3.5 out of 5
No Flag was different from any other book in the M/M and BDSM genre than I have read before. I didn’t really understand the concept of a Domestic Discipline relationship. Domestic Discipline seems to resemble the Master/slave dynamic in some ways, but…calmer, less passionate maybe? It’s definitely unique.
Mike is an officer in the Army. He is severely OCD and seems almost emotionless, perhaps a little robotic. Will is a bartender, young and eager, almost like a puppy at moments. They meet, fall in love, and get married. Mike has a list of rules that must be followed by Will and if things aren’t done right Will gets a spanking. Neither of them get turned on by this, it’s like a father disciplining his child for not doing his chores. I was a little annoyed and disappointed by this, but then I kind of realized this wasn’t really a love story about how two men hook up, it was more a story of two men’s journey through the fire together. So then it got better for me.
Liz Borino did a commendable job portraying the struggle dealing with a military partner being gone for an extended period of time. Regardless of a couple’s dynamic, this is a universal theme for the military life. The sleepless nights apart, the constant strain and worry about their safety, the added strain of taking on extra responsibilities to ensure the spouse comes home to what they left behind. Then the hell of coping when the spouse comes home, injured and not the person they were when they left. It is a struggle that many couples do not make it through. This is where I started to truly understand what Mike and Will loved about each other, and I was happy with the book overall. Was it an epic, passion driven love story? No. While No Flag was by no means a “light read”, it was a quieter kind of love story. Well worth a read if you are looking for something a little different to change it up a little. I think I’ll be giving some of her other books a whirl as well.
For Mike and Will, “No Flag” meant “come home alive”, but will their love survive what happens next?
Captain Mike Kelley does not ignore his intuition, so when sexy bartender Will Hayes captures his heart, Mike embarks on a mission to win him over to a Domestic Discipline relationship. Will accepts with one caveat: Mike must promise not to renew his Army contract. Mike agrees, and they spend a year building a life together, getting married, and starting a business.
Only days before their café’s grand opening, Mike receives news that threatens everything he and Will have built. The Army invokes the Stop Loss military policy to involuntarily extend his commission and send him back overseas. Will, left alone to cope with the café, must rely on the support of old friends who may no longer be trustworthy. Through emails and Skype calls, Mike and Will keep their love and structure alive…until the day a horrific terrorist attack occurs on Mike’s outpost.
Mike awakens in a hospital with a devastating injury and no memory of the attack. As the only survivor, Mike’s memory may be the key to national security. Mike struggles to cope with his injury and Will struggles to support the man who always held him up. Both fear they have lost their previous relationship. Will has Mike back rather than a folded flag, but in the aftermath of war, can they rebuild the life they had before? Especially when those closest to them may not have their best interests at heart?
*Contains BDSM elements in the context of a loving relationship.*