Chief’s Mess (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title:Chief’s Mess (Anchor Point #3)
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 19th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 291
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that redhead stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.

This is the third book in L.A. Witt’s Anchor Point series but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Anthony, an engineer from Denver, meets Noah in Anchor Point during his visit to support his sister Mandy, Clint’s ex-wife from Afraid to Fly. Anthony comes off as a bit of an asshole and has no time for Clint, an alcoholic who put his sister through hell, and after spending the greater part of two days glaring at Clint, visits a gay bar where he runs into Noah:

“[Noah:] Can I buy you a drink?”
[Anthony:] “Yes, you can.” The redhead looked me up and down in the most deliciously lewd way, and met my eyes again. “Or tell me you bottom, and we can skip all that and get out of here.”

Chief’s Mess is a bit of a mess, plot-wise, but the sex? Dear gawd, the sex is plentiful and richly described. Anthony and Noah are positively platinum in the bedroom and their sexual chemistry is off the frickin’ chart. These two men connect (and connect …. and connect) on a very basic primal level and of the three books in the Anchor Point series, Chief’s Mess wins the “Epic Sex” award hands down. Sexy? Ooohhhh, yeah.

However, plot and character development get shoved aside by all that sex. Basically Anthony and Noah have sex, sext, Anthony flies back for a weekend, sexSEXsexSEX, more text and calls, more visits, sex … rinse, lather, repeat. In a nutshell, the pace of the book is way too slow for the amount of plot and the character development is negligible. Around 75% of the book, Anthony begins to strongly suspect that Noah has a problem with alcohol and while there is a resolution and an epilogue that deals with this, it seems a little too late.

L.A. Witt and a military setting is a great fit, but this book did not work for me. Just Drive is my favorite of the series so far, but I am intrigued by the next book featuring Senior Chief Will Curtis.

Anchor Point Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Chief’s Mess (Anchor Point #3) provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader
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