Such an amazing story of courage to be true to who you are…
Where can you turn when you’re caught in a crossfire of war and passion?
Captain Sabine Fleischer is a skilled and dedicated U.S. Army surgeon deployed to a combat hospital in Afghanistan. She is also one of the thousands of troops who are forced to serve in silence because of the military’s anti-gay policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).”
Usually driven and focused, Sabine finds that battles raging both inside and outside the perimeter walls are making it more and more difficult for her to deal with her emotions. Dealing with loss and mortality, lack of privacy, sleep deprivation, loneliness and the isolation forced on her by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are all taking their toll. Plus, her long-term relationship with a civilian back home is quickly becoming another casualty of war.
Colonel Rebecca Keane is an enigmatic career officer who runs the surgical unit like clockwork. Well liked and respected by those who work with and under her, she walks a fine line to preserve the military’s chain of command while connecting with those under her care and supervision. Sabine knows the Colonel is way off-limits, but can’t help fantasizing about her. Especially when she starts picking up unspoken cues—a stolen glance, a secret smile, an “accidental” brush of hands. Or is it just wishful thinking? After all, Rebecca’s wedding ring shines almost as brightly as her deep blue eyes…
Military romances are not normally my preference however after recommendations from friends I knew I couldn’t ignore this book anymore and I’m so glad I picked it up back in February because it’s truly one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and I’ve since re-read it a further 3 to 4 times.
I’ve struggled to put into words how’s amazing Ask, Tell actually is but then I decided to re-read it again last night due to the recent events/ bullshit that’s happening with the US Military and the LGBTQI community. So here we go…
Ask, Tell Is written solely from Captain Sabine Fleischer’s point of view, which normally I’m not a fan of but I don’t think EJ Noyes could have written it any other way. She’s a solider and a surgeon deployed to a military hospital in Afghanistan where she is under the command of Colonel Keane, who she finds unbelievablely attractive and actively fantasies about. Colonel Keane starts to indicate that she may share the attraction but in the army, where ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT) is still very much in place, she can’t make a move to confirm or deny if the feelings are mutual.
DADT was such a horrible period for anyone in the Forces that was part of the LGBT community that I was almost afraid to read this novel because I thought it would be a hard subject matter to tackle for an author, especially in her debut novel… how wrong I was. EJ Noyes was able to deliver on so many levels but most importantly on how it felt to be Lesbian solider of that era in the military. As the reader I was able to truly understand the feelings of the main protagonist Captain Sabine Fleischer and how conflicted she was about her feelings for her superior officer Colonel Rebecca Keane. EJ Noyes made me feel like I was living the lives of these women and it really effected me in a way I wasn’t expecting. I have so much more respect for people that lived through and were affected by such horrible military policy.
The sexual tension is this book is almost palpable and it makes the chemistry between these two characters so realistic it’s astounding. When Sabine is trying to decipher if Rebecca is in fact attracted to her but can’t just ask because of military rule, it’s so beautifully frustrating but when she finally gets to the point where they can discuss their feelings, there is literally no need for words. I have usually found that first time authors don’t tend to write the best sex scenes but EJ Noyes blew me away.
This book is going to take you on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs that you won’t expect but it’s so unbelievably worth it. I heard a rumour that EJ Noyes is working on a sequel and I hope that’s true because I want more from Sabine and Rebecca and their journey to be together without anything holding them back.
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