Maddox didn’t just give him the courage to be strong — he gave him the space to be vulnerable.
I always love Annabeth Albert’s writing and this was no exception. She has such a talent for writing a story that just sucks you in and keeps you going until you finish because you’re desperate to know what will happen in the characters’ relationship. Albert writes some of the best truly character driven romance I’ve read in a long time.
I was really excited for this one because I love friends-to-lovers books and I was intrigued by the book blurb’s reference to the characters being stranded on a mission waiting for rescue — cue the action sequence! For the most part, Albert delivered on my excitement. There were a lot of flashback scenes in the beginning of the book as they both remember points in their friendship and there were also flashbacks to several months prior when things got, shall we say awkward between Maddox and Ben. I’m not a fan of threesomes, they’re just not my thing, I’m selfish and don’t want to share my partner with anyone. However, that’s not the case for Ben and he tempts Maddox into a threesome that is fully described in a flashback; it just wasn’t my thing. Once these two are together, though, there were no threesomes and they were strictly monogamous. I didn’t mind the flashbacks though I was glad they were only in the beginning of the book because once these two were together, I didn’t want to go back, I only wanted to go forward.
The romance was really sweet and these two truly knew how to turn up the heat. Ben was a great character but he is certainly more cynical about love and relationships and he’s much more focused on just the military. Sometimes I felt like Ben wasn’t as complexly written because his focus was so narrow, but overall you can see the depth of his character through his actions and his equal dedication to Maddox. I loved Maddox because he was so complex and really fleshed out as a character. He might be a SEAL but he also loves to cook, has dreams of things outside the military, and he’s dedicated to taking care of Ben.
I liked that Ben was the one who approached a relationship first because it made more sense that someone generally against relationships would have to really want it in order to start something. Ben’s commitment to dating was a bit of a turn around for his character but I think in his mind he had this goal, to keep Maddox in his life and make him happy, and he just pushed through to his goal. Plus, I imagine having a near death experience for yourself and your best friend can really change your perspective on life and make you reassess things. Ben and Maddox were both great and were so devoted to each other and each put so much emphasis on making the other person happy.
Content Note: m/m/m scene
••• Book Details •••
Out of Uniform #3 • Romance, LGBTQ+, Contemporary • Carina Press • June 5, 2017
Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.
Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.
Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.
Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.