Ok first of all FORGET the food and wine people, this cover right here…It’s what’s for dinner!! Holy shit! How delicious is THAT? I mean for serious…Look at them!! It’s like “awwwwww” and then “DAYUM!!!” all at once. I veritably LOVE this cover. Paul Richmond pretty much captured the essence of the story PERFECTLY. Right! Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system let’s move on to the story and libations I’ve got for you today. Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson is a story of two men who are coming to the end of their military careers, Gunny and Mac have both served the Marine Corps honorably and now faced with the repeal of the “Don’s Ask, Don’t Tell” law they are contemplating their future and thinking about all the ways that leaving the military will change their life and their relationship. These two men are so dear and so in love, they felt so genuine, I just couldn’t stop reading. So, for Mac and Gunny who were salt of the earth with just a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit of a naughty side, I had to pick a strong wine with depth and lots of flavor, but without a lot of fuss. My choice was the 2010 Tarima Monastrell a Spanish wine that is very flavorful, not too complicated and light enough it makes for a very drinkable glass during the summer months. The Tarima Monastrell goes for a about $8.00 a bottle making it a perfect choice. Now for the food, I wanted to go simple and delicious…Mac and Gunny are not exactly gourmand’s but Mac did have his Suzy Homemaker streak and loved making food for his man, he also was a gardener! So I made a delicious pasta with homemade a Fresh Basil Pesto and Summer Squash which would be a perfect meal for these guys. A beautiful dinner that’s easy to make and perfect for the summer.
But more on the food later, on to the story.
There is some serious bad-assery going on in this book…For firsts, I’m going to say it…SJD Peterson should just write military guys because she does it right. I loved these dudes, and not because they were all “I’m a Marine and I eat people’s spines and then fuck like a Semi on crack”…Nope, not at all these guys were sweet and in love, finishing up their service and ready to tackle the rest of their lives, even if the prospect of finally coming out and embracing life as a “marriage” was kind of scary.For seconds, Mac and Gunny are a pair, from early in their time with the Marines they took up with each other. They have been the best of friends and ocassional lovers for a long time and in the last ten years they were only with each other. They have been there for each other for half their lives, but the fact that they could not be out in the military made the whole “Are we a couple or just fuck buddies?” question stay in the back burner (At least that’s what Gunny thought!) But now, not so much. Mac is READY for the future. He wants to exit the Marines and GET MARRIED he wants to tell the families, their friends, he wants to hold hands, he wants EVERYTHING because dammit! He served his country proudly and honorably and he wants the life that he earned by living right, and he wants it with Gunny.
Gunny is a little worried, he is more unsure of what people’s reactions will be and he is scared of rejection. Also there are things about their relationship that he wants to explore, but is not sure how Mac will react. Gunny and Mac have a perfect balance. Gunny likes to submit and Mac is a natural Dom their sex life even after all these years is explosively hot and wonderful, but Gunny is curious to see how they do taking that part of their life to a more public setting…So many things are changing, so many things that were never options before are not just possibilities anymore.
For thirds, get ready for the sizzling hot smexin people because Gunny and Mac have a PLAY ROOM, the naughty kind! Whoo baby these two were hot and did it everywhere, like in the woods! This was straight up hot erotica, but not too much that it got boring. Very nicely done.
So yeah this was a lovely romance of two men who have been in love with each other for a long time and now are looking to their future and what it will bring. This book read very much like the author knew exactly what she was writing about, it made Gunny and Mac very real and easy to root for.
I enjoyed this a lot and would recommend to SJD Peterson fans and for those who have not read her this is a GREAT one to start with.
Beyond Duty is for sale at Dreamspinner Press.
And now the recipe…This is simple and easy my friends…I promise you’ll have a beautiful dinner on the table within 30 minutes.
Fresh Basil Pesto (makes 1 cup)
1 Large bunch of fresh basil
1 Large clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch which is the best value in olive oil out there IMO)
12 raw almonds
1 tablespoon of Go Veggie! Parmesan Cheese Alternative (if you’re vegan if not go for the Parmigianno Reggiano)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions: Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put the almonds on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 8 minutes until lightly roasted. Once the almonds are cool place them in the food processor with the rest of the ingridients and pulse for about a minute.
Pasta with Fresh Basil Pesto and Summer Squash (Serves 4)
1 Medium Zuchinni
1 Meduim Yellow Squash
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Lb of fresh Pasta (I used Jumbo Roasted Vegetable Raviolis)
1/2 cup of Fresh Basil Pesto
1 Tablespoon of Go Veggie! Parmesan Cheese Alternative (if you’re vegan, if not go crazy with the Parmiggiano Reggiano)
Prepare pasta according to package instructions and set aside. Cut the zuchinni and squash in thin slice and chop the bell pepper in thin strips and set aside. In a hot skillet put in a tablespoon of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot sautee the vegetables for about a minute, then add about one tablespoon of the pesto and stir in so that the vegetables are coated. Once they have sauteed another minute add the pasta and the remaining pesto and stir until everything is coated with the pesto. Top with the parmeggiano and enjoy with a glass of wine and this delicious book.
Cheers and Happy Reading!