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.
Did you ever finish a book and think to yourself “Wow, that touched me more than I thought it would”? Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt just did that to me. This book was not overly angst filled. It wasn’t filled with huge catastrophes that the MC’s had to get through in order for them to find their HEA. There were no bad guys getting in the way of the good guys seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
This was, at its core, a story about two men who had some of the darkest things happen to them, and trying to find a way to allow themselves to get past some of the intense pain and guilt and simply love again.
PTSD is no laughing matter, and having two main characters with PTSD brought on by their years in the military really helped open a tightly held door up, at least for this reader. PTSD is quite often portrayed as constant flashbacks, terror at every turn, being unable to hold down a job, and being unable to acclimate to society in general. These characters show you the quieter side (that was the best phrase I could think of) of PTSD. It is something people live their lives with every day. They go to school or work, they cook and clean, they make and keep friends, they fall in and out of love and hopefully find new love. Through all that, they cope in the best way they know, by trying to move forward, while still acknowledging what has molded them into the person they are today. Even down to the sex scenes, the representation of what life would really be like for these men spoke of realism.
I loved Clint and Travis together. They were a mess, to be sure. Even as they fell in love with each other, they couldn’t help but continually doubt themselves, and their ability to keep the other person engaged and excited to be with them. And really, isn’t that life, so often? We have fears, our self-confidence waivers, and we think there’s no way this other perfect person would want to stay with us. And yet, these two do, they find a way-with the help of lots of friends and family-to ignore the internal doubts and continue to forge ahead on their relationship.
These men trusted each other, even when they couldn’t trust themselves. When their own brains, emotions, or bodies said that what they were doing was going to fail, they trusted each other. With PTSD, that can’t be easy, yet Ms. Witt managed to portray the emotions of what was clearly a huge challenge to these men in a raw, honest way that hit you in the gut as you read it, and made you want to the book to be over right now, so they had their HEA, and continue on for pages and pages, so you could see how they would work through it.
Such a wonderful portrayal of two men just trying to make it through each day, and come out a little more happy, a little stronger, and loving one another even more.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
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…
To celebrate the release of Afraid to Fly, one lucky winner will receive $10 in Riptide Publishing credit and two books of choice from L.A. Witt’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!