Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt

For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job... until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.

After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.

One taste and neither man can get enough... right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.

With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose — stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.

The Anchor Point novels can be enjoyed in any order — jump in wherever you'd like!

Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was looking forward to this book. I did enjoy this book, just not as much. I did feel like I knew exactly how Travis and Clint felt when dealing with their PTSD, the author was great with getting that across and making you feel what the characters were feeling. I loved the chemistry with Travis and Clint, you could tell they really liked/loved each other. My only complaint was it seemed like the same stuff was said over and over and over again. Yes, Travis has back pain and he can’t do certain things, but we heard about that non-flipping stop, we got it, Clint got it, let’s talk about something else. I do like the secondary characters and I will read the next story in the series and hope that we see these two again down the road.

Characters: Well written
Sex: No penetration
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

I am so in love with this series! This time, this is the story of two Navy officers who are instantly attracted to each other. To make a relationship work, they both have to be willing to share and accept the baggage they each carry after difficult military careers and failed past relationships.

Gorgeous, heroic, and damaged, I loved both Clint and Travis. Both of these men are older and both are terrified to expose their vulnerabilities to each other. Between PTSD, the emotional detritus of DADT, and permanent physical disabilities, neither man sees himself as much of a prize and neither feels equipped to manage a relationship. I loved the conflicting strength and vulnerability in these men.

There are some dark themes running through this story as both men wrestle with the costs of the careers they have chosen. Both men remain fiercely loyal to the Navy. They enjoy the camaraderie and the sense of identity the Navy provides for them but after long careers, their experiences have been incredibly difficult and they have both endured unthinkable tragedies. There doesn’t seem to be a political agenda in this story, just honest reflection on the reality of long military careers.

I’m always shocked by the cost of healthcare in the US, and Travis clinging to his career, nearly killing himself to complete the necessary Navy physical tests so he can continue to have his medical bills paid is a horrific and very moving example of the choices too many Americans are forced to make.

I really loved this story. It is a reflective, considered romance between two men who are both much older than the average romantic hero. I enjoyed their maturity, and the compromise and acceptance that make for very poignant scenes in this story. There is a special joy between these two men who never expected to love again.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/M Military, Romance
Triggers: PTSD

Clint is just starting to come back to life. He self-destructed when a mission went very poorly. But, given that the mission was so classified, he wasn't able to discuss it with anyone – instead, he drank and was violent, scared his kids, and pushed his family so far away that he is just now starting to work at getting them back. Despite all of that, when he is able to pick himself back up, he allows himself to look for happiness where he wouldn't allow himself to look before. With men. Despite being divorced, he must now not only come to grips with how he treated his family, but showing them that he is attracted to men and always has been.

Travis is in constant pain. He was a pilot who had a bad landing and was never the same again. He lives with pain, guilt, and even a little shame. Over the years, he's recovered as much as possible, but his dreams continue to haunt him. He has great friends and loves what he does, he pushes himself to continue on, despite the pain, because he's scared of what his future will bring.

When Travis and Clint really come together, it's almost as each other’s therapists. Each knows what the other is going through, as far as the trauma goes. Clint worries about Travis's pain and Travis worries about what coming out to his kids will do to Clint.

I wouldn't say that they have amazing chemistry. I think what brings them together is their commonality in their backgrounds. Both are military, both are attractive, both have PTSD, and both seem to downplay their own trauma experiences.

While this book didn't resonate romance with me, I am glad that it discusses the subject that all trauma, no matter what it's perceived as, is still trauma. I think that is a very good message. So, while I didn't love the story, I did like that it highlighted an area that is not talked about in a lot of circles. Sure, we talk about PTSD, the silent wound, but to really talk about the different areas, how to validate those feelings, especially when even your brothers who worked the same mission are jumpy to talk about it. Good message.

This is the second book in the series – and I would recommend the first book to you as well. Although it is not essential to read it first, we do meet Travis in that book first, as he is Paul's good friend.

Whilst book one dealt with naval issues, its other big theme was about age differences in a relationship. This book takes the naval themes, but adds both the issue of PTSD and for Travis, of chronic physical pain due to an injury sustained whilst flying. Both he and Clint have also had a family, and are adjusting to being able to be freely open about their preference for relationships with men. These things are all dealt with in the context of two men who aren't entirely convinced that anyone would want them, given how damaged they are, and how unsuccessful they have been in relationships in the past.

I found this an easy book to read, as Ms. Witt has a smooth writing style, and combines the everyday with hot romance very effectively. It was very enjoyable to see these two men find the confidence to believe that this could be real and lasting. It was good that there were no major dramas which detracted from the very real issues that people face every day.

A good sequel to Just Drive. I hope that another is out soon.

Afraid to Fly can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the first in the series – Just Drive.

As a big L.A. Witt fan, one who was interested in where this series was leading after Just Drive, I need to preface this review by saying the story didn't resonate with me due to the slow pacing.

Afraid to Fly features bisexual men in the middle of their lives. They're established, have children, and have learned from lessons in the past.

Travis is an officer in the Navy, dealing with a nearly debilitating injury that grounded him from flying. Travis has an adult daughter.

Clint works on the same floor with Travis, but they don't work together. He's an officer with an ex-wife and three children. He's dealing with the alcoholism that fractured his marriage and is trying to reconnect with his children.

Both men have demons they are struggling with, debilitating pain, alcoholism, and PTSD. This novel features two men later on in their lives finding love and romance despite their issues. It's sweet, heartfelt, and hope-filled.

I felt the author was thoroughly educated and informed with all aspects of the Navy included in the story, especially the realism with PTSD.

My issue with the story was the pacing. Even at the start, it was 15% of a long novel for one scene. It just crawled along as the characters were introduced, with mostly inner monologue that became tedious to wade through. Combined with the accurate military info, that I felt also slowed the pacing down, it was a real struggle for me to remain engaged until the end. Another issue, I had difficulty grasping who was narrating, not that it wasn't accurately marked at the heading of each chapter – both narrators had a ton of inner monologue, inner monologue that had the same 'voice' as their partner, making it difficult to distinguish between them. Outside of names being thought about and specifics to their situations, they were interchangeable characters.

Afraid to Fly was a solid military romance, devoid of angst and tension, which I'm sure many romance fans will find a comfort. I need to note, the novel ended more on a happy for now (HFN), without any solid conclusions to many of the threads started in the novel.

This installment wasn't my cup of tea, because I need more angst, more tension, more story on the pages, and a swifter pacing to stay engaged, but I do look forward to more in this series and more by this author.

Also Available in the Anchor Point Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Riptide Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Just Drive post.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don't tell Lauren. And definitely don't tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut...

Connect with L.A.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt to read and review.

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