*******Review contains spoilers*******
4.5 stars for the book but 5 stars for the series.
I just finished Veterans and what a sad day it is. I can't believe my journey with Vadim and Dan is over. Twenty-five years of passion, anger, violence, loneliness, torture and above all LOVE. I miss them already!
Veterans is the final book in Special Forces and although I did love it, I had a few problems with this book. My expectations were higher mainly because it was the last installment and I wanted everything tied up but it didn't quite reach that point for me.
In the beginning, Veterans gripped me and drew me in. Vadim and Dan had gone through so much over the years but to see them so emotionally disconnected was heart-breaking. They always had something between them even if it was anger but for them to be so estranged and practically accept being this far apart was horrible. Although, Vadim's outdoor excursion was perfect (took him long enough to get off his ass)!
The biggest problem was the ending. I was so happy they got married but I needed more and Vadim and Dan deserved more as well. The wedding was simply beautiful but not being able to see them make love for the first time after getting married really struck me in a bad way especially since this book severely lacked private Vadim and Dan time. Why not show more of Vadim and Dan and leave out some of the non essential people, such as Beauvais?
This leads me to my second complaint. Much of the book was focused on Dan and Jean's relationship. Dan and Jean have always irritated me but when I don't get more of Vadim and Dan and combine that with the ending, it puts me off in a very bad way. To see Dan fucking Jean and then to have Jean tell Dan he loved him was too much to take. Thank God Dan never said it back or elaborated on his feelings because that would have been the end for me.
There were many missed opportunities to see just Dan and Vadim together. Not only on their wedding night but also when Dan had to leave Vadim so he can begin his therapy and he asked Vadim to make love to him but we get nothing. This wasn't acceptable especially for the last book. Sorry, but I felt a bit cheated.
There were however, many beautiful moments: the tent scene, Dan wondering if Vadim will love him after his 3 month therapy, Dan meeting Kisa, Vadim resolving things with Nikolai, Dan telling Maggie he loves her, Vadim's reaction to Duncan calling him brother-in-law, and of course their wedding with the steel rings and Vadim's blue cufflinks.
Best LOL moment hands down goes to Hooch when he asked Jean at their first meeting "Did you cry?" Love Hooch and Matt but I thought it was so out of character for Hooch to make up with Jean.
And I couldn't believe Vadim's run in with Konstantinov. Wow, I really felt for him and never saw that one coming.
I thought the proposal was absolutely perfect. I loved how Dan was genuinely shocked and would only say yes if Vadim was marrying him for love and no other reason. I loved the part when Dan was staring at Vadim, thinking of the past..."Vadim still was the man he'd always wanted. Everyone else, no matter who or where and what, paled in comparison to Vadim. His Russkie. His cunt. Dan smiled at last."
This was quite an intense journey. I cried, laughed out loud, got pissed (more times than I wanted) but as always I loved every moment with Vadim and Dan. Whenever I hear the words, lapis lazuli, the Afghan mountains, energy bars, and Russkie I will always think of Vadim and Dan and smile.
Thank you for one of the best series I've ever read!