Beacon Bayou

Beacon Bayou - BethAnn Buehler, Christopher Craven, J.L. Oiler, Lila Munro I've always liked anthologies and read a number of them in my day but I have to say, I've never come across one like this before. I even checked with a couple of my blogger friends and they indicated they haven’t either. To my knowledge and understanding an anthology usually contains a compilation of novellas written by one or more authors with an interconnected theme or an idea, for instance reacquainted lovers, or menage. I even read one where corsets was the idea that connected the four stories.

Okay, to cut to the chase, Force Recon Beacon Bayou consists of four novellas which are essentially the same story, told by four different authors from a different character's point of view. Each of these character's are members of the same military team on leave and vacationing at this place called Beacon Bayou as described in the synopsis. So, after you have read the first story entitled GySgt. Brogan Baker Call Sign: Dream Crusher, written by BethAnn Buehler, you know the storyline for each of the novellas and more importantly how they end.

Brogan is a tough Gunnery Sergeant who is suffering mental anguish regarding his sexual identity. This character seems to be a gay dominant but it was hard to tell because while he was having warm and fuzzy feelings for Regan Maxwell, one of his teammates he kept meeting and kissing a woman who was vacationing with a bunch of other bikini clad women staying at the Bayou. Regan is gay and out (or as out as a person can be in the military which apparently still frowns on same sex relationships), he wants Brogan and makes no bones about it.

*scratching head* Now, I’m trying not to sound too confused but unfortunately, I was. Confused. There were a number of characters introduced within a short period of time in this story and along with their own names they have “call names”, which were used simultaneously or at different times. There was very little character development therefore, it was difficult to follow who everyone was. They played texas holdem poker, which I know nothing about and there was some weird dynamics going on between the 4 man team.

Then Brogan and Regan have sex but there didn’t seem to be a lot of passion involved, in fact there was panic on Brogan’s part because of a previous relationship with a woman that sounded horrific. Oh, and Regan discovers he has a secret love child and all of a sudden Brogan wants them to be a family. o_O Go. Figure. I sure couldn’t.

The next story was entitled Corporal Regan Maxwell Call Sign: FireWall, by Christopher Craven. And, the entire story is told over again from Regan’s point of view. There was a trip to the grocery store with Brogan and, who would have thunk it? They run into Regan’s ex-lover from when he was an underwear model in Hollywood (how convenient) and of course there is a confrontation with “Dream Crusher” which didn’t go well. And then there is the paternity test while Regan is out in the middle of nowhere on vacation. Regan then has the sex with Brogan which, didn’t seem to go well from his POV either.

This story was constructed better than the first one but after you have read about poker once and already know when the love scene is going to happen as well as all the other nonsense leading up to it, eye rolling ensues.

Sgt. Aaron Wolf Call Sign: Nightmare by J.L. Oiler, is the next story. Aaron is a straight man who likes whittling things with a “K-bar”, which is a knife (I learned this because he threw it and it stuck in a pole). Aaron is a big tough marine who seems to like living on the edge. I think he was the explosives expert for the team because there was mention of him setting charges on a mission etc.

Anyway, Aaron meets one of the women vacationing at the Bayou who is dealing with a nasty ex husband. There is some communication, sex, and a confrontation with the ex and big tough Aaron falls in love. And there is poker and the other issues that we already know about going on with his teammates.

Corpsman Gabriel Sanchez Call Sign: VooDoo Daddy by Lila Munro, is the final story in the anthology. As you can tell, I was pretty worn out by the time I got to “Gabe’s” story who by the way is Brogan’s best friend. I knew this because readers are informed of it many times in the first story.

Gabe is the team’s medic and is written as a very caring and skilled individual in the treatment and stabilization of his teammates when wounded etc. Gabe meets Rosalyn, a woman who is staying at the Bayou on a retreat. Rosalyn is battling cancer and Gabe falls for her while seeing to her medical needs.

I had to keep putting this anthology aside and coming back to it and I have to admit I skim read much of the repetitive information in the three stories that followed the first one. Unfortunately, Force Recon Beacon Bayou was not my cup of tea.