Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Rank & File
SERIES: Anchor Point #4
AUTHOR: L.A. Witt
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 272 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 25, 2017
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.
This was so perfect. Especially after the day I’d had, but also in its own right. I was never more relaxed and content than I was when Brent was lying next to me.
I stroked his hair.
I might be stupid for dating you at all.
In fact, I am stupid for dating you at all.
I pressed a tender kiss to the top of his head.
But I’d be a fucking idiot not to fall for you.
The defeat of DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) might have meant that Will Curtis could opening live as a gay man, but that didn’t save his relationship with his partner of six years. Though, to be fair, said partner’s wandering dick was more a problem than the Navy ever was. But with the cheater gone, Will is now free to find someone else. As long as that someone else is anyone else but Brent Jameson.
Because DADT being gone means that two men are fine to be together, as long as those two men do not cross the Officer/Enlisted line. And with Senior Chief Will Curtis–enlisted for almost 20 years, and Lieutenant Brent Jameson–an Annapolis grad and fresh on the rise to bigger and greater things in the officer ranks–that is one hell of a line. A line they find themselves straddling, jumping, and breaking every chance they get. They know if they get caught it will mean their jobs, but also if they let go it might very well mean losing their hearts.
This series might actually turn out to be one of my favorites of Witt’s. They are extremely fun to read, and they aren’t half-bad rereads either. With each new book we get a slightly different look into the Navy men of Anchor Point, but what remains common among them all is a grounded sense of reality, a enticing sense of chemistry, and characters you can easily get behind.
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 tits 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.