Happily Ever After Book Nerd Favorite
Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #4
Published: November 6, 2017 by Carina Press
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO-and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semianonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction-they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.
Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.
But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.
With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.
Albert is a master at writing deep and emotional stories and characters that keep you hanging on until the very end. I didn’t want to put this book down for anything and I was completely invested in the story. Both Dustin and Wes are incredible characters and their relationship was the perfect mix of sexy and sweet. They try to stay away from each other but they’re both so compassionate and are always trying to help the other. Everything about this book was perfect and I couldn’t put it down.
This book had a lot of realism included in regards to the military regulations. It made it a lot harder for Wes and Dustin to be together but it also made their moments more poignant. They’re always sure it’s going to be their last time together and that adds a real depth to the interactions. The ending is a bit of a HFN but you know that things are getting better with each day.
“I’m going to wait for you. However long. Until you get out. If you stay in. Until the statute of limitations on the fraternization runs out. Whatever it takes, I’m waiting.”
I loved Dustin’s character and the dichotomy of his tough appearance and his desire to give up control in the bedroom. Dustin has been struggling with how to tell his family and friends about his bisexuality and I found this story line really interesting. At the same time, I liked that Dustin wasn’t afraid to explore his bisexuality though he had a few moments coming to accept his particular kinks. He’s devoted to his SEAL team and a strong leader and no matter what the military says he can’t stay away from Wes. Dustin was especially sweet when it came to lifting Wes’s spirits over his sister.
Wes was also an amazing character. He knows he’s found something special in Dustin but he also doesn’t want to put Dustin’s career in danger. Wes is always putting others before himself and it’s an incredibly endearing character trait. The scenes with his sister are incredibly sweet and I’d love to get Sam’s story one day *fingers crossed, pretty please*. Wes is also incredibly supportive of Dustin and his moments of boosting Dustin’s confidence were great. I would have liked a little more on Wes’s insomnia. Is it just worry over his sister’s heart condition? Stress from his work in the military? Or something else? I’m just crazy curious so I wanted to explore it further.
This might tie with Off Base as my favorite Annabeth Albert book because it was soooo good.
5 stars – loved it!
Out of Uniform reviews
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