L.A. Witt

Risky Behavior by L.A. Witt & Cari Z

Risky BehaviorRating: 4.25 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary
Publication day:
 May 1, 2017
Length: 
309 pages  
Publisher:
 Riptide Publishing

It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.

Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.

As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?

My View: Risky Behavior is a police procedural thriller with a dosage of romance. Everything unfolds slowly until the very end, including Darren’s and Andreas’s relationship.  You have to pay attention to all the clues, and even so, you’d get surprised.

I enjoyed how all the characters–good & bad–are interrelated, not only with the investigation but with the main characters itself.  The pacing keeps the reader entertain, curious, and Andreas’s vulnerability is a nice reward. Darren is a more traditional character and it meshes well with his new, older partner.

I’m glad we get both POVs and extra opinions from other main players. There are a lot of conversations during the downtimes, but it was well-balanced with the rest of the action. Overall, this is a good romantic suspense with a strong HFN. Definitely, I’m looking forward to the next installment.

What I liked the most: How Darren got under Andreas’s skin.

I wanted more/less: More time with Darren and Andreas getting to know each other.

Who should read it: Fans of law enforcement stories.

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

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Back Piece by L.A. Witt

Back PieceRating: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary; Military
Publication day:
 April 25, 2017
Length: 
316 pages  
Publisher:
Swerve

Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.

Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.

As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?

Back Piece is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.

My View: Back Piece is a beautiful story about self-discovery and first loves. Even when the characters aren’t new adults, the story has a youthful feeling. Both, Colin and Daniel have complicated pasts that keep them from moving forward with the lives they want. This book shows us their journey and how hard, but worth it, it was for them to heal and move forward.

As always, the accuracy of the military descriptions gives this story a strong sense of place. The tattoo details just add to the overall picture. I liked the slow pace of their relationship, but I think they have a stronger connection as friends/mentor than as lovers.

If you want to know more about enlisted military men with everyday jobs and tattoo artists, this is a perfect story for it. It’s not an easy book to read due to the MCs backgrounds, but it’s an interesting start to a series.

What I liked the most: The military accuracy.

I wanted more/less: More of a love connection between the MCs.

Who should read it: Fan of military stories.

ARC provided by Swerve, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt

afraid-to-flyRating: 4 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary; Military 
Publication day:
 January 16, 2017
Length: 
347 pages  
Publisher:
Riptide

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.

My View:  Afraid to Fly is a proper Navy tale. It’s not flashy or filled with Seals, it’s the everyday reality of most Chiefs and Sailors when on shore duty. They go to work, they talk shop, complain about PRT, and hate Navy functions. The life of a spouse and their dependents is perfectly represented too.

I prefer my characters to be on their fourties+ and Clint and Travis fit the bill. Especially because they act their age and have worries that a twenty-something won’t care about. Both men are bisexual and on the other side of dealing with their sexual identities. We do get to see a bit of Clint’s process, but it doesn’t take over the story.

The author did an excellent job dealing with the main characters sexual relationship and their PTSD. Both solutions work for them without the need for a miracle to intervene and get rid of all their issues. They have to adjust and learn how to trust each other to be together. They have many smexy scenes together as well as some lovely moments.

One thing I like is that the females in the story play an important part. They’re not vindictive or stereotypical. They simply are everyday people. The story is slow in parts and Clint and Travis spend a lot of time wrap in their own thoughts, but overall the story is solid and memorable.

Also, we get to see Paul’s and Sean’s–from Just Drive–happily ever after. This book, in particular, ends with a very satisfying HFN. I don’t see a need for another installment in the series, but a short story to wrap-up Clint’s & Travis’s future would be great.

What I liked the most: How real the characters are.

I wanted more/less: More of a separation. Just because I like to make my characters miserable. 🙂

Who should read it: Fans of middle-aged characters.

ARC provided by Riptide, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Just Drive by L.A. Witt

just-driveRating: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary; Military
Publication day:
 November 21, 2016
Length: 
300 pages  
Publisher: 
Riptide Publishing

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.

My View: Just Drive is a classic L.A. Witt military story. It’s the type of book I’d have rated five stars a couple of years ago. It has a simple plot arc, nice characters, basic military references, and lots of in page sex scenes. If you are in the mood for a low angst, steamy book this is it.

I do love Paul and Sean individually. They were perfect for the story and it was easy to see how good they became as a couple. Even with the age gap, Paul treated Sean as an equal and didn’t try to play games with him. It was good to see a balanced relationship with a mature young adult.

The military details were right on point, down to the aggressive seagulls all bases seem to have. As a military spouse, I appreciate the accurate rendition of life in the service, not only for the sailor but for the dependants.

I wasn’t too fond of the ending, and the HEA perfect wrap-up, but it did work for the story. I’m glad Travis gets his chance in the next book, and I’m looking forward to more from this series.

What I liked the most: The little everyday military details.

I wanted more/less: I wanted more of Paul as CO.

Who should read it: Fans of L.A. Witt’s military stories.

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Roped In by Marie Sexton & L.A. Witt

Roped InRate: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary Cowboys; BDSM
Publication day: 
June 20, 2016
Length:
155 pages  
Publisher: 
Riptide Publishing

Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

My View: Roped In is a light BDSM cowboy story. Graham knows he’s attracted to men and thinks to be in love with his rodeo partner, Jackson. The only time they tried something, Graham backs out. He doesn’t want to ruin their friendship, but in reality, he has trouble accepting his sexuality.

When Graham meets Kaz at a rodeo protest, he’s instantly attracted, and a couple of conversations later, they’re giving a relationship a try. It’s more of an insta-lust than anything else, and Kaz uses ropes to help Graham focus on what he wants. There’s a connection there but not deep enough to want them to stay together.

Personally, I think I was more invested in Graham’s and Jackson’s relationship than in Kaz entering the picture. I love how natural Graham and Jackson worked and their feelings for each other. Maybe Kaz could have been the guy to bring them together, a third on the relationship? But not what I wanted for Graham.

The story is well written, and the rodeo and BDSM elements are well integrated. The story resolution was cute and gave the MCs their HEA even when it felt a bit rush. Overall, this story is more about sex and Graham’s self-discovery than a real emotional connection.

What I liked the most: The friendship between Graham and Jackson.

I wanted more: Of a connection between the main characters.

Who should read it: Any fans of kinky cowboy stories.

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.