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review 2020-04-05 03:30
Not quite a wash out...but...
Wash Out - L.A. Witt,Nick J. Russo

This one just didn't work as well for me as previous stories have. But it also surprised me a bit in that between Logan and Casey...it was Logan who I liked the most. If you had told me that he would be my favorite after reading 'Afraid to Fly', I probably would have looked at you like you had two heads and neither of them was working right.


Seriously when I started listening to this one and realized who Logan was I paused the audio book for a moment and asked myself... "Really? Do I really want to listen to a story about this asshat?" and surprisingly my brain said "Yes, Karen. Yes you do, because everyone deserves a second chance even those who live in books." So I continued and "SURPRISE!!!" what I discovered was that Logan wasn't who he had seemed to be. Logan for one was ex-military and as is too often the case with those who have seen combat, Logan has his own demons to battle. So getting to see him here in a different light as someone who was fighting to be a better person to get his life back on the rails was very much a good thing and it didn't take long before I was a confirmed Logan fan.


Casey...for me Casey's a mixed bag on one hand yes, I did feel bad for Casey. All he ever wanted to be was a Navy Seal and he was working so hard to make his dream come true and to have that dream taken from him so suddenly and so unexpectedly is nothing short of heartbreaking. But, I really needed for Casey to get over it sooner than he did. I know it's not easy to go through something like this and a person needs time to re-evaluate their life and make new plans but Casey almost seemed to me like he was overthinking the things that people were saying to him and looking for a reason to be offended by it...which is code talk for he was looking for an excuse to vent his frustration and again I get that but 'Dammit Casey, you wanted to be a navy seal than show us that you had what it takes to have been one. Put your bit boy panties on and refocus on the new mission...creating a new career path for Casey.


Having said all that Casey did redeem himself a bit at the end but by then...it was to little, to late to make him seem anything more than ok for me. 


Once again with this story as in previous stories we are treated to a peek here and there of previous characters such as Clint and Travis (not so much on page but for me where there is Clint, Travis is close behind), Diego and by virtue of Diego it felt like Mark was also close at hand.


Of course all of this was once again brought to auditory life by the talented Nick J. Russo.  I know there are other really awesome narrators out there but for me this series belongs to this narrator and he's brought it to life and added depth and personality to the characters in a way that few others are able to. 


Overall this series has definitely been a success with me and while I've still got one last audio book to go I'm fairly comfortable saying that I see me revisiting the men of 'Anchor Point' again in the future and if we all have to hibernate for much longer the future may be closer than I think. 



An audio book of "Wash Out" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-04-05 02:35
This is it...that's right of all the books in this series...
Once Burned - L.A. Witt,Nick J. Russo

This is the one that gave me that "Daaammmnnnn!!!...I love this story" feeling.


There was just a whole lot here that pushed the right buttons for me. Diego is a character who I'm pretty sure has shown up on the fringes in most of these books as he's one of the regular bartenders at 'The High & Tight' but it really wasn't until 'Going Overboard' book #5 that we saw any real interaction with other characters from him. He was Dalton's best friend and they have a bit of a history and Diego also has a bit of a history with the navy. A history that's left him angry, frustrated and bitter.


Diego's problems are multi-faceted but for the most part things stem back to his time in the navy, his green card and his immigrant status. I think this part of the story for me was a bit easier to get through because one I'm was born in Canada so natural citizen and two born in Canada so no prior knowledge of U.S. immigration laws which allowed me to avoid the mental conflict of what the story contained vs what I maybe knew to be fact.


For me Diego's issues were used as a representation of the issues that immigrants can face more in response to the challenge of trying to achieve citizenship in another country more so than as realistic reflection of those challenges. 


For me one of the things that I enjoyed most was seeing Diego work through his feelings about the navy and how it contributed to his situation and come to terms with the events of his past so that he could try to build a future.


Captain Mark Thomass is in a very different place in his life and he's had a very different experience with the navy. Mark's career in the navy is winding down and he's getting ready to face retirement when he suddenly finds himself receiving a divorce, a promotion and a ship to command...one would think it was Christmas. Marks a navy man through and through and if the navy's taught him anything it's how to deal so for him...while the divorce may have been a surprise the promotion and the ship were the solution to the dilemma that it created allowing him to move to Anchor Point and start over.


"Once Burned" was a story of opposites attract and starting over. Diego and Mark are two very different people with very different lives and experiences leading to two very different outlooks on life and the navy. Outlooks that more often than not clashed when it came to...you guessed it...the Navy...oh and baseball...come on you didn't really think they'd cheer for the same team now, did you?


I loved the back and forth between these two men as they each found themselves stepping back to look at situations from the other's perspective and found themselves questioning how they thought and felt about things and coming to the realization that more often than not the solution to a situation didn't come from being right or wrong but from compromise.


For me there was a lot of growth for both of these men and sometimes it seemed like one step forward and two steps back but that's a feeling that I think most of us have felt at one time or another in our lives so it was very relatable.


I think this probably would have been a solid 5 star read if the ending had been filled out just a tiny bit more. Compared to the rest of the story I felt like it held a bit of a rushed feeling to it and I admit it I would have liked a bit more happy together Diego and Mark but all in all I connected really well with this story and with Nick J. Russo on board once again for the narration it was a very solid 4+ story and one that I plan on enjoying again in future.



An audio book of "Once Burned" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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review 2020-04-04 03:44
If I hadn't of already listened to the next book in this series...
Going Overboard - L.A. Witt,Nick J. Russo

I'd probably be saying that this one is my favorite so far but because I'm ahead of the game and have actually taken a break to catch up on the reviews I know that this one was close but it's not 'the one' for me but still a really, really good listen and the first one in the audio series that I did't read the book before listening to the audio.


So once again we have Nick J. Russo as the narrator and can I just say that he did a really superb job on the narration of this story...I would have to say that while it didn't end up being my favorite story so far when it comes to the narration this one tops the list.


'Going Overboard' has it's own bit of uniqueness as far in comparison to the other stories in this series...we haven't met either of the MCs prior to this story and they have no connection to any of the MCs in previous stories, this is also the first biracial couple in the series, compared to the other stories there's not really an age gap or an issue with their rank and both men work in the same section. So all in all a number of small details that help to give this pairing their own unique place in this series. 


Dalton and Chris actual met for the first time off page and prior to this story as they became best friends when the attended coxswain's school which is to say driving school...for boats/ships, just a bit of extra info here but boats and ships are not the same thing. In really, really simple basic detail boats are little, ships are BIG! Anything with an overall length of 197 ft. is considered a ship. Ok, that's it for the added info portion of this review.


 So back to Dalton and Chris who met at coxswain school and now find themselves stationed at NAS Adams. They're both working hard to gain their rank of MA1 (Master at Arms First Class) time is running out for both of these men as their nearing the end of their qualifying period. But they're studying hard and they're determined. Things are actually looking good until the night that Dalton goes out on patrol and through the negligence of the coxswain in charge that night during incredibly bad weather and rough waters Dalton is thrown overboard, it's only because of the heroic actions of the MA2 on board with him and the coxswain that he's saved...this is where everything goes to hell.


This is also where Dalton and Chris realize that they mean so much more to each other than just friends. This is also where li'l 'ole me starts to feel rage. You see Dalton and Chris have the misfortune of being under the command of the navy's prime example of "if you can't be a good example than you might as well be a horrible warning" Chief. I had rage so much freakin' rage for this man so much rage...I can't even begin to explain mainly because I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read/listened to it yet. 


The upside of this is that while I really despised this character he achieved two things... one he solidified my connection to the MCs and my desire to see them beat the obstacles and thank to him they had a few but a side benefit of this was that it also created a situation whereby characters from previous stories were required to be involved in the resolution of events and two while I very much enjoy Ms Witt's stories having a character such as this gave an added level of emotional involvement to the story for me. I seriously raged against this man...much to my husband's amusement.


Thankfully at the end of it all I was left satisfied with the outcome of most things with one exception and that was in regards to what happened to the coxswain who was driving the boat the night Dalton was injured but sometimes things just are what they are and for the most part things wrapped up in a fairly realistic manner. So, I'm going to take the win and move on to the next story...which by the way turns out to be my favorite one in this series...although I'm not done listening to the eighth and final book so there may be some wiggle room yet...only time will tell.



An audio book of "Going Overboard" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-04-04 00:31
It's been a while since I first read this one...
Chief's Mess - L.A. Witt,Nick J. Russo

and while I enjoyed revisiting the story on audio...because...Nick J. Russo! This is a narrator who consistently delivers and is one of my top 5 narrators. Without fail I can rely on his narrating to make a good story great and to make a not so good story better and he's even made some that were less than tolerable into something tolerable. Simply put as a narrator Nick J. Russo consistently delivers.


Now onto what it was that he delivered...'Chief's Mess' is the third story in L. A. Witt's naval series "Anchor Point" and while I liked the story it wasn't quite on the same level for me as the first two and while I think that might be a very tiny bit the story, I know that it's more of a personal issue for me...so yes, it's not the story it's me.


I was fairly certain before I started this audio book that I probably wasn't going to enjoy it quite as much as the first two audio books...one because I read the book so I knew what I was getting and two because I read the book and it also wasn't my favorite but I'm ok with this. Not every book has to be an over the moon I love it read/listen for me and I'm just one of those people who likes to read/listen to all of the books in a series whether or not I'm going to give them all rave reviews or not. For me it's about having all the info so that I can more readily make connections between characters and events and my other half will tell you it's really just my book OCD kicking in...whatever, it is what it is.


Ok, so back to Noah and Anthony why didn't they enchant me the way other couples in this series have...well, it's not broke so I'm not going to try and fix 

Noah Jackson is a member of Anchor Point's military police. He's got a stressful job and unfortunately his solution for dealing with the stress of his job comes from a bottle and he sees no problem with this. As a matter of fact he's so on board with this that when a problem results from his drinking his solution is to make his life accommodate the drinking...can't drive home because you've had too much to drink...take a cab...problem solved because drinking less or not drinking doesn't even ping his radar as a reasonable solution. Noah is what is known as a functioning alcoholic. Unfortunately he's not as functioning as he believes people like his best friend and superior officer, Senior Chief Will Curtis see what's happening. I'm sure most of us have met or had someone like Noah in their lives at one time or another, I know I have.

While we weren't introduced to Noah in 'Fear of Flying' we did meet Anthony. Anthony is the supportive brother of Curtis's ex-wife. There was a lot about Anthony's behavior that I understood in regards to his mildly paranoid behavior about how much Noah drank. I got that and I remember being so cautious about people in my life and how much they drank wondering how much and how often they truly drank. Honestly, it's not fun living like that doubting and never fully trusting until you're sure really sure that it's safe to trust that person because they aren't going to crawl into a bottle every chance they get.


You see the fact is that while I've known Noah, I've been Anthony...been part of the rubble left behind when the landslide stops. I've lived through the lies, the deceptions and justifications, the heartbreak of knowing you can't fix them. That they're the only person who can fix themselves and not until they're ready to. The frustration of knowing that you've reached the point where the only thing you can do is walk away and save yourself.


The concept for this story was good and while I liked it, I think maybe for me it came just a little to close to a reality that I've known which was a big part of the reason that I didn't enjoy 'Chief's Mess' as much as the first two books. 

So that's basically where the fail came in between me and this story not a bad thing not a good thing it just was what it was and I knew that going into it and while each of these stories could stand on their own for me a part of the enjoyment of each story comes from the complete picture that reading them all gives to me. 


At the end of it all I'm leaving this one at 3 stars even though I did actually enjoy the audio a bit more than just reading the story and I'm moving on the 'Rank and File' to see if Senior Chief Will Curtis is as good at sorting out his own love life as he seems to have been with his friends.



An audio book of "Chief's Mess" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-03-08 18:19
I've been looking forward to this one...
Reserved (Tales of Bryant #4) - V.L. Locey

"Reserved" is the fourth book in Ms. Locey's series 'Tales of Bryant' and while I've been looking forward to it for a while now because it's Adrian's story and I've come to really like this character and bizarrely enough even though I didn't feel like I loved this book quite as much as the previous ones. I think I actually like Adrian as much or maybe even a little bit more than I did before reading it.


We've met Adrian in previous stories he's an up and coming event planner. He planned Isamu and Brian's wedding among other events. He's larger than life. Adrian is flamboyant and he's living his own truth. There's just so much about him that I adore...like his hats. Ok, I know this may seem strange but I love hats unfortunately because I come from a family with larger than average head sizes, wearing hats for me is simply cost prohibitive. So, when I encounter a character in a book who can indulge in something that for me isn't a practical reality because at the heart of things I am a boringly practical person, I live vicariously through them...therefore, Adrian + hats = happy me.


Adrian is in many ways a larger than life character but he's also very genuine and endearing. He's a successful event planner and needless to say he's got a very busy career that allows little time for a 'personal life'. So, the fact that he meets the man who makes his heart go pitter, patter while he's working really comes as no surprise. That said man is also a police officer was maybe not surprising but definitely interesting. 


Galen Ellison is one of New York's finest. He's out, proud and the perfect match for Adrian. He's strong, confident, handsome and not only was he not bothered or intimidated by Adrian's over the top, flamboyant ways, but, it was very much a part of what attracted Galen to him in the first place. 


For me 'Reserved' felt like a bit of a modern day fairy tale and for the most part I really enjoyed it. I loved getting to see more of Adrian, I adored that Galen loved Adrian for who and how he was never trying to change him...simply treasuring Adrian in all his awesomeness.


While it's always fun to meet new characters such as Galen or Tracy, Adrian's new assistant, it's having little moments here and there with characters from previous stories that's always one of my favorite things.  


I've pondered this story for a couple of days now and for the life of me, I haven't been able to figure out what it was that caused it not to work quite as well as the previous stories for me, but I do know that I still really like Adrian and while a bit more angst laden than some of the previous stories, I did enjoy it and I definitely liked the pairing of Adrian and Galen...so, I'm going with it was simply my state of mind when I read it.


I sincerely feel that if I were to re-read this, say in a couple of months or whenever, I can very easily imagine that my rating would be different than the 3.5 stars that I've given it here, but for now it is what it is and truthfully 3.5 stars is by no means a bad thing and when the next story is out for this series I'll be there with my grabby little hands ready to jump in and find out what's happening and to whom.



An ARC of "Reserved" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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