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Review: Just Drive: L.A. Witt

Just Drive (Anchor Point, #1)
L.A. Witt
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Released November 19, 2016
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For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job...until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.

After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.

One taste and neither man can get enough...right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.

With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.

I seem to be on a little trend lately of reading romances that have a significant age difference between the main characters. This time, it’s a full generation of difference. Just Drive is my first exposure to L.A. Witt, and this well-crafted story leads me to wonder why I’ve not picked up one of her books before now.

Sean Wright is a full-time college student who uses his car in his spare time to taxi people around the Navy town of Anchor Point, Oregon. He’s a Navy brat himself, so it’s just another town in a long list of places he’s had to live in and eventually move from because of his dad’s career. Paul Richards is also a career Navy man, which means until recently he’s had to keep his sexuality on the down low, and since the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he’s not been able to make anything stick long term. The night of a long-time-coming breakup, Paul calls for a cab, and in spite of the fact that Sean is half his age, neither man can resist hooking up for the night. That’s all it should have been, except for the fact that the electricity between them is undeniable. So they keep hooking up, and feelings start to develop… and everything looks good until they realize Paul is Sean’s dad’s commanding officer. They both know they must stop seeing each other or both Paul’s and Sean’s dad’s careers will end, and Sean’s caught yet again in a situation where the Navy steals something good from his life. And after spending his entire adult life in the Navy, the promise of something that will outlast that forces Paul to choose what’s important to him.

Usually I cringe a little when there is sex early in a book. I dunno, call me old fashioned, but I like it when the sex means something, so when they’re fucking the first time they meet, it takes away some of the magic for me. And there is a LOT of sex in the first third of this book. Granted, it’s a lot of pretty hot sex. But it was starting to make me wonder if there was going to be more than that. Fortunately, and this is also the case with the better immediate-sex books I’ve read, the plot establishes a good reason for the need to start the book like that. Once the big dilemma is announced, which isn’t really a secret to the reader because the blurb says Paul is Sean’s dad’s boss, they’ve developed strong feelings for each other, something the sex serves to solidify in the mind of the reader. As such, I’m good with it in this case. The story turns into forbidden love at that point, and as hard as they try, neither of them can force himself to stay away from the other. It’s a trope I haven’t had much exposure to, but it’s easy to understand why it’s a popular one. Pair that with the age difference and a bottoming military silver fox? Delicious.

There’s nothing about the drama in the story that’s contrived. Even keeping the blurb in mind so that you know what’s coming, it’s still painful when it happens because the characters and situation are easy enough to understand and even relate to, especially when Paul talks about what he’s done in order to further his career and keep his sexuality a secret. And the connection between them is scorching. All of this is made possible by the clean and smooth storytelling. If I had to point to one thing that bothered me in the story, though, it’s only a small thing, but I can’t be specific about it without spoiling, so I’ll say it had to do with Sean’s dad’s behavior after he found out about the two of them being together, pretty much from that point on. It just didn’t sit quite right with me. But like I said, not a big deal, because he wasn’t a main character. In fact, he really played no role until that stage of the book.

L.A. Witt is a name I’ve seen many times in the year I’ve been reading M/M romances, but for some reason, Just Drive is the first book of hers that I’ve picked up. It’s also a book I wanted to read in time for its release a month ago, but passed because I was participating in NaNoWriMo. Anyway, as prolific as this author is, I’m happy to see my first experience was a good one. This story is certainly good enough that I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series, which I’m pleased to say I will be reading in time for its release in a few weeks.

The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Just Drive in exchange for this fair and honest review.

L.A. Witt
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L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. 

She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don't tell Lauren. And definitely don't tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut...

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