“Chief’s Mess” by L.A. Witt seemed a bit uneven to me. There are plenty of sexy times, but the anticipation of the conflict dragged out until almost the end of the story when the inevitable reveal and confrontation takes place. I like this series because it gives a different perspective of the complications that exist in the military world even after DADT is repealed, and it shows the impact of military service long after the active fighting is no longer a regular part of these men’s lives. It was intriguing to look at the events from a previous story from Anthony’s perspective, even as I constantly winced, knowing how that would color his reaction to Noah’s method of coping. Those who are concerned about such things should be aware the story is written in alternating first person points of view. This is my least favorite story of the series thus far, but I still was entertained by this quick read (and the wonderful quotes that give depth to the characters) and it’s always lovely to get glimpses of folks from the other tales in the series.
This adult contemporary m/m military romance is part of the ‘Anchor Point’ series and follows Anthony Talbot (former brother-in-law to Clint Fraser) whose hook-up with Chief Noah Jackson rapidly intensifies into something more life-changing. Unfortunately, the Chief is hiding a coping mechanism that may destroy the relationship before it can really get started, and Anthony will have to decide whether he’s willing to compromise enough to fight for what they could have together.
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 red head 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.