Off Base (Out of Uniform) - Annabeth Albert
OFF BASE is the latest book by Annabeth Albert and it was just amazing. I really can't say more than that, but the characters, the story, the romance...it was all just perfection. Annabeth Albert has the uncanny way of making the characters so real to me and in such a a way that had me so invested in the story.
Zack and Pike are characters that we have met before. If you've read Connection Error, book 3 in the #gaymers series by the same author, you will remember Zack as the young soldier that Ryan roomed with while in the military hospital. Now that young man has just completed his SEAL tryout and is settling down in San Diego, but life isn't so great. He has to move off base to get away from the harassment that he's been dealing with from his teammates. Now he's ready for peace and quiet. But life has got other plans.
Pike considers himself to be an "acquired taste", but he is desperate need of a place to stay. So if he has to keep his flirting with oh so straight Zack in line so that he will be able to get his life together, then so be it.
But there has always been some part of Pike that suspects that there more to Zack--some part of him that he's not sharing. And Pike wants to uncover it. After spending time together, it's clear that the two have more in common than just an address. However, Zack isn't ready to share that part of his life. So, the question is will Pike be willing to wait or will Zack possibly miss out the best thing in his life?
I just adored this story. Pike and Zack were some fantastic characters. They both had their flaws, but they also showed an incredible amount of growth during the course of the story. I really felt for Zack. He was in such a difficult situation with his work, his family, and even himself. I was glad to see that finally did something for himself that made him happy.
Call me cynical, but I am not sure if Zack's coming out to his unit would have been so seamless. Maybe things have gotten better. I loved though that there were people who were willing to stand up for him. I love how the story dealt with changes in the military since DADT has been repealed. I just hope that having that kind of support for our LGBTQ military is more fact than fiction.
These two were very hot together, I must say. That first sex scene with them was smokin' and it only got better from there. I loved how even that part of their relationship grew as the story progressed. It wasn't all over in one night. It made the story more realistic. I wasn't surprised though because I thoroughly enjoyed everything I've read by this author.
OFF BASE is the first in the Out of Uniform Series, and what thrills me about this the most is the fact that there is going to be more stories coming out of this world. I'm just wondering who is going to be next. Is it going to be the Lieutenant who's husband died? I really liked that character, so I'm hoping for that. Either way, I'll be there ready to read what this author will come up with.
So, OFF BASE was a huge hit for me. From word one, I seemed to be hooked. And the story didn't let me out of it's grip until I was at the end. After reading this book, I think that Annabeth Albert will be an autobuy author for me. She knows how to write characters that speak to me. I love what she does and will be looking forward to see what it is she comes up with next.
*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*