Once Burned by L.A. Witt
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Captain Mark Thomas’s world has been tossed on its head: A long overdue but still unexpected divorce. A promotion out of left field. Last-second orders to a ship where careers go to die. As the dust settles in his new home, he barely recognizes his life, but he sure recognizes the loneliness creeping in.
Diego Ramírez wants nothing to do with the military or its men. Not after the Navy burned him both literally and figuratively, costing him his career, his health, and ultimately his green card. Now working illegally in an Anchor Point bar, he keeps the military and its personnel at arm’s length.
But after a single moment of eye contact across the bar, Mark and Diego can’t resist each other. As a one-night stand quickly turns into more, Diego knows he’s playing with fire. Now he can stick around and let things with Mark inevitably fall apart, or he can run like hell and wonder what might have been. One way or another, Diego knows he’s about to get burned. Again.
Review: Once Burned is the 6th book in the Anchor Point series, and these are still some of my favorite books. Each book is its own stand-alone, but if you want to read them in order, previous couples/characters do continuously show up throughout the series. For example, in Once Burned, Diego’s best friend is Dalton, whose book was the 5th in the series, Going Overboard. If you remember my review for Going Overboard, I mentioned that I wished I had more of the actual relationship in the book, and I definitely got that with Once Burned. Diego is wary to get involved with an Navy guy, because he used to be in the Navy and now he has no green card and could easily get deported back to Mexico. So he tries to keep his head down, working in a bar under the table, and not hooking up with Navy guys. Until Mark enters the bar and he breaks his rule for one night…that turns into many more.Once Burned by L.A. Witt - #bookreview on the blog today! #bookbloggers Click To Tweet
I admired Diego a lot for everything he had dealt with after having served the U.S. in the Navy for years and even being injured. I didn’t realize that people in the military who didn’t have citizenship or lost their green card could be deported. That’s seriously messed up – to have someone fight for your country and then kick them out. I love that “50% of the author’s royalties from this book will be donated to charities supporting US military veterans who have been deported or are at risk of deportation” so I’d definitely purchase this book if you love the series or are at all interested in reading them! It helps a great cause.
Anyway, back to the book. Diego has already been through a lot, but as he starts to fall for Mark, he does decide to give it a chance to see if he can make things work, despite Mark being in the Navy. As for Mark, he’s just out of a divorce and excited to be with someone he really connects with, but at the same time, he does understand where Diego is coming from and he wishes things could be different. He knows that Diego might leave him at any moment, but he still holds on and hopes that they can make it work too.
I thought this book was really well done and focused on a topic about the military that I didn’t even realize was an issue, and I’m sure many others didn’t either!