Friday, October 27, 2017

Rank & File by L.A. Witt

Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize — making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things — once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give — Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

Except — too late.

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

Add to Goodreads –

Book 4
Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 Forbidden Stars – the older enlisted man vs the younger officer.

Rank & File is the fourth installment of the Anchor Point series, but can easily be read as a standalone with absolutely no confusion. Past narrators are mentioned, but their stories aren't directly tied to this one.

Will and Brent meet under unfortunate, albeit embarrassing circumstances. Will is called out to a domestic violence situation on-base, and finds Brent in a compromising position with another man's wife. The bisexual man met the woman on a hookup app and didn't realize she was married.

A few passages of 'he must be straight' 'he's probably straight' tension as they fondly remember eye-banging each other, they both end up at the High & Tight to let off some steam, and end up doing so with each other.

The tension shifts to 'we have to stay away from one another' 'we'll be court-martial if we don't stay away from each other.'

Forbidden. Even with don't ask, don't tell repealed, officers and enlisted men cannot be found in compromising situations together, or build lives together when one is in the position of authority. What was supposed to be a one-time deal, the magnetism between the pair has them coming back for more and more and more.

With a slight age-gap, and complementary personalities, Will and Brent heated up the pages. In L.A. Witt fashion, this novel was sex-heavy, plot light, but the characters' personalities kept me engaged from start to finish, even if I skimmed a few of the later smexy scenes.

While I loved the story and how the younger Brent really came into his own (growing in the story, almost coming-of-age-esque), I needed a bit more plot or character building. The pair were hot for each other, the chemistry obvious and well written, but I needed a bit more foundation to believe in the epilogue.

This series is closer to erotica (percentage of between-the-sheets action vs plot scenes), without going in the explicit direction, than it is contemporary romance. It's the perfect, racy escape for a few hours, leaving the reader with a deep flush.

I have read every book in this series and tend to like them all. This book was just okay when I started it. It did get better, but I did find myself skimming several times when there were pages without dialogue. Will and Brent have off the chart chemistry and super hot sex. I wanted to learn more about them, I mean we read what each of them had been through in the past, but they didn't talk much, it was mostly sex. Don't get me wrong, I love the sex, but I wanted more dialogue. It was a good addition to the series and I do hope we get to see more of these two in later books.

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

Will and Brent are a hot couple. They both are men who like to take charge, but not unwilling to switch things up.

In the beginning, this book seemed very repetitive. There were even phrases that were used over and over again, so it was not the best beginning. However, since I had enjoyed the previous books, I kept plugging away.

This story began to get more interesting about halfway through. It moved away from just hooking up to more dialogue and meaningful relationship.

I loved how these two were able to figure out their own stuff and lean on each other when necessary. I thought it was a fairly good story, once you got past the initial chapters.

Will and Brent meet in embarrassing circumstances on the Army base where they both work. The chemistry between them is instant but while Will is an experienced Navy police officer, he is an enlisted man and the younger Brent is an officer.

To me, the fourth book in this series feels a little bit tired and a little bit formulaic. We saw both the age gap and the officer/enlisted dilemma in the first book and those characters felt much more carefully developed. Brent and Will both feel pretty generic and unlike in previous books, we don’t really get involved with their families or their lives beyond the Navy. There are a few moving moments as Brent evaluates his career, his values, and his desires.

This is a sexy book. Compared to the others in the series, it is closer to erotica than romance. Will and Brent start with a shag in a club bathroom and progress to a series of hookups. For most of the book, any intimacy happens in the bedroom because they can’t be seen in public together. Personally, I would have preferred a little less sex and a little more story but readers who just want some hot scenes between two sexy Navy men will enjoy this.

We catch up with some characters from earlier books and we hear about others. The blurb describes this as a standalone novel, but there are frequent references to characters that readers are expected to know. I’d advise new readers to start at the beginning of this series.

This is the fourth book in the series, and whilst there would be a little more context and other couples are mentioned, it could be read as a standalone.

There is no doubt that this book is super hot – the author is the extremely talented at getting the temperature in the room to rise – and I was definitely invested in the success of the relationship long term. That said, I would have liked more of a conversation or two about the choices that they had – rather than both of them knowing what they would have to give up and why they couldn't, but really only mentioned in their heads. Given all the other things that they did share, and the risk that they both took... it seemed slightly out of character to me.

It was an entertaining read, and I hope that the next book will give us a few more glimpses of them and what their future holds.

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.

Book 3
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Chief’s Mess 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 Rank & File (Anchor Point #4) by L.A. Witt to read and review.

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