Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Off Base
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #1
Heroes: Zack Nelson/Pike Reynolds
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 304 Pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: January 19, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: This is a spinoff of the Gaymers series, which I have not read, so I hadn’t met Zack before. This can definitely be read on its own though, in my opinion.
Zach has some major issues. First, he is in extreme denial about his sexuality. That is exacerbated by the facts that his family is extremely religious and is constantly harping on him to be the “perfect” son, as well as the blatant homophobia spewed by some of his fellow SEAL team members. Rather than stand up to either, he has tried to keep himself deep in the back of the closet. He manages to gain a little distance by moving off base where his superior has offered him housing in exchange for fixing up the place.
Then there is Pike, who is definitely living life outside of said closet. A few circumstances and a favor later, Pike moves in to help with the renovations while he works a part-time teaching job. Pike won’t hide who he is, but he is pretty respectful of Zach’s wishes. The last thing he wants is to be hurt by another straight curious guy. And, it doesn’t take long before Zach’s curiosity takes over. Against his better judgment, Pike decides to take Zach up on his offer of roommates with benefits only in the privacy of their home. It is pretty easy to see what’s coming with these two, but it was a very enjoyable ride nonetheless.
I was pulled right into this story early on, and really enjoyed watching Zach blossom under Pike’s tutelage. It was easy to see the struggle Zach was facing, even though I just wanted him to stand up for himself long before he ever did. But, he came through in time, and it was easy to see how perfect these guys were for each other.
So, I really enjoyed this series starter and am eager to read the next installment about the big, bad, out and proud widower, Appollo, the man who gave Zach the confidence and support he needed to move forward and be happy.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I purchased my own copy of this book for this review.*