contemporary, erotica, M/M, net-galley arc, Reviews

Review: Watch Point by Cecilia Tan


cover125091-mediumEric Sakai-Johnson joined the Navy SEALs to protect his country and the people he loves. After discharge, he finds himself relegated to protecting big pharma billionaire Aiden Milford from assassination attempts and kidnapping. Until Aiden reneges on a promise, fires Eric, and lets Eric’s mother die with millions of dollars in medical debt.

Now Eric is the kidnapper. Snatching Aiden’s twenty-two-year-old son, Chase, for a multi-million-dollar ransom is the only way to get justice. It’s time for Aiden to learn what it’s like when someone you love is at the mercy of forces beyond your control. Eric has it all planned out. The one thing he didn’t plan for is the intense erotic spark between him and Chase.

Chase has been chafing under his father’s autocratic control. A gay hookup app has been his only ticket to rebellion—to clandestine moments of freedom, excitement, and danger. Now it’s his ticket to a deep connection and amazing sex with his “captor.” On the rocky island where they’re sequestered, Chase finds Eric to be everything he wants in a man: quiet, strong, capable, and honorable . . . until he finds out he’s been captured for real.


*Warning: slight spoilers ahead!*

Cecilia Tan’s Watch Point had me initially hooked by the blurb. I was expecting this forbidden, dark captive romance that rides the edge of dubious consent. Reading other reviews first, I got the sense that this wasn’t what I should expect. I thought that if the fantasy element was there, however, that it would still work for me so I one-clicked hard.

This was a total miss for me, however.

Eric is a SEAL who was screwed over by his past employer, Aiden. To get back at the man, Eric decides to kidnap his son, Chase, and ransom him.

Let’s start with the fact that this story just felt a bit…off from the beginning. Eric and Chase meetup at a hotel to hookup, and that’s basically what it is. It isn’t until later that we even realize they met up to perpetrate a fantasy, and it doesn’t feel like it until 35% of the way through the book.

And when it does come up, it still isn’t quite the book the blurb made it sound like. Sometimes, Eric is the kidnapper, other times he becomes Chase’s Boy Scout leader (?) and still others, he is Chase’s hookup.

My biggest problem, however, and the reason this book totally flopped for me is Eric. He makes these odd comparisons during the strangest moments, drops the ball on Chase’s safety play-wise, and then there’s this one time Eric puts Chase’s skills down and says Chase has no dignity even after Chase gives Eric the trust of submission?!

I’m sorry. What?! That was my reaction to Eric through most of the book. I scratched my head at the conclusions he draws, at his inconsistent actions and reactions, and especially his dialogue and internal thoughts.

I will say some of the scenes were pretty hot, and when the forbidden sequencing does come along? It’s out-of-the-park blazing hot, and I wanted more!. This book—the plotline, the characters, the kink—it lacked adequate direction, however. I really wanted the story to commit to the basis of the story and bring it, fullstop.

Instead, we get this compilation of some kink mixed with Boy Scout training mixed with Chase being an actual captive. I spent much of the book completely baffled by all these things that didn’t mesh.

If you can overlook that this isn’t what you’re led to believe you might give it a try. There is a good plethora of scenes here, and when it’s on it really is on. I just needed more direction to keep the thread of the story alive.

2 stars.

Buy Your Copy:

Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Kobo


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