship works, Preston. Look, I know I’m no expert in this area, but I know that in a relationship, you should want to be there for the person you’re with; you want to go places and do things with them, not hide them away from the world because you’re scared.”
Marshall runs his hands along his head, his fingers skimming through his short brown hair. I hate that I’m the reason for his frustration tonight, but I understand why he’s upset.
We left the bar an hour ago, and I’ll admit, I hate that I took the coward’s way out tonight. We had plans to meet up with Marsh’s friends, his family, tonight, and officially come out as a couple.
However, I chickened out on my way to the Eagle’s Nest. After another hour of back and forth in my head, I went….Only as Clark and not Preston.
All of Marshall’s friends, the group he considers a close knit family, I know. I’ve worked with a majority of them over the past two years, but being military, they’ve only known me by my last name. I’ve been lucky that they haven’t connected the dots and put two and two together, realizing that Marshall’s ‘Preston’ is their friend, Clark.
“I spent the past two years thinking you were shy about being gay. I didn’t think you were ashamed of it.”
I start to speak but he holds his hand up in the air, stopping me from getting a word out.
“Don’t try to deny it. If you’re scared to come out to your coworkers, that’s one thing, but you don’t want to come out to anyone. I don’t know if your family rejected you when you told them you’re gay, and you’re holding onto that or what. But it seems like you think everyone will do that to you, without even giving them a chance to know the real you.” He shakes his head, and breaks my heart with his next words. “I don’t even know if I know the real you.”
The sadness on his face is enough to make me wish I would have manned the fuck up and came out tonight.
If only we could go back...
“Of course you do, Marsh…”
“Do I? One minute, I see one side of you and the next, I see someone completely different. If you’re gay, then be gay. I’m not asking you to plaster rainbows all over your car or wave a Pride flag around everywhere you go, I’m just asking you to be fucking real. You can’t be gay here in the privacy of these four walls with me, then straight in the eyes of everyone else. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to yourself.”
I know he’s right, but my primal instinct is to protect my lifestyle by hiding it.
“I don’t act straight in front of everyone else. I just don’t flaunt my sexuality.”
He rolls his eyes at my lame attempt to defend my behavior.
“But you see, that’s where you’re wrong. When you’ve been working with people for this long and they still don’t know if you’re gay or straight, that’s when you know you’re hiding it.”
He shakes his head again and we’re both silent, contemplating what to say next, where to go from here.
He finally stops pacing the length of the couch and takes a seat beside me. Well, on the other side of the couch actually. With his elbows resting on his knees and his head in his hands, he delivers another blow I wasn’t expecting.
“Look, I’m too damn old to play this shit. You wanna be with me? Now’s the time to prove it. We have a family dinner coming up in a week, it’s way past time for you to meet my friends.”
“Marshall, I don’t know.”
He looks at me with a harsh glare that silences my plea in an instant.
“I do. I hate to be the one to dictate shit like this, but I’m done. If you still, at this point, can’t come out to the people who mean the most to me, then we don’t need to waste anymore of each other’s time.”
“No, I need some space and you need some time to think, Preston. I know you already have all the details for the dinner. You, or should I say Clark, were already invited. I guess it’s up to you who you decide to be that night.”
With that said, he walks over to the front door and opens it, waiting for me to take the hint and leave.
Unsure what to say or do at this point to make anything better, I quietly walk out with my head down, too afraid to see the anger and disappointment in his eyes.
Closing the door behind Preston feels so...wrong and final. I don’t know if I did the right thing or not.
Scratch that, I hate what I did tonight. I treated him like shit all night, then gave him an ultimatum.
Who the fuck does that?
This asshole right here, apparently.
I sit on my now empty couch and consider the best way to get a hold on this mess. I hate not being in control of a situation. Any situation. I’m a control freak to the max. And this unsettled feeling is already eating a hole in me.
Calli, my calico cat, sits in Preston’s vacated seat, glaring at me. She’s only been around a few short weeks, but she already runs this house. And judging by her intense glare, she’s not happy I sent Preston away tonight; I swear she likes him more than me.
Refusing to backtrack now, I do the best thing I know to do; head into my kitchen, open my liquor cabinet, and pull out a bottle of Hennessy. Foregoing the glass, I sit on my counter and take swigs from the bottle.
As much as I want to fix this, I know I can’t. Pushing Preston into a take-it-or-leave-it deal wasn’t the right way for me to handle our relationship, but something needed to happen. I’m ready to snap from all of my frustration at the dodgy persona I’ve acquired to keep this ridiculous secret.
I take another long pull of the amber liquor and relish in the bitterness as it courses down my throat.
My friends would accept Preston without a second thought. They already do, he just won’t give them the opportunity to see it for himself.
The burn of the alcohol does nothing to wash away the guilt I feel after that fight, nor does it blur the memory of Preston’s crushed face and sagging shoulders as he passed me when I kicked him out of my house.
I bring the bottle to my lips again for another long drink and slide off the counter. With the bottle in hand, I head to my room.
If nothing else, maybe I’ll knock out shortly.
I can only hope Preston finds the resolution to our problem by daylight. If not, this is going to be one shitty week.
I loved all the other Navy Love books. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed this one too since I was anticipating Marsh's story for quite some time now. However, this book is unlike the other M/M books I have read. To me it's a bit tamer and I'm not sure how I feel about that just yet. In this book we get more emotion, more storyline rather then just your sex filled book.
Marshall has always been out in the open with his sexuality and his family and friends have all supported him. One of the many things I love about this group, they go through everything together. When one is down, they pick one another up. Or when one is hurting they all hurt. Preston on the other hand did not receive that support from his family which has caused him to hide is sexuality from the world. We pretty much have known about Preston since the beginning but he hid his true identity so no one knew the real him.
Because of Preston's lack of support it has caused him to hide who he truly is. From his co workers, his friends and even from Marsh. You can't help but feel bad for him. He's living his life based off of what his shitty parents did to him and because of that, it's causing a strain on his relationship with Marsh.
When Marsh reaches his final straw he gives Preston an ultimatum. A dick move in my option. But with him doing it, it has shown Preston that he has nothing to be afraid of. His fears are from his past and the people they are surrounded by will support him and not put him down.
I loved Marsh in this book. He is very patient with Preston as he goes through this important phase in his life. He could have given up on him a long time ago but he hung on. You can see that he truly cares for him which is why he is helping him through it all. Any doubt that Preston has Marsh is there to prove him wrong and that he needs to stop living in the past. Watching Preston finding himself is very eye opening. He truly cares for Marsh it's just that his past has put so much fear in him. He doesn't want to be rejected or disappoint anyone again so he has hidden who is is. Little does he know he's doing that, he is keeping his feelings in. Marsh wants to be all in with him, Preston is having a hard time letting go.
When is enough enough? Can Preston look beyond the past to make a future with Marsh or will it be too late? What happens when the past comes bringing back doubt? Will they be able to pull through or will keeping hem hidden be their end?
Since this book is done, I'm a bit sad to see this series come to an end.
This review was done by Jenn. I received an advanced copy for my honest review.
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FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, BOOKS 1-3
OF THE NAVY LOVE SERIES ARE ON SALE FOR
FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, BOOKS 1-3
OF THE NAVY LOVE SERIES ARE ON SALE FOR
I'm a southern girl, born and raised in Texas, until my husband enlisted in the Navy and we were relocated to Virginia. I'm a stay at home mom to three boys, so my days are pretty packed. When I'm not reading or chasing around kiddos, I'm on my computer writing.
I have a weakness for cupcakes and tattoos. My two addictions other than my handsome boys.
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