Just Drive by L.A. Witt

just-driveRating: 3.5 stars
Contemporary; Military
Publication day:
 November 21, 2016
300 pages  
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.

Torque by Charley Descoteaux

TorqueRate: 3.5 out of 5 (Rounded to 4)

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ+ Fiction
Publication day: February 23, 2016
Length:  189 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd

Sometimes letting things get complicated is the best way to figure it all out.

Mick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.

Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.

Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place…where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship.

But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living. Lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.

My View: In this story, the plot and the characters’ relationship can be seen as separate, yet, intrinsical to each other. The steps they took, got them together, but at the same time were not important in the development of the MCs’ relationship. The book was more about them working together to find what worked for them, than overcoming obstacles to get to their HEA.

I didn’t see Torque as a romance novel even when the three main characters made their relationship worked and exchanged I love yous. More than anything, it was Mick’s story– the exploration of his sexuality and his self-worth. How he dealt with his shortcomings and the ghost following him away from California. I do think the characters were a bit immature for their age. Probably early twenties would have worked better than late twenties and early thirties. But it worked better than them settling in a forever relationship too early on.

All the secondary characters had a purpose in the story, even Keith, Wanda, Chuck, and Mercy’s brothers. Their day-to-day activities were mundane, but the blue collar scenario gave more credibility to their love story.

This story might not be for everybody. It’s a little gritty, a little slow or overly fast in others, with characters not wanting anything else than what they already had, but overall, it works well. It’s a simple story, with simple characters in search of happiness and self-awareness.

What I liked the most: The way the MCs’ relationship worked. They complemented each other.

I wanted more of: I wanted for Mick’s past to hunt him down, or up since he traveled north.

Who should read it: Anyone looking for a different take on a triad relationship.

 ARC received via Netgalley, courtesy of Samhain, for an honest review.