ARC Review: On Point (Annabeth Albert)

Maddox and Ben have been best friends ever since they were still in SEAL training. While they always have each other’s back, personality wise especially when dealing with love and relationship cannot be more different.

Maddox is a great sniper, but his passion is not the military. He loves baking, he wants to open a bakery, he strives in church activities. Basically, Maddox wants a life outside of the military, and he longs for a committed relationship, preferably with Ben, whom Maddox has been nurturing crush over for years.

Ben, on the other hand, avoid love and long-term relationship. It probably stems from the fact that Ben thinks people change their mind and leave — like his mother, like his ex-husband. So Ben embraces one night stands, sex with a lot of people, wild nights … anything but commitment. His only commitment is the military; and Ben thinks Maddox will always be with him in this case.

Until one mission gone awry, they almost die, and Maddox starts thinking of leaving…

—-

I have been wanting to read about best-friends Maddox and Ben so much, especially after getting a glimpse of Maddox’s feeling towards Ben in the previous book, At Attention. What can I say … friends-to-lovers, people! I don’t think I will EVER get tired of this particular trope. It has been one of my favorites since I read romance two decades ago.

It just evoked ALL THE FEELINGS inside me!

I loved all the tension that happened between the two men, how they approached the change from friends to lovers, how Ben trying to keep Maddox from leaving, how Maddox contemplating between wanting to live but at the same time not hurt Ben in process, I loved reading both Maddox and Ben’s perspectives.

I cannot really say much because that will spoil the whole story. Let’s just say that there was progress happening, characters growth, that wasn’t just because of or due to sexy times. THAT I always appreciate so much in romance. I guess it also helped that while Ben leaned a lot to physical sex, Maddox didn’t :). Plus that epilogue was GOLD.

The only reason why I couldn’t rate it a bit higher was because the beginning was a little muddled with flashbacks and military action. But in overall, On Point is probably definitely my favorite of the series so far.

RATING: 4.25 out of 5
4stars

 

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The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:


Title:
 On Point
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out Of Uniform, #3
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 73,000 words
Publisher: Carina Press
Purchase Links: Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
Release Date: June 5, 2017

ARC Review: At Attention (Annabeth Albert)

Lt. Apollo Floros loses his husband four years ago, leaves him a single dad with their two twin daughters to take care of. Dylan is the younger brother of Apollo’s best friend, 10 years Apollo’s junior, who currently needs a place to stay while he works his summer job. Dylan had huge crush for Apollo when he was a teenager … and he definitely still has strong feeling for the older man.

Personally, I think second-chance romance about a widower (or widow, in M/F case) where the first love died can be quite tricky to enjoy. As a reader, I must be convinced that the second love doesn’t simply substitute the first love. But, I don’t want the first love to be a strong shadow that overwhelms the second romance. At the same time, I also don’t want the first love to be easily forgotten to make way for the second love.

Yeah, like I sad, tricky.

Well, I would like to say that, for me, Annabeth Albert’s At Attention delivered. Albert plays the emotion and tension between the two men quite well. I enjoyed Apollo’s hot and cold attitude — yeah, sure, it might be frustrating to read at times, but it was right up my alley and I gobbled it up.

Apollo has a reason for acting like so — the combination of losing his husband and Dylan being younger, and a brother of his best friend for that matter. I will probably not like it as much if Apollo just jump Dylan’s bones from the beginning!! I thought the pace of the relationship was just right. Plus it gives me that somber moment that of course made me cry, of course

Besides Dylan held his own!! He is good with Apollo’s kids, he is quite understanding … and at that final moment, Dylan knows that he cannot force Apollo to deal with his loss. I loved how Dylan told Apollo that he needed grief counselor, that clearly Apollo was not okay. I loved that Dylan stepped back to give Apollo his space. I was proud of Dylan for that because he shows Apollo that he wasn’t that kid with crush anymore. He has grown up and he deserved Apollo’s respect — and if Apollo wants him back, Apollo needs to work for it.

This is another winner from Albert for me. I cannot wait to read book #3 though because FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS! Yay!!

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

11613309

 

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

33280694Title: At Attention
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out Of Uniform, #2
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 73,000 words
Publisher: Carina Press
Purchased Links: Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Books
Release Date: April 10, 2017

ARC Review: Off Base (Annabeth Albert)

I want to know your story. I want to be more than a footnote to this chapter of your life.

 

At any other days, the level of homophobic behavior coming from Zack’s parents and military ‘buddy’ will turn me off faster than a speeding train. I realize that homophobic attitude is real and it’s a present problem, but I also have come to a place in my reading M/M preference that I want to embrace the happiness/positive representation instead. I wonder if the holiday season helps me to enjoy this book better. I usually feel mellow this time of year — and more forgiving.

Because of that, I wasn’t too bothered with the way Zack handled his closeted self, his keeping secret of his sexuality to his parents, and Zack’s inability to stand up to himself against his SEAL buddies when the gay jokes become too much and enter the blackmail/hostile/bullying territory. Yes, I may be frustrated — Zack is a SEAL albeit still in training, he should be a bad ass! — but I was able to understand his choices.

I will stand with my belief that coming out is personal — and not everyone is brave enough to do it with variety of reasons. I should know. I still haven’t come out to my parents in real life about my asexuality; although my sister knows.

I will not scoff Zack for trying to keep his relationship with Pike a secret — even from people who can and will understand. Besides, there are moments where Zack is willing to step up, like accompanying Pike to the campus art gallery show, or when he console Pack at the vet’s office. I couldn’t be too annoyed by his attitudes… heck, even Pike’s cats love him.

Of course there were also times that I thought of Pike being too much of a kindhearted saint for his sake. I loved Pike for understanding of Zack’s fear. I loved Pike for not pushing Zack before his lover was ready. I wanted to hug Pike so badly when he thought that he might not have the future he wanted with Zack, and had his heart broken.

The thing is, when Zack and Pike are together, they are wonderful. I loved when Zack started to open up to Pike. I loved their romantic moments, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, just at the comfort (and safe) of their home. Their moments were sweet and made me very happy.

I thought Albert was able to balance out the bad situation with the support from Zack and Pike’s friends, as well as showing other military characters who are out with their sexuality. I also thought that the focus of Zack when he was off base with Pike helped ease the bitter taste I had to go through whenever I read that SEAL buddy of Zack making his nasty taunts.

In overall, I love this start of Albert’s new series. Cannot wait to read the next book, At Attention coming in April 2017. There is already a lieutenant with a sad story and I want him to have his HEA.

A little trivia, Off Base is a spin-off from Annabeth Albert’s #gaymers series. Both Zack and Pike first appeared in the third book, Connection Error: Zack is Ryan’s roommate and Pike is Josiah’s friend who’s obsessed with military guys. In fact Ryan and Josiah make their appearance here as well (and Ryan have an update on his relationship with Josiah!).

 

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

11613309

 

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:


31950854Title:
 Off Base
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out Of Uniform, #1
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 73,000 words
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 30, 2015