Melissa reviews Off Base (Out of Uniform #1) by Annabeth Albert Published January 9th 2017 by Carina Press, 304 pages.
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.
I was provided an ebook copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, however my library had an audio copy and this is the version I “read.” My review is still honest. 😉
Why I read this book: Because I kept hearing about this book I had to know what all the fuss was about.
Wow, just WOW. This was an amazing book and I was so very satisfied with how everything played out. Note: While some say this book can be read as a standalone, the #gaymers series (Status Update; Beta Test; Connection Error) is very closely tied into this series. I’ve not read the #gaymers series, but I am going to jump right into those, because THIS book was that great. Since I haven’t read the #gaymers series, when Off Base started I did feel a little lost as it seemed I was just thrown into a situation and characters with no background, HOWEVER, that didn’t last long as I was able to learn about Zack and Pike. This CAN be read as a standalone, but you will be oh so much happier I think if you read the #gaymers series too, not necessarily first.
Zack and Pike know each other before Off Base starts, and it’s more than obvious Pike doubts that Zack is as straight as he claims. And he’s right; Zack is a Navy Seal and his parents are ultra conservative – he knows what could happen if he comes out as gay – to his family and with his Seal team. But when a teammate starts to blackmail Zack about being gay, Zack decides to move off base and lands in a fixer upper. The condition of him staying in the fixer upper for free is that he do the work for the owner. Just one problem: Zack is DIY illiterate and knows he’s in over his head.
When Pike lands a job at the college near Zack, he has trouble finding a place to live with his two cats. Pike knows all about DIY and Zack lets him stay with him so he can help around the house. The tension between these two is more than obvious and Zack has been pushing his sexuality down, down, down, and one night, he stops fighting. But that doesn’t make things any easier for Zack. Pike is a great guy and Zack doesn’t want to hurt him, but he just can’t come out of the closet either. He knows the trouble his blackmailing team mate can cause and so he keeps Pike a secret, and suffers in silence.
Pike is understanding about Zack not coming out and this is the great part, I think. So many times I read a book where an MC isn’t out yet, and their partner is all, “okay, I’ll wait,” but then turns right around and is like, “are you ever coming out?” It’s been two minutes (slight exaggeration but you get the point) and clearly that was too long of a wait for them. All that drama is too much for me and I want to slap the impatient, insensitive asshole. But Pike isn’t like that. When he says he’ll wait, he means it. I thought this was wonderful. Someone shouldn’t feel pressured to come out before they are ready; that leads to resentment I think and I can’t see a relationship like that lasting. It takes caring and understanding and patience on both parties part for it all to work. And Pike and Zack handle this brilliantly. I’m not saying it was easy – it most certainly wasn’t, and Pike has doubts and fears and does question Zack about coming out, but he doesn’t push Zach. They are a sweet couple to watch and the sex scenes, whoa!!! Totally hot and so, so perfect. They are a great couple and get each other, you know? They like the other person for all their faults and quirks.
I am completely 100% looking forward to the next book in this series At Attention, and you can bet I am checking out the #gaymers series too. Annabeth Albert is going to be a must read author of mine, I can tell. 🙂
Highly recommend this book and I can only assume the #gaymers series is just as awesome and will say read those too even though I haven’t yet.
The narration was very well done and Tyler Stevens voice for Pike made me laugh sometimes as it was just adorbs! 🙂 I look forward to Tyler’s narrations in the future.
10 well deserved pots (especially for NOT creating drama in stupid places). 😀
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.