Sunday, September 24, 2017

ARC Review: Rank & File (Anchor Point, #4) by L.A. Witt

Rank & File (Anchor Point, #4)
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.

Except—too late.

Jewel's rating:

Say hello to my second favorite book in this series. Rank & File was sexy, not too much angst, and had MC's that I actually liked! After the disappointment that book three turned out to be, for me, Rank & File put a smile on my face!

Senior Chief Will Curtis is enlisted. He loves his career path, but an officer he is not and doesn't really want to be. Being a cop is stressful and definitely has moments that are really dreadful, but Will can't see himself doing anything else. Even though there are times when his hands are tied, he still helps people and he helps keep them safe and that gives him a sense of purpose and even pride. His least favorite type of call? Domestics. And, ironically, that is how he meets Brent.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a young officer. He's an Academy grad and he comes from a family of Academy grads and career Naval officers. Ever since he learned to walk, it was drilled into Brent that he would be a Naval officer, just like his older brother, just like his father, just like his grandfather. He's never known anything else. Brent is 11 years in and is still waiting for the time he actually likes what he does. He has his eyes on the goal, but the excitement and pride just isn't there.

After they briefly met, under unfortunate circumstances, they each can't get the other out of their heads -- even knowing that that any kind of friendship or relationship could end both their careers. All because of the Navy's antiquated fraternization rules. Officers shall not fraternize with enlisted folks. But it isn't until a chance meeting at the local gay bar, High & Tight, that things really heat up. And what a dangerous thing that is. And delicious. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't delicious.

Unlike a couple recent books by this author that I've read, I can definitely say I got to know both Brent and Will pretty well. Yeah, Rank & File has plenty of sex, but it isn't all sex. I loved the weekend they spent in Portland and I enjoyed their conversations.

Yes, there is some repetition, as our guys vacillate between not being able to stop seeing each other and worrying about what will happen to their careers if they are found out. Those rules are nothing to sneeze at and the Navy would definitely have both their careers if they're caught. But I enjoyed the story, the MC's, the sheet burning smexy-times and the resolution.

I would have killed for an epilogue, though, I won't lie. The ending is more HFN, than HEA, but Will and Brent are headed in the right direction, I think.

Rank & File has restored my faith in LA Witt's military romances. Mark Twain once said, "write what you know" and it's always clear that Witt knows military life.

Recommended for military romance fans.

ARC of Rank & File was generously provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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