Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 5, 2017
Received From: NetGalley
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.
TROPES: friends to lovers, hurt/comfort, workplace romance, mutual pining
TAGS: adult, contemporary, romance, queer romance, queer characters, Black character, POC character, military personnel, coming out, interracial relationship
WARNINGS: bullying / blackmail, mental illness (PTSD), public play, open water, ableism, cissexism / transmisia, physical injury, traumatic brain injury, homomisia, hate crime, racism, gaslighting, slurs, gendered slurs
Everything else going on in our world was messed up and wrong, but this? Fuck, this was right. So right I still couldn’t help asking myself every single time why we’d taken so long to get to this point. It just made sense.
The book is by LA Witt and contains several of my favorite tropes, so I knew I was going to love this novel. And I did!
Both main characters are wonderful additions to the series, and without a doubt, are ones you can root for. Dalton and Chris are two guys just trying to do their jobs and excel, in order to achieve their career goals, while maintaining a friendship of many years. They very obviously care a lot about each other–both romantically and unromantically–and it was a pleasure to read about them together. I loved how easy their romantic and sexual relationship came, and the fact that they seamlessly fell into dating and being a couple. I also liked that the angst didn’t completely revolve around their relationship. It certainly did to an extent since they were being blackmailed and bullied by their Chief, who was using it to trap them, but the relationship itself wasn’t the main “issue” of the novel. Chris and Dalton have something that’s so secure and tight, they manage to find a way to save not only their careers but their relationship as well.
As usual, I also enjoyed seeing characters from the previous books have presence in the novel, and I loved the supporting character of Rhodes, one of Chris and Dalton’s teammates and also the woman who saves Dalton in the midst of the accident that nearly kills him early in the novel.
Also, I like that Witt doesn’t shy away from depicting issues within the military. Instead of painting a picture that glorifies our military, she creates a realistic picture, including mentions of racism that had prevented Chris from advancing, homomisia that still clearly exists within the ranks even after the end of DADT, the potential for cover-ups and blackmail, and more. The novel undoubtedly ends on a happier note than sometimes happens in real life, but this book and series is definitely more founded in reality than some other books I’ve read.
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .
Connect with L.A.:
- Website: www.gallagherwitt.com
- Author Blog: gallagherwitt.blogspot.com
- Personal Blog: navywifeadventures.blogspot.
- Twitter: @GallagherWitt
- Facebook: facebook.com//L-A-Witt-MM-Fiction
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/GallagherWitt