Just Drive

Just Drive - L.A. Witt Review originally posted at Sinfully.

This is the first in a new series from L.A. Witt taking place in and around a naval base in Oregon and it’s a great start. A sexy and sweet romance between 42 year old career Navy Captain Paul Richards and early-twenties college student/cab driver and Navy brat Sean Wright. The last few books I’ve read by L.A. Witt were pretty angst filled so I was glad to have something less dramatic that still had me fully invested in figuring out how these men would make it to a HEA.

The two men meet just moments after Paul and his boyfriend have broken up, when Sean picks him up on a call for a car. After being told to “just drive” the two get to talking, then eyeing each other in that way, then they really get down to business in the backseat of Sean’s car. What starts out as some hot hookups becomes more as they realize they enjoy each other’s company, regardless of Paul’s concerns about their age gap. The problem is all their time is spent in motel rooms in an effort to avoid the rumor mill. That really turns out to be the least of their problems when they discover that Paul is actually Sean’s father’s commanding officer. They are devastated by the realization that they will have to end their relationship. As pained as they both are, they realize what needs to be done and try to be very adult and responsible about it even though it hurts and even through some backsliding, but eventually things must come to an end.

It’s at this point that Sean comes to his breaking point and realizes how much his father’s career has cost him over his life. He’s not angry at his father and knows his father loves him, but he is hurt and resentful to realize that it will always be the Navy first, everyone else second. It’s the same with Paul who is trying to work his way up to admiral. The obstacle they face is very real and seems insurmountable but, again, it’s not overly dramatic but definitely emotional. My heart broke for Sean at that point when he feels as if he is left with only one option and it’s not something he feels good about.

I love age-gap stories and even though there is a gap of around 20 years, that wasn’t a big factor in the story to me, probably because Sean is so mature and rational about things. Paul is concerned about dating someone half his age, but his friend and co-worker Travis sets him straight. There are times where it’s Paul who seems like a horny, reckless kid and Sean is the voice of reason (not that Sean isn’t just as into it as Paul; they really heat the plentiful sex scenes up). Regardless, I loved how these two just couldn’t get enough of each other. They just pine so beautifully when they don’t see each other for a few days and it makes their ultimate breakup that much more difficult for both them and the reader.

Consequences become a big issue in the story. Not just the consequences Paul would face if he’s found carrying on with their relationship, but the consequences of his past decisions and the decisions a father makes in what seems to be the best interest of his family. Sean’s not the only one who realizes that everything has a price and even things that are completely out of his control or interest have a huge effect on his life.

Written with alternating chapters from Sean and Paul’s POV we really know what they are thinking, but I would have liked to have learned a bit more about Sean’s life outside of Paul and his driving and seen them interact more outside of their clandestine meetings. Luckily the Epilogue was great and provided me enough of a peek into their lives to know that they were right about how good they could be together. I’m looking forward to picking up Travis’ book next.