Audio Review: Just Drive by L.A. Witt, Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Posted April 15, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 13 Comments

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Audio Review: Just Drive by L.A. Witt, Narrated by Nick J. Russo
Just Drive
Narrated by Nick J. Russo

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: #1 Anchor Point
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on March 23, 2017
Length: 7 hours 5 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

A May-September forbidden romance between a Naval Captain and commander of a base and the college age son of a man in his command had me plenty intrigued.  I already liked the author and the narrator’s works so anchors away.


Just Drive ended up being a contemporary piece that progressed gently and had a steady and simple plot.  It was a fast attraction and that was the easy part.  Finding a way to be together was the entire romantic conflict because according to Navy regs.  If they are caught, it’s a career destroyer for both Paul and Sean’s dad.

Just Drive was a slow mover and the reader/listener has to pay attention to the real connection between this pair.  Paul opens up about his past and where he screwed up some meaningful relationships and his issues after a pretty bad carrier landing crash.  Sean talks a little, too, and tends to be the voice of reason for the pair even if he’s the younger one.  I enjoyed seeing this pair together and hoped they’d find a way to be a couple though I was pretty sure what had to happen to achieve it and I was right.

This ended up being a rather tricky story for me.  I liked it and even enjoyed it for the most part, but there were also a couple issues for me.  While I loved this pair together, I felt that the story was padded out by the sex scenes and monologues on the part of both men repeating the same thoughts.  It was already a story without a lot of elements and had simple connections between a limited cast of characters so it bogged down for me a bit in the middle as it went back over the same ground.

Then, there is a point where Sean is pushed too hard and he breaks.  He goes on a diatribe to his dad that would make a fifteen year old sit up and take notes for future reference.  It wouldn’t have been so bad, but it’s paired with a mental diatribe, too.  The result is that it altered how I perceived him as an adult character or should I say, I struggled to see him as an adult after that.   So, to be clear, it wasn’t his feelings or the situation, but just something about his monologue and the additional rant that took me there.

This leads me to pull a one eighty and say that the author addressed some issues that military folk face whether it is their career getting in the way of relationships or military dependents having to sacrifice right along with the one in the service.  I thought this was a good thing to layer with this romance to give it depth.

As always when I pick up an audio book narrated by Nick J. Russo, I easily engaged with the story and his storytelling.  His alternate voices and those of the surrounding cast of characters, attention to emotion, and tone of the writing was spot on.

All in all, I enjoyed this story with a few minor niggles.  The author’s attention to setting, situation, and chemistry was good stuff.  I would recommend this for those who enjoy a gently paced, spicy m/m Contemporary Romance.

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


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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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4 years ago

YIKES! I’m always drawn to military characters, and enjoy seeing their strengths and weaknesses. Sadly, it’s still the pits that gay relationships are still frowned on within the ranks which is ridiculous, but I would have a hard time getting past the weakness of a man not being mature. That could be one of the reasons I don’t normally read YA more than I do. Your review is really good though and depicts the gist of the story well. Happy Saturday!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  RO

Me, too, Ro! I love reading about military characters. This one wasn’t so much about them being gay as that Paul was Sean’s dad’s commander. That was a different issue for sure. Paul did have to deal with it during DADT of course.
Yeah, the rants did remind me of why I struggle with younger characters. But over all it was a good story. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
4 years ago

Sounds good with the exception of the acting like a youngster or thinking like one. I don’t mind a bit of a rant but I don’t really like overly long ones.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

I did enjoy it and it was an interesting situation. Yeah, it was a really long rant and I was just way over it by the time he finally ran down.

Alyssa Susanna
4 years ago

This one is new to me! I like the cover, and I adore romances involving military personnel. This sounds so interesting though, since the US military is not very open to gay relationships (though perhaps now more so than in the past?). I’m glad you enjoyed this book overall, Sophia!

Have a wonderful weekend. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

I missed this series when it came out in ebook, but caught this one on audio. I was glad to get it. It’s a nice states’ side story that’s really grasped what it was like on the personal side for the military people. Yeah, I think it’s still not easy, but not quite as bad as a decade ago.

Thanks, Alyssa! Enjoy your weekend, too.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

I’m glad to see that even with the niggles you had a good time with them. I do struggle with characters like that sometimes. Or rather some of their actions that just have me seeing them different. I’ll have to check out the narrator 🙂

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

I do like her stories even if I had an issue near the end like that. It is tough when I get a wild hair about a character.

Yes, I don’t know if he’s done any non-m/m, but I do love Russo’s work.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

Yeah, some books aren’t for everyone, for sure, Geybie.

Thanks for visiting! 🙂

Melanie Simmons
4 years ago

L.A. Witt is an author that I want to try. I haven’t tried Nick J. Russo. Sounds like I need to get him in my queue.

Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

Yes on both counts, Melanie! 🙂 My favorite Nick Russo is one he does of Amy Lane’s Christmas Kitsch, but he narrates a ton of Riptide books and he’s been a great match for all the ones I’ve listened to.

AngieElle @ Ba_BAMB
4 years ago

I’ve only read two books by this author, but I didn’t enjoy either of them. One of them was a DNF for me. I don’t think I’d care for this one, either. I did request Back Piece, so we’ll see how that one pans out. I’m hoping to find something I like since so many people seem to enjoy this author.

Great review! 🙂

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

Her older books appealed to me, but this one was only so-so. Hopefully you’ll have better luck with Back Piece.

thanks, Angie!