Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Going Overboard
SERIES: Anchor Point #5
AUTHOR: L.A. Witt
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 287 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 5, 2018
Second-class petty officers Dalton Taylor and Chris Ingram have been best friends since coxswain’s school. Now they’re stationed together in the harbor patrol unit of NAS Adams. They’re content as friends, but secretly, they both ache for more. Neither makes a move, though; while Dalton is out and proud, Chris is closeted—even from his best friend.
Then another coxswain’s negligence nearly drowns Dalton. After a taste of how easily they could lose each other, neither man can keep his feelings hidden anymore, and it turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.
Things aren’t just heating up between the friends-turned-lovers, though. The Navy is investigating the accident, and the harbor patrol chief isn’t going to let his star coxswain go down for dereliction of duty, even if saving him means throwing Dalton under the bus.
As the threats and gaslighting pile up, Chris and Dalton need each other more than ever—as shipmates, friends, and lovers. But if their chief prevails, the only way they can save their careers is to let each other go.
If there was a petition out there asking L.A. Witt to continue this series for at least another 10 books, I’m pretty sure my signature would be right on top. I’ve liked, if not absolutely loved, every book so far, and this one is no exception. In this fifth installment we get the story of Chris and Dalton, long-time friends who have to finally find the courage to not only tell each other what they have long felt, but put all those years of friendship-turned-love to the test against a chief that will be more than willing to sink both their relationship and their careers to save his own ass as well as the ass of his favorite subordinate, MA1 Anderson.
In the Navy, the chain of command is everything…even if the command in the chain is fucking stupid. Or bigoted. Or just lazy. So when MA2 Dalton Taylor is ordered to get on a harbor patrol ship that is questionable during the best of times–and no one would call the weather or the waters that night the “best” of anything–and man one of the heavy guns, well he does it. Because that is his job and he’d like to be able to keep it if at all possible. Doesn’t mean he didn’t try to talk Anderson into turning back. Not that he has any sucess. And not much luck, either.
In fact the only bit of luck he had was scraped together to save his ass from certain death. No thanks to the coxswain at the helm who almost killed him and his fellow patrol member.
But even if the “accident” didn’t kill him, that doesn’t mean that the whole mess is over. Even with Dalton at his side, it seems that the rest of the Navy is out to get him–or at the very least doesn’t care if Chief Lasby throws him under the nearest ship to save the coxswain who set the whole thing in motion.
Ugh. This book. So good. A good friends-to-lovers book is always a must have for me, but I must admit that with this series Witt could probably write a book about two rats on one of the ships in the harbor and I’d most likely go out of my way to read it. Well…maybe not rats.
But that is a topic for another time.
For now…let’s just say this book hit all my sweet spots when it comes to this kind of trope. The friendship was highly believable before the relationship took place–I kinda dislike friends-to-lovers books where it seems like the only thing they have in common is that they want to fuck each other, but they just haven’t got around to it yet–but with Chris and Dalton that wasn’t a problem. Yeah they are totally crushing on each other, but there seems to be genuine friendship between them as well. This also helps me buy the swiftness of the love declarations later in the book. They have spent decades getting to know each other, so I can totally get that adding a more physical aspect to their relationship wasn’t the beginning of something, just giving another layer into an already deep connection.
Also, you know, they are hot as fuck together.
My favorite part might be the way the book handled the whole issue with the accident and the resulting aftermath. Both on a personal and professional level. I liked that the story didn’t just shrug away the physical, mental, and psychological ramifications of the accident. And that it showed that not only Dalton being affected by that night. He might have been the one in the most peril, but the others there have issues to deal with as well. On the professional side of things, I really liked hating Chief Lasby. His subtle–and less than subtle–aggressions against Dalton and Chris made me want to toss the asshole off the nearest cliff. But it was also done in such a way that I kinda understood why no one up top was doing anything about his shady dealings. I would have liked a bit more about Anderson–despite his actions having huge ramifications on Chris, Dalton, and the entire plot, he is not in the book a whole lot. I think the story wanted to fix its gaze more on the real problem that is Lasby, but I think giving a bit more page time to Anderson wouldn’t have gone amiss.
But really, that is my one quibble. And it is not a big one. Overall this was a great story and when Lasby finally goes down I wanted to fucking cheer. If you have been enjoying this series, I can’t see you disliking this one. And luckily it can easily be read as a standalone if you have yet to pick up any of the other four books.
(On a side note, I don’t think I will ever understand the ranking system of the Navy. All these letters and numbers make me go a bit cross-eyed. Five books in and I’m still “nodding and smiling” while frantically googling shit on my phone.)