Over the Top Book Cover Over the Top
Black Dragons Inc. Book 2
Cindy Dees
LGBTQ Romance/Military
Dreamspinner Press
March 9, 2021

Former best friends put their differences aside to rescue a child—but the baby isn’t the only thing that needs saving.

A preventable training accident that forced him out of the SEALs has left Gunner Vance bitter and angry. But all that changes when his childhood friend and onetime lover asks for his help.

When a gunfight lands a baby on lonely teacher Chasten Reed’s front porch, he knows Gunner is their best chance for survival—assuming they don’t end up killing each other while on the run.

Chas and Gunner have a simple mission: identify the baby and get her safely back to her real family. But with jeopardy around every corner of the desperate cross-country journey from New England to Hawaii, simple doesn’t mean easy. The attraction between them might be bulletproof, but their bodies are not. Will Chas and Gunner find what they’ve been craving? Or will the past, and the danger, push them over the top before they can fall in love?

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team


Chasten Reed is a kindergarten teacher looking forward to a relaxing weekend after a week of dealing with five-year old’s but it would be anything but. Gunfire, a neighbor lying dead on his front porch and a toddler covered in blood wrapped in a blanket.  


Not sure if the shooters are still around, he heads to the police station where he witnesses it under attack and cops lying dead in the street. With no other option he reaches out to his childhood friend Gunner Vance for help. He has loved Gunner since they were kids but unlike Chas he has refused to accept the fact that he is gay and after being together Gunner ran.


Gunner is a Navy SEAL who has just found out that his career is over. A training jump and a tree left him with serious injuries and since these were not his first injuries it is determined that his career, a career he loves, is over. When he receives the call from Chas, his best friend and worst enemy, the man who knew even before he did that, he was not straight; he wasted no time and went to his rescue.


The danger is real and the shooters are still chasing them so it is apparent that this small child is the one they are after. About eighteen months old they name her Poppy and try to give her a sense of security after all she witnessed but they have to figure out who is after her and why. Chas and Gunner have no idea what they have found themselves in the middle of and Gunner calls for help. I didn’t read book one but I know that it followed the lives of Drago and Spencer Newman and Spencer was once Gunner’s boss so he is the one he called on. 


With the contacts Drago and Spencer have they are able to discover why this little girl is the target of Japanese drug dealers. Three men, two military and one a kindergarten teacher against dozens each willing to do whatever is necessary to protect this little girl and find her family. Running puts Chas and Gunner in close quarters and Gunner has finally realized that he missed out on years with Chas, years he would have had the man he loved and the chance of a family.


There is non-stop action and a close view of how a Navy SEAL operates in the face of danger. I was not happy with Chasten at times because he couldn’t face the fact that killing is sometimes necessary even when you don’t have a choice. His chance of a life with Gunner has no chance if he can’t accept him as he is, a man who will do whatever he has to to protect those he loves.