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Rank & File (Anchor Point) (Volume 4) Paperback – April 24, 2017
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This one lives up to those two standards (ok, themes), with both Will and Brent serving in the Navy in positions that make their love affair illegal: Will is a Navy cop but enlisted, and Brent is an Annapolis graduate and commissioned. The rule is clear: Thy shall not sleep with each other, and if you do, you're out.
What rules the roost here is that both men approach the situation perfectly in keeping with their age and values. Will is nearing 40 and he has deep guilt over the situation he finds himself in, but after a brutal end to his previous five-year-relationship (detailed in Book 3 of the series), he can't help himself. Brent is a millennial in many respects, just not ready to face the facts or deal with reality or come clean about what he's really doing in the Navy.
Getting both of them to solve their separate, and joint, problems is an easy plotline to predict; getting there is a bit of a surprise in how it happens, and how it is projected to play out.
I have a love/hate relationship with military romance books. I love them unless they aren't realistic because then I find myself picking them apart thinking that would never happen or the military just doesn't work that way. I'm so happy to say that this one is utterly realistic. I adored both Will and Brent and so wanted them to find a way to be together but one that could actually happen and that I would find believable.
Will is enlisted and Brent is an officer. Although DADT has been repealed the two can't be together. Fraternization is a very big deal in the military and almost nothing will get you in trouble faster than having a relationship between enlisted/officer. I really liked the way that Brent and Will meet as it added a lot of dimension to both characters. Although they are initially attracted to each other neither one realizes the other isn't straight. When they both go to the same gay bar because they haven't been able to stop thinking about each other and see each other there is no stopping the attraction. The fact that they both were willing to take a chance for a one night stand was reasonable given the chances of getting caught were pretty slim. Those first scenes between the two were super hot and steamy. Will and Brent connect and even though they know it isn't a good idea they decide to continue to sneak around and see each other.
I'm guessing that Commander Wilson was a previous character and I loved him in this book. His empathy was moving and yet there is only so far he can truly go before being put into a situation where he can longer help Brent. When he tells him that the base is small and incestuous I had to laugh because it's so true. When you are assigned to a small base it seems eventually everyone knows more about your personal life then you'd like them to.
I also loved the career struggles that Brent was going through and the difference between him and Will. The military certainly isn't for everyone and it truly does need to be a calling if you are going to put up with everything that comes along with it. Will and Brent are at different places in their career and have different struggles with the Navy but it showed two completely different sides that was lovely to read about.
Brent and Will's struggle to be together was emotional, moving and I loved every moment of it. Both characters were likable and well developed and I really enjoyed the secondary characters as well. The only reason this wasn't a five star read for me was that the pacing was a bit slow at times but it was a wonderful read and I Anchor Point has just become a must read series for me.
A copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.
Just Drive, the first book in this series is probably still my favorite, but I think this one might come in a close second. I just adore books that can have that “forbidden love” theme, but also don’t make it so melodramatic that I’m having Romeo & Juliet flashbacks. Here with Will and Brent we are dealing once again with a couple that really should not be together, but can’t seem to help themselves. And that knowing butting up against the having makes for some great tension. I liked how it also didn’t devolve into fights or demands, either, when the ultimate and expected crises happened. It was a nice counterbalance to some of the other relationships in the story. We are shown several examples of just how badly things can end when a relationship goes belly up; having the quieter moments where they just look at each other and feel the inevitable end, really worked for me.
It helped a lot that the characters felt connected from almost the get-go. And the longer they spent in each other’s company the more things started to heat up. The whole Sir thing was…*fans self*…yeah. Freaking hot. I don’t think I’ve read many stories where it was used like this, so it was refreshing and really spiced things up. L.A. Witt has an ability to make each sex scene worth reading, and for someone like me who tends to get bored easily by most sex scenes, that is saying something. The fact that their relationship was more than just sex helped too. Though I will say not even for the love of my life and a bucket of gold coins would I do that freakin spicy-chicken challenge thing.
This was an easy read, and a great addition to this series. I have really enjoyed every book I’ve read so far and am eagerly awaiting book five. If this has been a series you’ve enjoyed I can easily say this book will not disappoint. But if you haven’t read the others, I don’t think there would be many obstacles to picking this one up on its own. It has a few mild spoilers for the other books, but nothing too upsetting.
Most recent customer reviews
M/M Military Romance
Triggers: homophobic parents
I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked...Read more
I have read every book in this series and tend to like them all. This book was just ok when I started it.Read more
3.5 Forbidden Stars- the older enlisted man vs the younger officer.Read more
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