Release Review: Afraid to Fly: L.A. WItt

Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point, #2)
L.A. Witt
Add to Goodreads
Released January 16, 2017
Buy Riptide | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

After enjoying my first exposure to L.A. Witt a few weeks ago, getting another dose by reading the next book in the series, Afraid to Fly, was quite welcome. The book has a much different feel to it than its predecessor, Just Drive, but the realism of the issues was something both books had in common. So too was my enjoyment of their stories.

The biggest reason for the different feel is that instead of the big age difference found in the first book, Afraid to Fly features not one but TWO silver foxes: 45-year-old Commander Travis Wilson, whom we met as one of Paul’s close friends in Just Drive, and 40-year-old Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser. Perhaps it’s because I’m a gay forty-something myself, but whatever it is, I love reading older men in romances. Besides being Navy lifers, these two have many other things in common. To name a few things, they’ve both been “benched” into desk jobs, they’re both divorcés with kids, they’re both fighting their demons and suffering from PTSD, and, because of these issues, they’re both hesitant to let themselves get too close once they start seeing each other.

There are several things I really appreciated as this story developed. One of these is that while there’s the typical military machismo in the background—things like working through the pain in order to keep hopes of promotion alive and so on—both of these guys do a pretty good job of communicating with each other. Sure, they hold back at the beginning about their issues out of pride or embarrassment, but the longer they’re together, the more they share and realize their fears of rejection are unjustified, and it results in a lot of comforting of each other.

Another thing I liked was the positive portrayal of a relationship in which the sex was limited due to Travis’s chronic pain. This definitely had the disadvantage of the sex scenes being much less steamy as they are in most other M/M romances, but at the same time, it allowed the story to focus on the two guys dealing with their various issues in a realistic way in order to build their relationship. For me, this is the part that makes the sex scenes hotter anyway, because I’m one of those romantics who believe that sex that means something is always better, even if it is, in this case, limited to manual and oral sex.

Unfortunately, though, the sex wasn’t the only thing that was a little repetitive in Afraid to Fly. The process of these two dealing with each other’s issues is no big deal—they’re both very understanding of the other’s problems—but when it comes to dealing with their own issues, it’s almost painfully slow. Sure this is realistic, but the result in the novel was repetition to the point where the book felt a good bit longer than it needed to be. This impression also came from the fact that I had some issues with the point of view (POV) here as well. Travis and Clint have a lot of similar life experiences from being life-long Navy men, so their voices and personalities were also very similar. This similarity, and the fact that it is written in alternating first-person perspective, meant that it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for me to forget whose POV I was reading within a given chapter, particularly during intimate scenes. For the most part, this was okay, though, since they fit together so well, but it still caused me to be pulled out of the story at times in order to look back to the start of the chapter to find out which “I” it was this chapter.

The book is longer than average for romances, so I was a little surprised when I got to the end that I didn’t have the same sense of completion that I got from the first book in the series. I certainly wasn’t expecting all of Travis and Clint’s individual issues to be resolved—they do, after all, have way more unsolvable ones than any single person should—but it would have been nice to have their loads lightened even a little by the end (for example, without spoiling, the issue that caused Clint to be “benched”.) The ending is also something more along the lines of a happy-for-now (HFN), unlike the last book’s clear indication of a happily-ever-after (HEA) for its characters. Normally HFN endings don’t bother me because the HEA often comes in a future book of the series, but I’m not entirely certain that there will be a third book in the series. Though I do have to say, if there is a third book, I will eagerly read it.

If I had to compare how much I liked the two books in L.A. Witt’s Anchor Point series, I would say I liked Afraid to Fly just a smidgeon less than its predecessor. That being said, I highly recommend both of them, especially if you like military stories and silver foxes. Yum!

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

Just Drive (Anchor Point, #1)
Add to Goodreads
Released November 19, 2016
Buy Riptide | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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.
L.A. Witt
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...