Title: Ex Equals
Author: L.A. Witt
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: 39,000 words
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: Excellent story that rings true as two former lovers try and make their way back to each other.
On the first day of his new career as a community college math teacher, Chris Reuben gets an unexpected—and most unwelcome—blast from the past: one of his students is his former navy shipmate…and ex-boyfriend.
Justin Hayes isn’t after a second chance when he signs up for an algebra class taught by his ex. All he wants besides a passing grade is a chance to make amends with the man he loved and hurt while they were deployed together three years ago.
Pain, guilt, and bitterness aren’t the only lingering feelings, though, and even if three years is enough to melt the ice between them, they’ve already risked their careers for each other once. Can Justin convince Chris that what they once had is worth putting careers and hearts on the line again?
Ex Equals is a wonderful story of Chris Reuben and Justin Hayes, ex-lovers and shipmates who were driven apart by the military’s DADT rules and Justin’s ego. L.A. Witt takes a very likeable character, Chris, and pairs him with a sometimes unsympathetic partner in Justin. Through flashbacks the reader learns of their passionate and very secret love affair when they were in the Navy together. Even though they’ve since broken up and Chris left the military, while Justin stayed in, you can tell these two men are destined to be together.
What I liked most about Ex Equals was the realistic portrayal of Chris and Justin when they were in the Navy. It is obvious that Ms. Witt knows about the military, their procedures and policies and it shows in the book. As a former Navy vet myself, I found this to be a plus because I could see the details were accurate and only enhanced my enjoyment of the novel. Plus, who doesn’t love a man in (and out) of uniform?
After Justin and Chris are reunited when Justin takes a math class Chris is teaching at the local college, the sparks fly once again. However, Chris is very reluctant to even be friendly with Justin after their bitter break-up. And while I admit that I was on Team Chris more than Team Justin at first, Ms. Witt won me over to liking Justin by the end. I figure if Chris could forgive Justin for being a jerk, so could I. And the ending? Some people may think it was cheesy, but I loved it.
Overall, I really enjoyed Ex Equals and moves into the top spot as my favorite L.A. Witt novel. (With the Band now moves into second place). If you like hunky men in uniform, angst and reunited lovers who remind you of Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman, then this is the book for you! Recommended.