Review - "Scar Tissue" by GL Roberts
Great Watergate period tale of love
Bob Elkins is walking a very think line. In 1976, government DEA agents are scrutinized in all aspects of their lives. And it's not a good career move to be gay. Especially for a third year agent looking to move up the ranks. Former military, all man, willing to take the dirty jobs, he's exactly what the Powers That Be are looking for.
When he sees new recruit Mike Wells, he knows he's in trouble. Tall. Dark. Handsome. Former military, proud and sure of himself. Deadly for a man like Bob. And what's more, Mike seems to sense the attraction and returns it. They begin a slow dance of seduction.
The trouble comes in when it's time to become physical. Mike begs off, wanting to take it slow. Worst of all, he doesn't want Bob to see him naked. Blames it on tiredness, fear of being caught. Bob begins to doubt Mike is all that interested.
Will their attraction fizzle? Is Mike into Bob or playing some kind of game? Or is there something more about Mike than meets the eye?
I'm a big fan of GL Roberts, and she scores a knockout with the crisp, beautifully written story of love, fear and old pain. A child of the times, I remember the political climate and fear of being gay in 1976, and Ms. Roberts nails the underlying tones of the times just beginning to change.
Her characters, as always, are her strong suit. Bob is a wonderful man - masculine, sure of himself but with an underlying vulnerability that's so very attractive. He knows what he wants, and is willing to pay the price to have it.
Mike is really the one who sets the pace for this romance, however. He matches Bob strength for strength. Similar in background, the two men understand each other so well. But the shyness and pain that's just under the surface made me want to know this man. Shelter him even though he is so very strong.
When all the truth are revealed, it's a very touching tale, for all the trappings of honor and masculinity. As it very well should be. The best, truest men know how to show all their scars, mental and physical. Own them and heal and be healed.
Just a fantastic story. Read it and wonder.