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. Albert’s books are always very heavily character driven so I loved Zack and Pike! 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 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 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.
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. I can’t wait for the next book, 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!
Content Note: homophobic language
••• Book Details •••
Out of Uniform #1 • Romance, LGBTQ+, Contemporary • Carina Press • January 9, 2017
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.
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