Monday, January 9, 2017

Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Title: Off Base
Author: Annabeth Albert
My Rating: A

Genre: Military Romance (m/m)
Series: Out of Uniform #1
Main Characters: Zack and Pike
Release Date: January 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike's flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike's arrival would spark from Zack's teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can't refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won't be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He's an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he's had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can't risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack's restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn't know how to be the man Pike deserves.

My Review:
This story was fantastic...and it all centers around Zack. Zack has just finished qualifying for the SEALS, but Zack has things he's hiding...secret cravings that he denies even to himself. When he goes celebrating out with his friends, it's Pike who picks up on the signals he's sending and sees that there's much more to Zack.

In the meantime, Zack is dealing with harassment from his SEAL time, requiring him to be even more vigilant than ever to keep "that part" of him hidden. But then in a twist of fate, Pike ends up living with Zack at the house he's renovating for free rent. And you can see where the story might go from there. 

My heart hurts for Zack. With his upbringing, he can hardly even consider accepting his being gay. Until he's come to California, he's never really known another gay person. He hasn't even come out to anyone and already he's being tormented for being gay.

The other side of it all is Pike. He's been out of the closet his whole life. While he understands that what Zack's going through is difficult, he still isn't willing to be the man's experiment that will get shoved into the closet at the slightest question. Been there, done that, not doing it again. But even with all that, I loved Pike for how patient he is with Zack. He sees Zack's confusion and can't help but want to help, even if he knows he's going to get hurt. 

I love the circle of friends that develops around Zack. It sets up for some amazing books to come. The story and the romance worked. At moments, my heart broke for both these guys, but their romantic story was so good. I liked the slow burn that developed and evolved. While it seems to take them forever to work it all out, once they do, it's gorgeous! 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I anxiously await more in the series. This book is the first in the series, but comes from the Gaymers series, which I also love. I am ready for more...

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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