Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-published M/M romance from L.A. Witt. CHIEF’S MESS is the third book in her Anchor Point Navy-romance series, and features two men who’ve struggled to find love, and have some serious work necessary to make it possible now. I really liked JUST DRIVE and AFRAID TO FLY so I couldn’t wait to read this one.
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.
This is the second book in a series and is likely BEST enjoyed after reading AFRAID TO FLY (book 2), but can be enjoyed as a standalone.
Anthony only came to Anchor Point as moral support to his sister, who’s ex-husband wants to spend time with their children. Travis (from AtF) has been sober for three years, and is rebuilding his life with his new partner, Clint, but Anthony doesn’t trust Travis as far as her could toss him. Still, if Anthony’s sister is happy, then Anthony will accept her judgment. Even if he’s sure that Travis is still a lousy drunk…
Frustrated by the tension of the experience, he goes trolling for some prime Navy “seamen” at a bar in the small town. That’s where he meets Noah, and it’s a hawt time in the bunks. Noah hasn’t ever had a long term relationship, though he’s nearing forty, and Anthony’s captivated by him. Their tryst turns in to a weekend, and then travel between his home in Denver and Anchor Point. Each time Noah and Anthony get together it’s better than the last time, but there’s a situation developing between them: Noah drinks. Anthony can’t fathom how much, because they only spend a few days together every few weeks, but it’s starting to creep into their phone calls and video chats.
Noah doesn’t believe he has a problem, but it’s becoming clearer each day that his heavy drinking affects his work and relationships. Especially when Anthony is (emotionally) hurt bad due to Noah’s own (drunken) negligence. The alcoholism issue between Anthony and Noah took a long time to develop, and that felt realistic. Lots of people can be functional alcoholics, especially in isolation. Noah’s few friends didn’t necessarily see his problems, and they worked with him daily. That said, Anthony reached out for help regarding his own prejudices with alcohol, and it helped bring healing for him, too. I liked how Travis and Clint proved to be great guys and important parts of both Noah and Anthony’s story, in the resolution. The story started out with dirty, dirty sexytimes, and I liked how this transitioned into a more tender romance. Anthony and Noah both showed a lot of vulnerability, and that really made them endearing, although Anthony came off as a jerk initially.
I’ve loved this series from the beginning, and I Look forward to more sexy Navy men, and all their military issues, finding love in the future.
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.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!