#Review #NewRelease — Off Base (Out of Uniform)#1 by Annabeth Albert + Giveaway
Title: Off Base
Series: Out of Uniform #1
Author: Annabeth Albert
Genre: Military Romance
Length: 304 Pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: January 9, 2017
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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.
Product Link: CARINA PRESS
I thoroughly enjoyed Off Base from start to finish and had no idea it was a spin off to the author’s Gaymers Series, but having read Connection Error with Ryan and Josiah—and having those characters have some page time here—it upped my reading experience to know their history. Annabeth Albert is fast becoming a go-to-author for me with her reality-based themes and slow-burn romances, not to mention she writes really hot and sexy bedroom scenes that are not overly descriptive yet really draw the reader in giving you a personal edge to the characters needs and desires as if you were right there witnessing it firsthand.
Off Base focuses on Zach Nelson, a very closeted Navy Seal, who is surrounded by extremely homophobic bullies and being raised under the same roof as people of this mentality he’s easily intimidated by them and knows the best way to survive is to just keep his mouth shut and do as told.
As a reader, it was really frustrating to see him being subjected to this—day in and day out—with no recourse. I kept saying to myself, he’s young, he’s scared, he’s never had any role models to show him to stand up for himself—and eventually he does develop his backbone and take a stand.
Pike Reynolds is just the opposite and is not afraid to show who he is and even though he’s been burned in the past he really likes Zack and is willing to keep things on the down low for the time being. He’s flirty and fun and likes to push Zach’s boundaries and seeing Zach finally open up and start acknowledging his feelings—not only himself—but to Pike... was exhilarating.
Off Base felt like a true representation of what I imagine it to be behind closed doors "so to speak" in an all male surrounding work zone—with the jabs and jokes and slurs—and it’s a painful reminder of how far we still have to go. Behind closed doors "at home" with Zack and Pike was a much better place to be as it was sweet and sexy with eye roll banter of good intentions and I know I had a huge smile across my face on more than one occasion as I cheered for them making their more permanent decisions for a future—together.
The highlight of the book, for me, was seeing Zach take a stand for his rights in the Navy and the people that came out, and had his back, to support him. I had chill bumps because Zack didn’t know that groups like that even existed—that there may be other gay service men and/or women suffering besides him. He was so brainwashed by his parents—their religion and sheltered home-life—that until he got away from that influence he maybe never would have known. With Pike’s help, he taught him it was okay to be yourself, to love yourself. I absolutely recommend this and there are more in the works with this series and I am delighted about that.