Afraid to Fly, by L.A. Witt
Series: Anchor Point, Book 2
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 16, 2016
Rating: DNF at 79%
Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.
Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.
Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.
It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.
This is my first DNF for the blog. If you’re familiar with my reviews, you’ll know that I will finish a book no matter how much I struggle or how long it takes. But after 79%(!) of Afraid To Fly, I had to call it quits.
The book is written in dual first person POV, and right from the beginning I was struck by how long-winded and repetitive both sides of the narratives were. This included internal ramblings and miscellaneous observations, and it gave me the impression that I was reading an unedited draft rather than an ARC for review. What was puzzling at first quickly became frustrating, especially the more I read.
I think the dual first person POVs also made it difficult for me to differentiate between the two MCs. Travis and Clint are both in their 40s, bisexual, divorced with kids, work in the same office and they both suffer from PTSD. For the longest time, the only way I could tell these two characters apart was because Travis had chronic back pain and he had a grown daughter living with him. It took me a really long time to start getting a handle on these characters, but even then I’d still have to go back and check whose name was at the beginning of the chapter because their internal monologue were so similar to each other.
Speaking of which, I thought that Travis’ disability and the PTSD suffered by both men were well-represented and portrayed realistically. The author really drove home the point that these are things that the two MCs will be dealing with for the rest of their lives. However, once again because of the internal ramblings and the repetitiveness, I actually started getting desensitized to their issues and caught myself thinking, Yes, fine, I get I – Can something please happen already?
Basically, I spent three quarters of the book waiting for something major to happen. Clint, who for years had been carrying a terrible secret relating to a highly classified mission, finally decides to open up to Travis. Now keep in mind, this is the same mission that’s the cause of Clint’s PTSD, the same one that he’d been barred from discussing with anyone, even to seek therapy, the one that sent his life on a downward spiral. The way this crucial moment played out was the absolute last straw for me, and I finally conceded that I’d seen enough.
Having enjoyed the author’s writing in the past including her military romances, I was expecting a well-written and compelling read. Sadly, this was not the case for Afraid to Fly. However, thanks to the many positive reviews I’ve read for Just Drive (the first book in this series), I might consider trying that instead.
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.
You can find out more at her http://www.gallagherwitt.com/
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.