Author: Cat Grant
Pages/Word Count: 129 Pages
At a Glance: A solidly delivered epilogue to David and Josh’s relationship.
Blurb: Committed couple David Flint and Josh Walker are long past the injuries, separation, and chain-of-command issues that plagued their early years together as Navy SEALs. Now, with David embarking on a new career as a therapist, the future looms bright and promising…
Until Josh, now recovered from the post-traumatic stress that kept him sidelined for two years, goes back to active duty. David dreads the long weeks of sleepless nights and radio silence ahead—and wonders if Josh is really as recovered as he claims to be.
Counseling other traumatized vets fills David’s days and helps him find a new purpose, but it’s his act of kindness to a homeless teenager that may end up changing everything, for him and for Josh.
(Previously published in the Unconditional Surrender: An M/M Military Bundle anthology.)
Review: The Only One Who Cares is a short novel in Cat Grant and L.A. Witt’s successful The Only One series, which tells David Flint and Josh Walker’s story and leads readers from the beginning of their relationship, through the turbulent times of service to their country, through injury and post-traumatic distress, to the time where they are now—settling into a solid and committed relationship. I’ll confess that I haven’t read the first two books in this series but will also say that I don’t feel as if I was denied the full scope of what these men have been through together to get where they are. While that’s not at all a recommendation to read this story out of context, I will say Cat Grant does readers the favor of detailing just enough of David and Josh’s background to make this chapter of their lives stand well on its own.
Told in the alternating first person, the story succeeds in allowing readers to connect with both of these men as they’re beginning to adjust to the changes duty has instigated. This grounds us firmly in a place of empathy for what they, and all military couples, must face when one is deployed. The stress of separation, the long days and weeks of missed phone calls, if not complete silence, and the danger Josh faces as a Navy SEAL all serve to throw into sharp focus not only how much courage it takes to serve but how much courage it takes to be the one left behind. All of these changes and challenges, however, are contrasted by the one thing that marks a brighter future for both of them, and, considering the cover image, I don’t believe it’s a spoiler at all to say David and Josh are given one very important reason to count their blessings by story’s end.
David’s injury has forced him to embrace a new way of serving—of counseling men who’ve come home from war with psychological scars every bit as crippling as the physical wound David himself suffered, which means he will try to move forward after a bullet causes the nearly twenty years he’d served to become a quick footnote on his past. Meanwhile, Josh is at the end of a leave of absence and is set to return to active duty, even though he is still tormented by fears and doubts. The Only One Who Cares is not only a Men in Uniform romance but is also a statement book that takes to task the government’s and military’s shortcomings when it comes to caring for our men and women who are failed by Veterans Services. It’s a true and sad testament to how much is owed to those who have and are suffering, and I loved the dose of reality it leant to David and Josh’s story.
I’m not sure if there are more books planned in this series but can say that The Only One Who Cares reads very much like a solidly delivered epilogue to David and Josh’s relationship. For fans of this series who’ve been waiting for this couple’s HEA, it appears this may be it.
You can buy The Only One Who Cares (The Only One: Book Three) here: