Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chief's Mess by L.A. Witt

Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams... anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.

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

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Military Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Anthony is trying to be a good sibling. He's accompanied his sister and his niece and nephew to visit his ex-brother in law. While his sister had been married to Clint, he had become an alcoholic and violent towards his family. So, Anthony is there, being supportive and non-judgmental. However, after a few days, he needs a break from the family, especially since he has to face his once brother-in-law. He decides to take a night for himself and visit the local bar. What he doesn't expect is to see Noah at the bar – a gorgeous specimen of a man.

Noah is used to hook-ups. He's not in it for the relationship. While he has a best friend, Will, who does do relationships, Noah is more akin to a love them and leave them guy. However, when he meets Anthony, he's instantly drawn and attracted. Noah doesn't really know how to handle his feelings and rather than dissect them too much, he just lets them be.

Anthony and Noah have great chemistry at the beginning and they are very complementary. However, as the book goes on, we are dealing more with their long-distance relationship and broken promises by Noah. Anthony sees that something is wrong, but can't quite put his finger on it. When it all comes to light, Anthony has to decide whether or not he can stand by Noah – broken promises are all over this story and it becomes somewhat redundant, but overall, they both have to decide if it's worth it. Long distance is hard to overcome and despite their wanting the relationship to work, sometimes the desire to have a relationship isn't enough to hold one together.

I am glad that I read this book and can't wait to see what happens next.

I really enjoy this series and I enjoyed this book, it was packed with a lot of hot sex!!! There was instant chemistry between Anthony and Noah. When Anthony kept complaining about his ex-brother-in-law I wanted to reach through and punch him. What Clint did was wrong, but he paid a heavy price in the end and is trying his hardest. Anthony kept on about it and it got old fast. Then Anthony meets Noah and sparks are flying. There is a lot of sex in this book, I mean a lot. At times, there wasn't much else. What I didn't like about the book was how long it took for Noah to realize he had a problem and then how fast Anthony said "okay." Everything just felt rushed at the end and was all neatly wrapped up with a bow. I liked Anthony's sense of humor and bluntness, I just wish we saw more of it and more of him and Noah bonding outside of the bedroom.

Alcoholics do not make great leading men. I can warm to a recovering alcoholic and I can care for someone who is rebuilding his life. However, in this story, we are asked to care for Noah who is a full blown (in denial and harming himself and everyone around him) alcoholic. The story didn’t always work for me because I just wanted Anthony to get away from Noah.

I liked Anthony initially but when he started to notice Noah’s drinking and continued with the relationship, I found it difficult to respect him. Or maybe I started to pity him – which is probably worse. Anthony’s relationship with his sister is sweet and I liked the way he rebuilt his relationship with his former brother-in-law, Clint, who we know from the last book.

If Anthony and Noah had been an established couple trying to work through Noah’s drinking, I think I could have engaged more with the story. But this is a hook-up to a happily ever after story and the long-distance romance builds the relationship through a series of hook-ups in alternating cities. The guys have tons of sex but I didn’t understand how Anthony became emotionally invested enough to put up with Noah’s shit.

I think I was most frustrated by the end of this story. The quick patch happily ever after is too quick and too easy and not entirely fair to anyone who has ever had a relationship with an alcoholic – recovering or not.

The military scenes in this story are great. As always, I love the way L.A. Witt writes her servicemen and women and the way she captures the complexity of their lives. L.A. Witt’s writing is as strong as ever here and her characters are well developed. I’ve been quite negative in this review and I know other readers might have very different responses to the story so, as always, I would advise readers to download a sample and decide for themselves.

If you're an L.A. Witt fan, then you've come to expect oodles of sex-filled pages, angsty relationships, and a happily ever after, and Chief's Mess delivers all that. It's sex-centric, not truly delving into military life.

Chief's Mess is the third installment in the Anchor Point series, and can easily be read as a standalone.

Anthony is sensitive to alcoholism. He's stood by his sister's side as she was abused by an alcoholic and eventually divorced him. Years later, with the brother-in-law in recovery, Anthony makes sure his brother-in-law is safe to be around his niece and nephew.

Visiting Anchor Point (the brother-in-law is in the military), Anthony meets Noah, and a one-night-stand turns into a long-distance relationship.

For the most part, I enjoyed the story. The progression of alcoholism was realistically portrayed, with the hiding and lying, mostly to oneself, but the recovery was too quick and just written away in the epilogue.

Reader tastes are vastly different and subjective. If you read like me, the following may be a no-go for you. If you don't, then Chief's Mess may be your next 5-star read.

A trigger and a few pet-peeves of mine were on the pages.

Trigger: I couldn't like Noah. As a survivor of domestic violence, by an abusive alcoholic, clearly this was a painful read for me. Especially the lying, disappointment, and most importantly, the guilt of walking away as your partner commits slow suicide. But, to stay means your life and self-respect draining away with every drop after drop of alcohol.

Pet-peeves: As a reader, who needs more than sex, I found myself easily bored and skimming redundant sex scenes. If they've already engaging in A, B, and C, reading A, B, and C several times over instead of D, E, and F, it becomes tedious. When a book starts with sex and continues on that path, there is no build-up, no tension, no lust. Neither the characters, nor the reader, gets to connect. If you plunk a hot scene in front of me, when I don't know the characters, idgaf. If I know them, are fighting for them, the payoff is ten times greater. Instant-gratification and insta-lust/love/relationship is not my thing. I need more, even in erotica.

To be brutally honest, Noah and Anthony spend 90% of the book flying back and forth and having sex, all scenes pretty much identical to the previous. That isn't an overstatement – it's fact.

While I'd never reread, I'm glad I read the novel and am looking forward to more in this series and by this author in the future.

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.

Book 2
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Afraid to Fly 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 Chief's Mess (Anchor Point #3) by L.A. Witt to read and review.

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