A MelanieM Review: The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.

Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.

The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.

Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.

Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.

The fake marriage/rent a spouse theme is a popular trope in romance whether it be het or LGBT, contemporary or historic.  So I’m always interested in how a author can give it their own twist, freshen it up a bit.  The usual path is the the one main character needs to be married in order to collect own their inheritance/title/mega billions. So I was appreciative of the fact that LA Witt took the opposite direction in The Husband Gambit.

Here Jesse Ambrose is using it to foil his toxic father’s political ambitions by forcing his father to reveal his own hatred of his son and the LGBT community by this act.  The ploy sounds simplistic but Witt makes it anything but with the creation of a dynasty so foul, complex, and brutal to it’s young that you bleed for them. You get involved in their lives through the character of Jesse, a decent human being brought up entirely too rich but with wonderful instincts about right and wrong.  The ad he places leads him to the wonderful Hayden Somerset, poor, highly educated actor, on the edge of making a $20 decision between groceries and gas.

Both men are terrific.  The characters come across as real, layered with personal baggage, family problems, and personalities that would  appear different and yet, both endearing in  ways that the reader can connect with.  Witt balances the drama the naturally springs up around them because of the plans to take down Jesse’s father causes increasing amounts of deceptions and the ones they must confront between themselves when each realizes their feelings for each other is real.

Another element I thought was especially well done was the emotional impact of this entire “gambit” upon Jesse.  The cost isn’t frivolous, the loss of family (even this one) not taken lightly, and the increasing punch to the heart pain we see Jesse take throughout the story is something the reader will feel with him as well.  it’s realistic as is the manner in which he finally has to cope with it’s damage done to him.

The relationship and romance between the men is sexy, warm, and, well, everything you want in a romance.  Plus you will love so many of the secondary characters here including Hayden’s  roommates and Alex, Jesse’s younger brother.

In short, I loved this new take on an old trope.  It was refreshing, lovely, romantic, and a terrific read.  One I highly recommend.  Looking for a new contemporary romance ?  Look no further than The Husband Gambit by LA Witt.

Cover art: L.A. Witt.  I liked this cover.  Eye catching, bold, while it doesn’t convey that it’s a romance novel, it gets the feeling just right.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 489 pages
Published November 15th 2018
ASINB07K2ZDZDZ
Edition LanguageEnglish
Other Editions
None found

A Jeri Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is the final book in the Anchor Point series. They can all easily be read as stand alones. This book had very little from previous books, but we still saw a lot of cameos in one scene which was pretty cool.
Dylan- ship chaplain, is still recovering from a poisonous relationship of 8 years. And as he never claimed to be a perfect man, Christian OR chaplain, he has been known to engage in one night stands to scratch an itch. So when Alhazar walks into his office looking for a safe place to do his daily Muslim prayers, Dylan is extremely drawn to the man.
Dylan and Alhazar each come with some pretty serious baggage. Marriages of convenience that lead to divorce. Children. Their strong faiths. But through all of it, they couldn’t hold back from each other.
I really loved them together. I especially loved that they were in the 40-ish age range and not settled down. So many books have main characters in their 20’s so i love when the slightly older set is represented. I’ve also read a few books when one of the main characters is clergy of some sort- but in ALL of my reading (and trust me- I read a lot) I have never come across a Muslim main character. And I loved it.
Although bot men were very heavily into their respective faiths-  the story never got preachy at all. In fact, neither man used his faith as a shield or excuse. It was refreshing.
There were well developed side characters- including Alzahar’s children- who really belonged in the story and not just as filler.
The chemistry between Dylan and Alhazar was really hot. It was never forced- it was so natural, moving from a one night stand, to several nights, to a relationshp seemingly without either noticing.
There were parts that were repetitive or long winded. How many different people would apologize for cursing in front of a chaplain who curses himself? But anyway, That is what brought my review to 4 stars.
Excellent end to a series with a hint at the character(s) for the spin off f/f series coming.

Cover art: L.C. Chase.  It’s a gorgeous rendering of the male torso and works within the series covers as well.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 340 pages
Published July 16th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleSink or Swim
ISBN139781626497511
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/sink-or-swim
SeriesAnchor Point #8

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I must say I was very pleasantly surprised by this story. I’ve followed the series and have only given one other book in the series 5 stars, but this one is certainly worthy of my highest rating.

Was it the characters? The topic? The setting? The insight into Naval operations? I think it may have simply been the combination of all of the above. Certainly, these two men are among my favorite MCs and most definitely make an outstanding couple.

Chaplain Dylan Pedersen has recently left his partner of eight years—his very emotionally abusive ex-partner—one who wants him back and is using Dylan’s family and friends to persuade Dylan to come back. When Alhazar Bukhari, a civilian electrician contractor, comes to the chapel to ask for space to store his mat and Q’uran, the two are immediately attracted, but it’s not until they find out that they are both gay that they act on that attraction. And when they do? It’s one of those explosive up-against-the-wall sex scenes that this author does so well.

The thing I liked best about this story is that while there are indeed some mighty hot times between the sheets, there’s so much substance to the relationship development of the two men. And there’s more to the story. Alhazar’s son is gay and has a steady boyfriend, though both are still in high school. We learn of his culture, his prayer times with both children, his unusual past marriage to his best friend who is a lesbian and served in the Navy at the same time as Alhazar. We witness his fear over telling his parents, even though he’s over forty-years-old. And we see what a good friend he is to his coworker, Kimber Fraser, whose dad is Clint Fraser from Afraid to Fly. Kimber is suffering from harassment from her fellow male employees and though the author explores the subject and clearly shows the stress Kimber is under, at no time did I feel I was being lectured or that Kimber’s concerns were minor.

In response to the recent concerns brought to him by LGBTQ men and women as he counsels them in his capacity as chaplain, Dylan organizes an LGBTQ support group for those working at the base and for parents of LGBTQ children. Helped by Alhazar and others we’ve met in the past, including Mark and Diego from Once Burned, the response to the group is overwhelming, leaving Dylan happy and proud. Naturally, shortly after that, he has a face-to-face confrontation with his ex, and Alhazar’s presence complicates Dylan’s attempt to stand up to his abuser. It’s not until he officiates at the wedding ceremony for Diego and Mark that Dylan faces his own needs and realizes he’s had happiness within his grasp all along but walked away from it.

Thankfully, our guys get their HEA, and as a reader, I feel that I’ve gotten so much more than simple pleasure from a well-told story. I learned more about the needs of sailors and their family members and the issues that come up during deployment. Also, I learned more about the Muslim religion from this one story than from any other single source.

I can happily say kudos to LA Witt for bringing this story to life and I very highly recommend it.

~~~

Cover art: L.C. Chase.  It’s a gorgeous rendering of the male torso and works within the series covers as well.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 340 pages
Published July 16th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleSink or Swim
ISBN139781626497511
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/sink-or-swim
SeriesAnchor Point #8

A Jeri Review: Wash Out (Anchor Point #7) by LA Witt

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

I love that the Anchor Point series, although all set at the same Naval base, really are different. This was no exception.

Casey is on desk duty after seriously breaking his leg during SEALs training. And the chances of him continuing that training are zero. Logan is a former Marine, now working as a contractor on base. One guy has been there, the other guy never will go there.
It was heartbreaking to see Casey deal with the same platitudes over and over again about being lucky to never see war. But that is exactly what he signed up for. Being a SEAL was his dream. And Logan is plagued with PTSD from his tours of combat duty and is one of the guys that tells Casey how lucky his is. But it is sticky because Logan and Casey have some serious heat together.
So while they are enjoying the no strings sex, strings form. And each man really has to explain their unique but opposite positions regarding the military and war.
There is a TON of angst in this book, but also a lot of hot sex and a really genuine relationship between Logan and Casey. I think what I enjoy the most about this books is that they are so authentic. The author doesn’t keep it a secret that her husband is active duty Navy, so she really knows what she is talking about with PTSD, active duty, contract work, etc.
We get a few cameos of previous main characters- always a favorite of mine in a series to keep them all connected. I love that one of the supporting characters/previous main characters HATED the Navy in his book and is now a supervisor in a contract position. Felt like a full circle kind of thing.
Cover art by LC Chase works perfectly for the story and the series branding.
Book Details:
ebook, 265 pages
Published May 21st 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626497532 (ISBN13: 9781626497535)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Anchor Point #7

Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Wash Out (Anchor Point #7) by L.A. Witt

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Wash Out (Anchor Point #7) by L.A. Witt
Riptide Publishing

Cover Art:  LC Chase

Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

About Wash Out

 

Casey Olson has always known he was destined to be a Navy SEAL, and the best day of his life was when he was accepted into training. The worst day was when a snapping bone ended his dream.

 

After three combat tours in five years, Logan Carter left the Marines and self-destructed. Now he’s sober and, thanks to a forgiving ex with friends in high places, has a promising job as a civilian contractor. All he has to do is stay on the rails and out of a bottle, even when his demons won’t leave him alone.

 

Logan likes his job, and he really likes the gorgeous man at the next desk. Casey tries not to check Logan out, but who is he kidding? From the start, despite their best efforts, neither man can resist the other. Sizzling chemistry leads to sex so hot they can both almost forget why they’re stuck in this office to begin with.

 

It would be perfect, except Logan can’t stop reliving wars he’ll never forget and Casey can’t stop grieving the SEAL he’ll never be. And they’ll never have a future together until they can make peace with their pasts.

About Anchor Point

 

Welcome to Anchor Point!

 

Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.

 

So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.

 

Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you’d like!

 

About LA Witt

 

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

 

  1. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Wash Out, L.A. is giving away reader’s choice of two eBooks off of her backlist! (Excludes Wash Out.) Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 26, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Barb the Zany Old Lady audiobook Review: Changing Plans Trilogy by L.A. Witt and Charlie David (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This audiobook release contains all three books in the Changing Plans series: Getting Off the Ground, Infinity Pools, and On the List.   Charlie David does a nice job on the narration, however, he did not make the two MCs voices very distinctive so one has to listen to the content to be able to determine who is speaking when there are no dialogue tags.  This makes for a bit of confusion, though the stories are each short and not terribly complex, so they are easy to follow. 

In Getting Off the Ground, Elliot Chandler meets a sexy fellow traveler as they await their flight in what seems as if it’s going to be a snowed-in airport.  Elliot is heading to Hawaii to go on his honeymoon—alone.  Having been stood up at the altar, he decides to follow-through on his vacation plans—plans being the operative word.  Elliot is a compulsive over-planner, always planning everything in his life out to the nth degree.  So when his fiancé decides not to show at the altar, Elliot is going to take advantage of all the planning he did.  Unfortunately, he didn’t plan for the snowstorm. 

When the cute guy across the aisle, clad only in a Hawaiian-print shirt and no coat, engages him in conversation, the two hit it off immediately.  By the time the flight is canceled, Elliot offers to share his hotel room with the stranger, Derek.  Of course, Elliot has a room booked. As soon as he realized the flight might be canceled, he planned ahead and booked a room.  The two fall into bed, literally and frequently, and Derek eventually convinces Elliot he should change his plans to tour Oahu and come with Derek to Maui instead.  What looked to be an impossible feat happens and we end book one and begin book two, Infinity Pools—something Derek has at his home.  Derek made his money in the dot com days and he and his partners are still involved in buying and selling IT businesses, app development, etc.   

Book two is pretty much all sex with a bit of sightseeing thrown in.  Honestly, it’s original LA Witt at her finest, but I’m pretty much past the point where sex is interesting for 75% of the book, so I was happy to see book two end, with the two lovebirds committed to each other, even though they’ve only known one another for a few weeks.   So as book three opens, we find out that their long-distance relationship is still strong, and in fact, they have plans to get married. 

The last book, On the List, involves some family-of-origin issues, mostly on Derek’s part, and the two men committing to each other no matter what life brings.  Bottom line, this is an eight-hour audiobook that has a sweet romance, a lot of sex, and some nice Hawaiian scenery.  It would be a great book to listen to while lying on a beach or passing time on any vacation, including a flight to Hawaii. 

~~~

The cover features a beach scene in the lower panel with two men holding hands, and the upper panel features an airliner in a bright blue sky.  The cover is bright and colorful and attention-getting.

Sales Links:

 
Audio Buy Links: Audible US | Audible UK

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 8 hours and 2 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Lori Witt
Audible.com Release Date: November 24, 2016
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B01N981306

Retro Review Tour and Giveaway – Audiobook and Ebook – Changing Plans Collection by LA Witt

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Audio Buy Links: Audible US | Audible UK
 
Length: 8hrs 2mins/77,500 words approx.
 
Narrated By: Charlie David
 
Blurb
 

From EPIC Award winning author and multiple Lambda Finalist L.A. Witt comes the re-release of three hot contemporary novellas — Getting off the Ground, Infinity Pools, and On The List.


After being stood up at the altar, compulsive over-planner Elliott Chandler decides to turn his honeymoon on Oahu into a vacation for one. Fate puts a hitch in his plans, however, when the airport is snowed in and his flight is delayed.


In the terminal, the jilted groom catches the eye of another stranded traveler: the laidback and very sexy Derek Windsor. Derek breaks the ice and strikes up a conversation, and as the temperature drops outside, the heat between them rises. Pity they’re both going to different islands, but if their flight doesn’t get off the ground fast, Mr. Calm-and-Cool may just tempt Mr. Play-It-Safe into doing something reckless.


And that plane isn’t going anywhere any time soon…

April 26 – Queerly Reads, OMG Reads

About The Author


L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…



Website: http://www.gallagherwitt.com
E-mail: gallagherwitt@gmail.com
Twitter: @GallagherWitt
Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com

Giveaway

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An Alisa Audiobook Review: Chief’s Mess (Anchor Point #3) by L.A. Witt and (Narrated by Nick J. Russo)

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

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 enjoyed this story just as much as I have the others in this series.  Anthony is stressed and visiting his sister’s ex-husband is not helping.  Noah has never had a lasting relationship and as they connect more and more Anthony is beginning to see why that may be.

At first I wasn’t sure about Anthony, mostly because I loved Clint from the last book and didn’t like his attitude towards him.  I know he was still angry about his sister being hurt but that didn’t make me feel better.  It was heartbreaking to see him hurting when he had to push Noah away but the support he got from Clint was the biggest surprise.  Noah always seems to have a drink in his hand when not at work and it’s his break from reality.  I hated seeing him not own up to his problem but as unfortunately is the case, it took hitting the ultimate low for him to make changes in his life and even Anthony can see that.

Nick Russo once again did a wonderful job narrating this story.  He always portrays the characters’ emotions makes it easy to connect with them.  The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on and get an idea of the characters personality some more.

I like the cover art by LC Chase and it continues follow the pattern for the series.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7 hrs 45 min
Published: January 30, 2018 (ebook first published June 19, 2017) by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Anchor Point #3

In the Spotlight: Going Overboard (Anchor Point #5) by L.A. Witt (giveaway and tour)

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Going Overboard (Anchor Point #5) by L.A. Witt
Riptide Publishing
Cover art: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

About Going Overboard

Second-class petty officers Dalton Taylor and Chris Ingram have been best friends since coxswain’s school. Now they’re stationed together in the Harbor Patrol Unit of NAS Adams. They’re content as friends, but secretly, they both ache for more. Neither makes a move, though; while Dalton is out and proud, Chris is closeted—even from his best friend.

Then another coxswain’s negligence nearly drowns Dalton. After a taste of how easily they could lose each other, neither man can keep his feelings hidden anymore, and it turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.

Things aren’t just heating up between the friends-turned-lovers, though. The Navy is investigating the accident, and the Harbor Patrol chief isn’t going to let his star coxswain go down for dereliction of duty, even if saving him means throwing Dalton under the bus.

As the threats and gaslighting pile up, Chris and Dalton need each other more than ever—as shipmates, friends, and lovers. But if their chief prevails, the only way they can save their careers is to let each other go.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About Anchor Point

Welcome to Anchor Point!

Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.

So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.

Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you’d like!

Check out Anchor Point today!

About LA Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Going Overboard, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L. A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Going Overboard) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 10, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Jeri Review: Going Overboard (Anchor Point #5) by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

If you want to delve into some of the intricacies of navy politics, this is the book for you. While I have enjoyed this series for the most part, they are definitely hit and miss for me.
Yes, I love reading about the politics and other military things you really don’t hear about. I have looked up several terms. Each book had things I liked and didn’t like. This one was no different.
This was a friends to lover story- which I really like. Except one of them was sort of in the closet? He had plenty of opportunity to tell his friend- hey, I’m gay too! But he didn’t.  I liked the friendship between Dalton and Chris, but I didn’t feel any heat. The chemistry wasn’t there.
And because there was a lot of story involving the investigation of an incident, the romance side of it really took a back seat. I love a good story with the romance, but I don’t like when one overshadows the other.
I did really enjoy seeing characters from previous books taking decent sized roles in this book. I hate a quick mention of previous characters just to keep them all tied together. This was juicy.
There were several questions left unanswered for me. I won’t go into them here because I don’t drop spoilers. I hate asked “what about” though at the end of a book.
So, it was decent. I don’t regret spending the time to read it. But I’ll probably forget it rather quickly.
Cover art by L.C. Chase is perfect for the story.
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 259 pages
Published February 3rd 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ASINB079KVSFDC
Series Anchor Point #5