Review: "Force Recon Beacon Bayou", Anthology

Filed in 1 1/2 Star , BethAnn Buehler , Christopher Craven , L.L. Oiler , Lila Munro , Review , The Danger Lover Posted on March 30, 2011 @ 6:00 am 7 comments

Authors: Lila Munro, BethAnn Buehler, Christopher Craven, JL Oiler
Format Read: e-book submitted by author for review
Length: 231 Pages
Series: Force Recon , Book 1
Release Date: Feb 21, 2011
Publisher: Rebel Ink Press LLC
Formats Available: e-book
Purchasing Info: All Romance e-Books, Kindle, Nook, BookStrand, Coffee Time Romance

Book Blurb:

Looking for a splendid place to visit? Welcome to Beacon Bayou! Come wander Big Thicket National Preserve… For one four man Marine Force Recon team, a vacation was just what the doctor ordered. Or in their case, the team corpsman.

Fresh off a mission in the jungle of South America, rest and relaxation are Recon’s number one priorities. But for Gunnery Sergeant Brogan Baker, Sergeant Aaron Wolf, Corporal Regan Maxwell, and Chief Gabriel Sanchez, this vacation will test their strength unlike any mission ever has.

After a string of failed relationships, Brogan Baker is questioning his sexuality. Surely Regan Maxwell can’t be the answer to Brogan’s problems, can he? Besides, Regan’s a former Hollywood pretty boy just trying to prove he has what it takes while keeping one foot firmly planted in the closet. Then Kelli comes along. Can the two men foster their growing relationship and survive the presence of one tiny female?

Aaron Wolf, the unit lost sheep, agreed to the Texas get away thinking he could finally overcome the short comings his father points out every chance he gets. Meeting Scarlet might be the way out Aaron’s been looking for, but it’s the beauty Gabe’s got his eye on that shows Aaron there’s hope where he thought none existed.

After losing his first wife over fifteen years ago, Gabriel Sanchez has sworn off women. But somehow Roslyn Romero manages to capture his heart. The only problem is she’s got a host of her own issues that will push Gabe to the brink.

If that which doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, then the Force Recon team will either leave Texas in body bags or they’ll have a new found resolve to live life to the fullest. Beacon Bayou beware. Recon never backs down.

My Thoughts:

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 BLI 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.

I give Force Recon Becon Bayou 1.5 Bookies.


***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Lea

Lea is an animal loving, tree hugging vegetarian who lives in Toronto, Canada with her family, which includes three dogs. She is a prolific reader and has been blogging and reviewing since 2008. Lea is a contributor at the USA Today HEA Blog and an active member at Goodreads.

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Join the Discussion
  • Sharon S. March 30, 2011 at 8:53 am

    tell me I'm not the only one that read the title as Bacon?

  • Stella (Ex Libris) March 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Huh, never read such an anthology. In some movies or TV series, it can be interesting to revisit the same episode told from the POV of another character, but this is usually due to the fact, that this new POV is different somehow and gives another understanding of the story as a whole. Which didn't sound like it was the case with this book..

  • Chris March 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    This sounds annoying. 🙂

  • Lea March 30, 2011 at 4:38 pm



  • Lea March 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Hey Stella:

    Yeah. No it was not the case with this book for me anyway. Although others seem to be enjoying it because there are 5 star reviews over at Goodreads so it's a truly subjective viewpoint.


  • Lea March 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm


    Yes, it was, for me anyway.

    Thanks for your note! 😉

  • marybelle March 31, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Thanks for the review. I know I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but one look & I knew it was not for me.

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