Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sink or Swim by L.A. Witt


When need meets fear, can two very different men find common ground?

Alhazar Bukhari spent his Navy career in the closet. Now he’s retired, divorced, and hungry for the love he’s never had a chance to experience. He tries to put his faith in Allah to bring the right man into his life, but it’s hard to be patient after all this time.

Chaplain Dylan Pedersen spends his days counseling Sailors, and his nights with men he doesn’t know. Months after finally escaping an abusive relationship, he’s terrified of anything more than a physical connection. Maybe it’s a sin, but he’s too lonely to not let men into his bed, and too scared to let them into his heart.

When Alhazar’s civilian job brings him aboard the USS Fort Stevens, and his daily prayers bring him into Dylan’s chapel, the chemistry is instantaneous. Sex and friendship quickly evolve into more, but Dylan’s too haunted by his recent past to be the man Alhazar wants. Alhazar needs love, Dylan needs time, and if they can’t find some sort of balance, they’ll sink before they ever have a chance to swim.

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

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Book 8
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Riptide Publishing



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

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

I have read several in this series. I do not believe the you need to read the previous books in this series in order to understand what and who are in this story.

Alhazar Bukhari is a civilian now; however, his job is still within the Navy. He has a great co-worker, but both are used to enduring abuse or inappropriate behavior directed towards them. Bukhari is nervous on his first day when he goes to see if he can do his daily prayers in the local church. He is used to being turned away, ridiculed and treated like less than mud. Imagine his surprise when the chaplain accepts him with open arms – no judgment and even allows him to use space in the office. Bukhari isn't sure if it's genuine or not, but he's not going to argue.

Dylan Pedersen is the local chaplain. Despite having just gotten out of a very long-term relationship, he realizes too late how isolating and horrible that relationship really was. To make matters worse, mutual friends of his and his ex are trying to get him to give his ex another chance. Nobody truly knows the abuse that Dylan put up with for years. When Alhazar walks into the chapel, Dylan catches himself staring.

What follows is a friendship that develops into more. There is a steep learning curve for both men, as they both were previously married to women and both have children. You could see the premise coming up, but there's nothing you can do but push forward. Even with the confrontations and miscommunications, you know that the capacity for both men to love is huge. This was a sweet story about forgiveness, love, determination, and acceptance.


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is the eighth in the series, and whilst it will help to ground the story if you have read the others, I do think that it could standalone – mainly you would miss out on the fact that the base has undergone some major changes in terms of acceptance and understanding, but there is still plenty of journey to go.

There are some absolutely fascinating issues dealt with in this book – and I have to admit that I am not usually one to mix religion with romance, the books which combine both often have a negative view of sex, love, and acceptance. But I found that it generally was an interesting element to the story, and definitely a very open and honest viewpoint, rather than a preachy one. What I am trying to say, is that if you were reluctant in the face of the subject matter, I think you should be patient and hopefully will find it refreshingly positive and interesting.

Both Dylan and Alhazar have lived through marriages in spite of being gay, and have now come to a point where their children are old enough, and their careers established enough that they live their lives more openly. Not entirely in Alhazar's case, but both are divorced and have had real relationships. Indeed, Dylan is still escaping the clutches of his abusive ex.

This is a bit of a slow-burn of a story, with no major dramas, and two older men who are really feeling out what they do want from a partner, or not want, and I was getting a little tired of the hesitancy. However, they suddenly have a mission and that starting of a group and purpose to their futures made the story round out well, and leave an opportunity for good things to happen in a future installment too.


Sarah☆☆☆☆☆
I loved this book. Alhazar and Dylan’s story is sexy, sweet, and wise. It is the story of two older men, both survivors of the US Navy’s DADT years, who find each other while working on the same ship. It is also the story of two devoutly religious men of different faiths who find a way to make their lives work together.

I love Dylan and Alhazar together. The men come from different places and hold different beliefs – but beneath the surface they have so much in common. Like some of the other couples in this series, both men are in their forties and I think their experiences, their children, and their previous relationships make them richer and more complex characters. I love the combination of sexual chemistry and deep friendship and I love their slow-burn romance. Even though Dylan is Christian and Alhazar is Muslim, they share a sense of religious devotion that binds them even more closely together.

I have to admit that I was nervous about the religious aspects of this story. Having grown up with Christian fundamentalism, my atheism is hard won, and I have strong negative reactions to most religion. However, both Dylan and Alhazar practice flexible and inclusive versions of religion that I found inoffensive. And there really isn’t anything preachy about this book. Both men wrestle a little with religious guilt and shame, but they only judge themselves.

I liked getting to catch up with characters from previous books and I loved Alhazar’s relationship with Travis’ daughter, Kimber, from book two. I think this is one of the strongest books in this series and I really loved Dylan and Alhazar.


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.


Book 4
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Rank & File post.


Book 5
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Going Overboard post.


Book 6
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Once Burned post.


Book 7
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Wash Out 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  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Blog  ~  Instagram


http://riptidepublishing.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt to read and review.

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