Latakia Book reviews


Author(s): J.F. SmithDownload  


Matthew likes his life in Richmond. He has his friends and his softball and his volunteer work. And he has a very good-looking boyfriend, Brian, who he’s been happily dating for over a year now. So what if his friends tend to question just how good his boyfriend is, and so what if Brian tends to have inexplicable mood swings. And so what if Brian seems to invite Matt’s suspicions on occasion. If he just shows a little faith and trust, he’ll appreciate what he has with Brian the way he should. Right?But suddenly, Matt finds himself in a desperate life-or-death situation on a trip overseas, and he realizes just how much he misses home, and Brian. He’s luckily rescued by a team of US Special Forces, only to immediately find out they’re a bunch of bigoted jerks. Worse, a quirk of his situation forces him to spend time with them that he’d rather not. And that’s when he finds out that first impressions can be misleading. When called upon, he steps up when every fiber of his being tells him not to, and discovers something deep inside himself that he didn’t realize was even there. And his life will never be the same. He finds that he can, after all, make some very overdue changes in his own life.What Matt doesn’t realize is that the bond of brotherhood runs both ways. And he winds up changing the lives of several of the men on that Special Forces team as much as they changed his.All it takes is faith and trust.

Some Reviews: 437 in


M rated it     

I’ve rated this book, not according to how technically good it is; nor according to the editing style; or even the plot, but really I’ve rated it according to how much I enjoyed it. And if I were to quantify my enjoyment of it, it would be roughly a metric shitload. It’s a very sweet and often funny book about a ordinary guy thrust into extraordinary circumstances and proving himself equal to the task.

There were a couple of sticking points that marred the read a bit for me and they’re almost entirely technical. Like how there’s a lot of redundancy in the writing, as well as endless internal monologues and the dialogue veers wildly from kind of silly and earnest to just straight-up fucking hilarious (no really, I could’t read this in public because I kept bursting out laughing). The protagonist also did some fairly annoying shit, but it’s forgivable. And what’s the deal with the weird “love me” spell he cast on everyone? Not literally, of course, but everyone loved the shit out of this guy, it felt kind of forced, actually. And also, and this is sooo petty of me, but multiple punctuation marks??? Tacky.

All that said, it actually was a really good read and I wish there was more military stuff in it, because that bit was aces. But yes, I would definitely recommend it.


Paul rated it      

Although there was a couple of very short OTT scenarios, the rest of the book was just incredible. The story just slayed me, it’s message of comradery in relation to sexuality, race, religion and personal beliefs was spoken loud and clear, even if that too was a little OTT at times.

It gave me such a sense of warmth that lead me to think that if only the rest of the fucking world could just open their eyes and think a lot more compassionately, then it would be a beautiful place to live.

I just loved this, it’s just an amazing novel with a beautiful story and an even more incredible message for everyone


Caipi rated it     

Matt was just your average guy, with great friends but stuck in an one-sided relationship, convinced that he was the one to blame and that he had to keep trying to be a better boyfriend. It took him a very long time to recognize that his boyfriend was using and manipulating him.

So, Matt volunteered to go with Doctors Without Borders for two weeks to Latakia/Syria. Due to unfortunate circumstances he got there in a really bad situation and was rescued by a Navy SEAL team. Shortly thereafter, he even helped them to successfully finish their mission and all the SEALs welcomed him in their midst, voted and made him an honorary member of the team.

I know this is not realistic but I still enjoyed reading the book. It was such a great tale about trust, honor, courage, friendship and camaraderie! I loved how Matt grew during this adventure, how he found his true love with Mope and the build of their relationship. There were also a lot of great secondary characters. In particular Petey, I totally loved this special guy.

4,5 stars

Page Crusherz

Page Crusherz rated it      

WOW. Thoroughly amazing. I had this book for a while, and I had read the great reviews, but it just seemed so dull to me. I had very little interest in reading it. Eventually it just gave it a try…and thank god I did! It was simply perfect.

It captured my attention from the start. I loved the characters, and even the most unlikely totally won be over in the end. The romance was passionate and so moving. I believed everything about it. I also am not a huge military story fan, but I was so into the whole plot.

When this was done, I was so comforted and yet sad that I had to put a group of people I had come to love aside. I am sure I will be revisiting them!

This is the type of book you want to sneak read any chance you get.

Highly, highly recommended…even to the skeptics, like me!



Anke rated it      

July 2013 “Pick it for me” challenge book, picked by Monica

4.5 stars
Thank you, Monica, for picking this book for me. What a great read! Yes, the start was a bit bumpy for me, I was on the verge of DNF as Matt was a total doormat and was really getting on my nerves. Good friends talked me through it – Thank you for that! – and I’m very glad that I read on. It was a wonderful story and I loved Matt and Travis. It was a joy to follow Matt in his development from being said doormat to becoming more confident and forming a friendship with Travis and the other SEALs. In the wake of that he managed to get rid of the horrible boyfriend and find love with Travis. Travis on the other hand started as trying to talk Matt into helping them to accomplish their mission, came to realize that there was more to Matt, fell in love with him and finally had to acknowledge to himself that it wasn’t possible to keep his private life and his job separate any longer. A few scenes were too patriotic for my liking, but overall this book was unputdownable.


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