Rank & File (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

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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
Reviewed by:
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.

Except—too late.


Do You Confess?

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.

get on with it

1.) I confess: I thought I was tired of the officer vs enlisted theme.


2.) I confess: I mentally rolled my eyes a lot in the first two chapters (see #1).


3.) I confess: I skipped to the end of the book to see if I was right about how it would end.


No! No meat hook. I’ll confess some more! Jeez. Angry much?

queen bullshit

4.) I confess: I still thought I’d be tired of the can’t-be-together-but-it’s-not-the-gay-thing thing.


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 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.

gimme some lurvin~~~too much dean~~~live you

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.

This review is cross-posted at Goodreads. Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

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Anchor Point Series

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Galley copy of Rank & File (Anchor Point #4) provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents’ full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates.

Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don’t have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it’s any device with a Kindle app.

I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I’ve surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital.

I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there’s not much out there I won’t read.

I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that ‘smut’ as she called it. I’d already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn’t be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom.


My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It’s served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there’s nothing at all I’m unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

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