“Going Overboard” by L.A. Witt centers around a relationship between two friends that finally becomes intimate after a near-fatal accident. Unfortunately, a superior threatens to destroy not only their careers, but also the fragile connection they are forging. I was dismayed to learn how favoritism and homophobia are still pervasive despite the progress being made, but intrigued that there was little conflict due to the interracial aspect.
The author does a great job of presenting charismatic main characters, vivid tension-filled scenarios, and a rising level of angst that keeps one rooting for a happy ending. I enjoyed the way Dalton’s recovery and persistent aftermath from the accident is detailed realistically, even as I wanted to growl at a certain stubborn superior and his machinations.
The story is told in alternating first-person point of view, so the reader gets a peek into each main character’s thought processes, and I was happy to have a kickass woman in the cast as well. I wasn’t positive that Chris’ character was fully developed, since his facility with intimacy seemed erratic and I wasn’t quite sure what experiences he had, having never been out of the closet before this connection with Dalton.
Despite being part of a series, one can easily read this as a stand-alone tale, although there are brief cameos by characters from another compelling story in this group. I always enjoy getting a chance to see more aspects of Navy life with these books, and this one gave me insight into areas I don’t normally see addressed, so I was particularly fascinated.
This adult contemporary m/m romance is book five in the ‘Anchor Point’ and details the experiences of a couple of second class petty officers, MA2 Chris Ingram and MA2 Dalton Taylor as they try to overcome bigotry, favoritism, and injury in order to progress in rank, but then have to face the challenge of nurturing a fledgling intimate relationship when the rules make their separation inevitable.
Stories in the Anchor Point universe can be enjoyed in any order
Second-class petty officers Dalton Taylor and Chris Ingram have been best friends since coxswain’s school. Now they’re stationed together in the Harbor Patrol Unit of NAS Adams. They’re content as friends, but secretly, they both ache for more. Neither makes a move, though; while Dalton is out and proud, Chris is closeted—even from his best friend.
Then another coxswain’s negligence nearly drowns Dalton. After a taste of how easily they could lose each other, neither man can keep his feelings hidden anymore, and it turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.
Things aren’t just heating up between the friends-turned-lovers, though. The Navy is investigating the accident, and the Harbor Patrol chief isn’t going to let his star coxswain go down for dereliction of duty, even if saving him means throwing Dalton under the bus.
As the threats and gaslighting pile up, Chris and Dalton need each other more than ever—as shipmates, friends, and lovers. But if their chief prevails, the only way they can save their careers is to let each other go.
Word count: 76,800; page count: 286