Review: Chief’s Mess by L.A. Witt

Posted March 1, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Audio Book, Reviews / 26 Comments

Review: Chief’s Mess by L.A. Witt
Chief's Mess
Narrated by Nick J. Russo

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Anchor Point #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance, Military Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on January 30, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

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The Delight

Anthony Talbot is climbing the walls during a tense family obligatory visit and takes his sister’s blessing to get out for a bit leading to a hot encounter with smoldering Navy Chief Noah Jackson. I enjoyed this latest in the Anchor Point series particularly since, like before in the series, the author touches on a relevant issue for men in the naval service- or pretty much an issue with any relationship.


Chief’s Mess is the third of the Anchor Point series. These books loosely tie together so they can be enjoyed in order or standalone. Chief’s Mess ties to the previous Afraid to Fly through Anthony being the hostile ex-brother in law to Clint Fraser, hero of the earlier book. For those who loved Clint and Travis, this has some follow-up scenes and for those who are starting at this book, the encounter works fine, too.

Anthony and Noah start out hotter than a firecracker together. I will say this, LA Witt can write some heat. I was hot and bothered only minutes into this book. Whew! The torrid and sizzling sex blew my mind. They definitely had chemistry in the bedroom and that was the foundation of what was to come in their attempt at a long distance relationship. Skype? No this was Porny Skyping between a pair of dirty talking guys who knew how to rev each other past the red line.

At first, I was concerned that the hot bedroom (and non-bedroom) antics were going to be all there was to this one and I did skip of ton of those scenes when they were just lining up like dominoes and I was actually growing numb to it. But, after a time, the pair realized they wanted a relationship and of course, that was also when Anthony stopped denying the hints he was seeing that Noah had a drinking problem. This was when the book started showing its depth and heart for me.

Noah is what in my past we called a functioning alcoholic. He drank a lot and often, but he was staying just sober enough to get through his life. I thought the alcoholism element was handled about right as were all the characters involved. Noah’s addiction is the main conflict in the story, but this is not a men’s fiction novel so it’s in the right balance with the relationship development It wasn’t focused on, but I also feel like Anthony had his own demons to deal with. I thought it was interesting that the spotlight was not on Noah only through this, but also Anthony. Like any person in a relationship with a recovering addict, the addict isn’t the only one with his life on the precipice. So yes, this book dug deep and really shone when it hit the depth of the conflict for this pair.

Chief’s Mess was narrated by Nick J. Russo. I felt he did an incredible job whether it was taking me right into this horny pair’s bedroom scenes or leaving me crushed and teary-eyed when Noah and Anthony hit their lowest. He captured the pace of the story, its elements, and its characters fabulously.

In summation, Chief’s Mess delivered a hot pair of lovers and a difficult situation that had me earnestly engaged to see it all end well. Those who enjoy spicy m/m military romance should definitely give this book/series a chance.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.


Romance Roundabout #54 LGBT
Literary Pickers #50 uniform
New Release #14
Audio #11


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About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

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).

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • RO

    Sounds like the story and the heat level were balanced equally, and I can tell you really enjoyed this one. Not easy to write about alcoholism without it taking over the entire story, but it sounds like the writer did an excellent with it. Hugs and Thankful Thursday to you! RO

    • Yes! At first, I thought it wouldn’t, but then it leveled out and was superb. 🙂

      Thankful you’re in my Thursday, Ro!

  • I love when a narrator pulls you in and enhances an already great story giving it a little extra magic.

    • Definitely. There are several book series that I refuse to do without the narrator I’ve come to love. I’m a Russo fan. 🙂

  • ugh I would prob be skimming some parts as well, not a fan of stories that start with heat, I do like my build up. Glad to hear that it eventually evened out and was even more enjoyable

    • Yes, it was touch and go for a bit there. Then it showed some romance depth. 🙂

  • I like when stories have some real life type problems in them like alcoholism. This sounds like it would be pretty good.

    • Same here. It gave it depth and feeling and connection.

  • That’s neat this one has some follow up scenes to those who read the previous books. i always like that in series like this and it’s reason why I always try to read series in order. Sometimes when a book has too many sex scenes it does get boring after a while and I’ve had a few books where I start skimming then as well. That’s great it showed some depth and romance later as well. That does sound very well done how it deals with the drinking problem and also how it influences his partner, as I can imagine that’s difficult to see someone you care about go through. Great review!

    • Yes! The last book had the first book’s characters in it and now this one had the second book’s characters in it. And, it was neat how the previous pair help at pivotal times with the new pair’s romance.
      Oh yeah, I get so that I could care less if they hop into bed and just want to get to the next scene when I feel its not really moving forward the plot.
      The alcoholism and why he got that way and also the point that it affected everyone around Noah was well thought. I’ve liked that about each of these stories. With each, the personal problem is a little something different so it makes the stories unique.

  • Debbie Haupt

    It looks like you liked this and it also looks like a scorcher 😉

  • Sounds like a good book. I am glad you got the chance to read it. Glad you liked it. I just read my first LGBT book and liked it myself. It’s not my normal genre but it was cool.

    • Oh neat! Which one did you pick for your first one, Mary?

  • This sounds like it might be a little too steamy for my tastes. I listen to audios while I am at work and worry that this one would have me blushing. I would probably enjoy it in another setting though.

    • Haha! Yeah, I’d blush to be playing this one at work, too. Nope, my earbuds were in and I listened when I was alone doing chores. 🙂

  • It’s great to hear that it continues to be good and that the points are well handled!

    • Yes, tough subject matter can be treated too lightly or written all wrong so it was good to see it handled well. 🙂

  • I have yet to read anything by Witt even though I now have several of her books on my TBR (including the first couple books in the Anchor Point series). I love a good military romance (my husband is a retired Navy Chief so I have a real soft spot for them 🙂 and this one sounds so, so good! And a good narrator can really make a good book even better. Enjoyed your review, Sophia Rose!

    • I’ve been reading her books from her earlier Navy romances, then into her various other series under this name and other ones she uses. Oh neat that you have your own Navy Chief. As Witt’s hubby was Navy, I think you’ll be comfortable with her getting the military backdrop and the way the serviceman act.
      Yes, Russo is a talented narrator and I think he does a great job with this series and this particular book.
      Hope you enjoy her books when you get the chance, Tanya. 🙂

  • Karen

    I really like the idea of them dealing with real life issues and not just the romance. I’ll be checking this one out.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • Yes, that has attracted me since my first time with her books years ago. And, she keeps it going in this series. Each couple has to grapple with a different personal issue and try to keep the romance through it. Hope you like them when you get the chance, Karen. 🙂

  • I do love a great MM military romance so I am all for trying this one out!! And I do love seeing characters deal with tough issues that are realistic.

    • Super! Glad to point you to this one. I love seeing characters conquer weaknesses and addictions and I enjoy the setting of the Naval town and base.

  • shootingstarsmag

    I’m glad to hear that you really liked this one; I did too – and the series in general. I thought the functioning alcoholism was handled well, and it was realistic too (for both guys).


    • Yes. I love how she writes a good romance, but its not all rosy with the issues she gives her characters.