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Off Base: A Bestselling Male/Male Military Romance (Out of Uniform) Mass Market Paperback – January 9, 2017
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About the Author
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out more visit annabethalbert.com.
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--What's Going On--
Navy SEAL Zack Nelson needs a roommate with renovation experience who can help him work on his rental house. But the last person he was expecting was Pike Reynolds, who threatens all of his carefully balanced lies and half truths about himself.
--What are the Issues--
Zack has been lying to himself for a long time about being gay. Zac comes from a very conservative, religious family and has an older brother who used to bully him for being weaker and he knows they'll never accept who he really is. On top of that he doesn't know what will happen with his new SEAL team if they find out. Pike once fell in love with someone in denial about their sexual orientation and he has no desire to repeat that heartbreak with Zack.
--What I Liked--
Wow! I think this is probably my favorite book by Annabeth Albert; this one really blew me out of the water and I loved it so much! I don't even know where to start with all the things I liked so I'll start with Zack and Pike since Albert's books are always very heavily character driven. I am completely in love with both of these characters! I loved how they were individually and I especially loved how they were together. Initially, I thought that Pike was going to come across as a little immature but he was in fact the complete opposite and I thought he was a perfect match to help Zack figure out who he really was. Pike was fun and silly, so he could keep things lighthearted but he also knew when to be serious. I really liked that even though Pike had been down this route before and worried that Zack would end up like his ex, he was still incredibly patient with Zack and genuinely cared for him. I was also a bit worried I wouldn't like Zack as much for so strongly denying who he was but Albert does such an amazing job of making you feel and understand what Zack is going through. You can't help but just want to give him a hug and do anything you can to make his life easier. I especially like that when things got intimate, it was Zack who made the first move. He was so self-conscious about his feelings that I don't think it would have worked very well if Pike had been the one to make a move first but instead it was Zack taking control of his life. And even though it took Zack a long time to be comfortable with his sexuality in public, I loved that he fully embraced what they had when they were together in the privacy of their house.
Gay military soldiers was an interesting choice by Albert and I think she did a fantastic job of integrating it into the story. In particular, I thought it was really unique that we had a Navy SEAL who was new to the teams and still going through training. That was different than most Navy SEAL books with the super alpha male who's been doing it for a long time and is jaded and tough. So I liked that this one was different with Zack still trying to fit in with his team and figure things out. His vulnerability really made you empathize with his character. I was also excited to see Ryan and Josiah from Connection Error made a lot of appearances in this book. Ryan is one of my favorite characters from the #gaymers series so it was nice to see more of him and he was a really great friend for Zack to have. And I certainly can't wait for the next book At Attention after we got introduced to Apollo. I am beyond excited because Albert made a wonderful introduction to Apollo and I cannot wait to read about his character. She did an amazing setup for him and Apollo just jumped off the pages, so I can't wait to read his story!
--What I Would Have Liked--
I'm having a hard time thinking of anything that I would want to change in this book because it really works on all levels for me. Out of personal interest, I wouldn't have minded seeing some more of the #gaymers characters like Triston from Beta Test because he was also one of my favorite characters but not being military I understand he didn't fit quite as well into the story since he wasn't friends with Zack or Pike to begin with.
Zack needs to live off-base to avoid harassment from one of the Seals on his team who is harassing him. His chief offers him a great opportunity to live rent free in a fixer upper that he bought as long as he does the home repairs. Unfortunately, Zack’s best talent is using YouTube as his ‘fixer upper resource’. Pike also needs a place to live as he is starting a new visiting professor term at the University and Pike has skills. This is bad. Very bad.
Or good…very, very good.