Title: Rank & File (Anchor Point #4)
Author: LA Witt
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 25, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Military
Page Count: 272 pages
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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.
DO YOU CON-FESS?
Why, yes. Yes, I do. No! Wait! I’ll confess! Put the frigging m-meat hook back! You don’t need that, I swear to- to—aaagh! Godsdamnit! Stop that! Just g- give me a second to gather my thoughts. I’ll confess! I’ll j-just come right out w-with it and spill my guts, shall I? Oh, shit. B-b-bad choice of words. N-no, no! Okay, okay! I’m talking already. Sheesh. Just- just put that damn thing away.
1.) I confess: I thought I was tired of the officer vs enlisted theme.
I WAS WRONG.
2.) I confess: I mentally rolled my eyes a lot in the first two chapters (see #1).
I SHOULDN’T HAVE DOUBTED.
3.) I confess: I skipped to the end of the book to see if I was right about how it would end.
I PLEAD THE FIFTH.
No! No meat hook. I’ll confess some more! Jeez. Angry much?
4.) I confess: I still thought I’d be tired of the can’t-be-together-but-it’s-not-the-gay-thing thing.
Aaaaaand NOPE! WRONG AGAIN.
5.) I confess: I really, really, reeeaally want some chicken wings … and some Will … and some Brent. Mm-hmm.
NOT wrong for ANY of that!
6.) I confess: I read it despite #1, #2, #3, and #4 because I’m stubborn and loyal like that.
I’M SO GLAD I DID.
I further confess that an unrelated book slump made me wary of this book. I kept thinking that nothing could possibly be fresh or individual about Rank & File if the underlying themes, tropes, plots, etc. were the same as previous installments. I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong. And I was so, so wrong.
I stayed jaded through the first two chapters and even had a sneak peek at the end before I started to second guess my cynicism. Scandalous, I know. But like I said: book slump. I didn’t want to waste time on a new-read re-read of the same book with different characters. I should have known better.
LA Witt does a masterful job in this series of individualizing what would otherwise be repetitive themes. The good stuff, those special somethings necessary to creating a great story—relationship development, character development, personal growth, a little hurt/comfort, good pacing, hot sex, even hotter (and nice) guys in uniform, humor, relatability, and low angst—are always all there.
DON’T hesitate to read this book for any of the same reasons I did, or based on differing ones of your own. Don’t. Piddle. Around. Any. More. Just surrender to the inevitable and read it. When you get to Chapter 12, you’ll thank me. After Chapter 16, you’ll want to—at least—kiss me. And Chapter 18, well, you might just slavishly worship me from then on. No, really. But please don’t. Worship me, that is. Or kiss me, for that matter. That would be gay-under-DADT level uncomfortable.
DO read this book. Believe it or not, none of those three chapters I mentioned above have anything to do with sex at all, well … hardly. What they do have is the capacity to illustrate what I can’t articulate. Those three chapters, in context or not, provide a clear picture of why I fall in love with the characters in these books. Every. Single. Time.
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