Close Quarters–JUST DRIVE-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a contemporary M/M military romance from LA Witt. JUST DRIVE is the first book in her new Anchor Point series about seamen finding love in the Navy. I’ve really enjoyed HIATUS, WHAT HE LEFT BEHIND, RAIN SHADOW and LEAD ME NOT from Ms. Witt, so I jumped at the chance to read JUST DRIVE. It’s soooo good!

just-driveAbout the book:
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.

My Review:
Sean Wright is a Navy brat. His father dragged him all over the US even after his parents divorced. Dad, as a Navy Senior Chief, made more than his mother, and though he’s 22 years old, Sean’s going to college in Anchor Point, their newest locale, on his dad’s GI Bill money as a dependent. Sean’s been out for years, and his father is loving and supportive.

Sean works as a cab driver in Anchor Point, to supplement his income, and picks up Captain Paul Richards one Friday night. It’s clear his passenger is having a rough night, so Sean follows his directive to “just drive.” They spend some time in the car, and out at a lonely pier, and notice that each man is attractive, and interested.

44 year old Paul is one of few “out” captains in the Navy. He’s been busting his butt for 24 years in the hopes of making Admiral, and is newly stationed in Anchor Point as commander of Naval Air Station Adams. Before he was able to come out, Paul had two broken marriages to women, and he’s not proud of it. He’s still not able to find a man to settle down with, however, because his travel always upsets his partner(s). He’s frustrated and down when his newest relationship fizzles, but catching the eye of his sexy young cabbie is an immediate panacea. Paul and Sean spend a very sweaty night at a local no-tell motel, exchanging only the barest of info. Paul accepts Sean’s card, in case he needs other transport, but neither man can shake the connection they made that night.

Paul calls, and Sean comes. And that’s not a pun. Their hook-up nights become more frequent, and involve more than just sex–they’re inadvertently building a relationship. It seems to be going great–Paul and Sean get along well, and have a solid connection–until Paul learns that Sean’s father not only works on his base; Chief Wright is in Paul’s chain of command.

That means both Paul and Sean’s father could be discharged if Sean and Paul are discovered. For two men that have devoted their lives to the service, this is an untenable risk–and Sean’s father makes that clear.

What began as a one-off had grown into something real, however, and both Sean and Paul have to fully examine their lives, careers and aspirations. Would Paul walk away from the Navy for Sean? Could Sean accept that type of sacrifice? What sort of life would they even have together? Sean’s heartbroken, and Paul’s surly. The fallout is personally dramatic, with Sean deciding that the best way for him to make himself available to Paul is to stop being a Navy dependent. Thing is, Paul’s got his own plans, and they involve never letting the Navy ruin his love life again.

Expect a lot of soul-searching, and sexytimes, and seamen… 😉 The story is tender and sweet, with a good dash of angst, because Paul and Sean can’t seem to quit each other. That leads to lots of clandestine meetings, which are deliciously gut-wrenching. I have a special affinity for older-younger and “we shouldn’t”/”just one last time” connections, especially when the characters have multiple ‘last’ times. The resolution was really satisfying, with a storybook HEA.

Interested? You can find JUST DRIVE on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AllRomance. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

6 thoughts on “Close Quarters–JUST DRIVE-A Review

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