Chief’s Mess (Anchor Point #3)
Released: June 19, 2017
Reviewed by Tracey
Blurb: 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.
This book can be boiled down into just a few words. Lots of sex, not much plot and an issue that separates the two men for a few weeks. I had really high hopes that I would enjoy this book, I have read L.A Witt before, and I love her writing, but this was just a big miss for me. Anthony’s character started out as a judgemental jerk, and he pretty much stayed that way until the resolution at the end of the book. His actions in the first chapter just put me off him totally. The other main character, Noah, just seemed to be a cipher for the first half of the book, he was basically there for the sex. And, there is a lot of sex and no plot for the first half of the book. These are supposed to be two men in their mid to late thirties, and the way they spoke and acted just came across as pretty immature. Noah actually kept his computer porn in a folder titled “Mom I Told You Not To Snoop”, for an adult man, this just seems a bit foolish. I felt as if someone had given two junior high boys free lube and condoms, and told them they could talk as dirty as they wanted and fuck their brains out. The sex started before I even hit the 10% mark on my Kindle, and that’s ok, but sometimes I want the two main characters to have a conversation first…at least a little chit chat before whipping them out and going to town. Right in the middle of hot sex, Anthony would mentally go off track in his mind:
“Drying off felt tedious and stupid, but having sex on wet sheets was never comfortable, so it was worth the effort.”
I don’t care whether he dried off or not. This type of mental rambling just put me off the scene and was distracting. The relationship between the two characters just seemed very superficial, and by the time they had fallen in love, they didn’t seem to have had enough conversation to be at that point. There was sex, a lot of sex, dirty talk, Skype sex, sex talk…but no actual conversations. No way to learn anything about these men.
The plot line started around halfway through the book, and at this point I felt like I really knew nothing about them except that they were both versatile and a few basic characteristics of each one. Noah is a functioning alcoholic, and this is a trigger for Anthony because his brother-in-law is an alcoholic. This problem is compounded by both men living in different states and only seeing each other on weekends. The alcoholism would probably have made itself known earlier if they were together on a daily basis. This is when the book actually picked up a little for me. Noah’s drinking becomes more problematic, they actually spend time doing things other than having sex, and they start to fall for each other. To me, this should have been the first part of the book, rather than the end. I really don’t care about sex scenes if I don’t even know the characters…it’s just meaningless sex. I would have been a lot more into it had I known something about the men and it not have been just a fuckfest for the first half of the book.
The alcohol problem seemed a little glossed over and easily resolved. Yes, they split up for a few weeks, and yes it was stated that it was hard for him to overcome the issue. It was mentioned that he had a counselor and support to help him, but by this point I didn’t care.
This can be read as a stand alone book. I haven’t read the first two books in this series, and now I probably won’t. I really hate to give this book such a low review score, because I have really enjoyed the author’s work in the past, but almost all authors have a book that doesn’t work for some people, and this, I’m sure, is just the one that doesn’t work for me.