This time around, it's not a gender thing...

Rank & File - L.A. Witt

or even really an age thing...nope, this time around it's all about the 'Rank & File'. 

 

'Rank & File' is the fourth book in L. A. Witt's 'Anchor Point' series and so far I've enjoyed them all. But this one's got a little bit of a twist to it...one that probably wouldn't occur to a lot of people. You see, Senior Chief Will Curtis is enlisted and he's got his eye on the prize making Master Chief after 30 years of enlistment and Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a navy brat who's graduated from Annapolis with a life in the military laid out for him. A life that he's never questioned but one that's slowly suffocating him. 

 

Will and Brent meet under less than auspicious circumstances and while both men feel a definite physical attraction. They also know it's neither the time nor the place to act on that attraction and then there's the whole issue of fraternization...because while DADT may have been repealed fraternization between officers and enlisted is still a career ender in the military.

 

Only it's a week later and neither man has been able to stop thinking about the other and a chance encounter at local bar only reaffirms that they liked what they'd seen and really one night to get it out of their systems isn't going to hurt anyone right? As long as no one finds out and it's only one night...right? Until it isn't because neither man is ready to walk away. 

 

This ones strong on the sex but given that this a relationship that starts based on mutual physical attraction, would you honestly expect anything different? I know I didn't but for me this was a case of the sex being a part of the story and not just a lot of gratuitous sex for the sake of sex. This was a relationship that didn't start with 'love at first sight'...but 'lust at first sight' and from there as these two men came together they got to know each other, find out about each other and take comfort in each other allowing other feelings to develop and grow until they were both blindsided with the knowledge that their hearts were involved and walking away would mean more than losing a 'friend with benefits' it would mean losing the man they'd come to love.

 

The choice between love and career isn't a new one to a lot of people...military or not, but it can be one of the hardest ones a person can make and I have to admit I held my breath for a while as I devoured this story wanting to know how these two men would ever find their happily ever after and in the end I wasn't disappointed. It took some time, personal growth on the part of both men and definitely hard decisions and change were involved but in the end for me it was the decision that I think made the most sense and probably the one that I'd been hoping for in my heart.  

 

I've enjoyed the stories in this series so far and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next in this series...'Anchor Point' is definitely recommended if you like stories about broken alpha males in the military who have what it takes to deal with whatever life throws their way as they pull themselves up, put themselves back together and fight for the love they never thought they'd find.

 

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An ARC of 'Rank & File' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.