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.
I enjoy the Anchor Pointe series. LA Witt has managed to fill the books with the flavor of Navy life. I love the way the language is used, with no apology or description. After all, if you’re in the Navy, you wouldn’t need to describe to someone who is also in what those words were.
In Chief’s Mess, the 3rd book in the series, we have Noah, who is hanging on until he can retire at 20 years. We also have Anthony, who isn’t military at all. He’s come to Anchor Pointe to glare at his ex-brother-in-law (if you’ve read book 2, you’ll know why). Needing to get away from him, he goes to a local gay bar – the High and Tight – and meets up with Noah.
No big surprise, they quickly end up in bed.
It felt like 90% of the book they were either in bed, sexting, or camming about sex. It got old fast, as though the same sex scene kept being thrust into my face, with very little change. And what felt like promised sex never came through. They kept saying they liked it rough, but it never was. They mentioned bruises and welts, but the only thing they ever did was bite.
It’s difficult because I liked both Noah and Anthony, but I really wish Witt had made their relationship more than about the sex it was. Toward the end of the book, they both had thoughts about how their relationship had always been more than sex, but we rarely ‘saw’ that. We were just told they remembered before the “I love you”s came.
That Noah has a problem is obvious, but his sudden forgetfulness that brought the book’s drama to its apex felt wrong. The Noah we had gotten to know up until that moment, would NOT have gone drinking with Anthony coming to visit. And since we never saw him go from drinking to forgetting, it came across flat. I felt like we were missing something.
Even with that, I once again enjoyed another Anchor Pointe. It’s like diving into a new world, which is one of my favorite things about well-done SciFi. Different language, different customs, and a whole different way of looking at things.
I’m looking forward to the next book, which I’m hoping will be about Will.