ARC Review by Jude: At Attention by Annabeth Albert
Book #2 in the Out of Uniform Series.
Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.
It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.
Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.
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Jude also reviewed of Off Base
*This book was provided via Netgalley in return for an honest review*
I really enjoyed this installment of the Out of Uniform Series. I’m not always a fan of books with characters who have children — mostly because kids are often written as caricatures. Alberts did a great job — not only with Sophia and Chloe, Apollo’s children, but with the way both Apollo and Dylan interacted with the kids.
Both Dylan’s confidence and competence stole my heart. There’s a special sort of person in this world who can work with 5 year old children, well and willingly, and Dylan is that all and more. I appreciate that for all that he is amazing with the girls, he has moments when he gets frazzled (though really not often in the book). Dylan seems so human to me. His willingness to put himself out there for Apollo, even knowing he might get hurt was hard to read, if only because as a reader we could see Apollo’s struggle so clearly. Dylan’s stand at the end of the book made me want to cheer — because he had so much self-respect, tempered with love, and his unwillingness to compromise the first OR give up on the second made me so proud.
Apollo was lovely and frustrating. The weight of his grief and then later guilt over the relationship he’s building with Dylan is crushing; his capacity for deep love might be — something he tries to hold back in regards to Dylan — is evident in his relationship and care for his girls, as well as the love he shared with his late husband Neal. His internal dialogue, a mix of falling in love, wonder, guilt and denial was at times frustrating, because as readers we could so clearly see how perfect he and Dylan could be together. Apollo’s loss is very real, and I appreciated that it wasn’t glossed over, that the author didn’t make it a cheap plot device for him to “get over” quick and easy once he fell in love with someone else.
The pacing of the book became a tiny bit slow in the latter third — perhaps because Apollo becomes so stuck in his head it feels like we’ve read the same thoughts over and over again? Really, the reason this book lost a star was because there was something that felt missing at times, particularly in the sex scenes. They were very hot (particularly one… mmmm), but occasionally felt rote. The writing didn’t draw me in and it felt mechanical in a few scenes.
The characterization was done so well and the love story really grabbed me. I definitely recommend this book, and am very excited to read the third book in the Out of Uniform series.
Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Carina Press Review Tag: Age-Gap Tag: Military / Uniform Annabeth Albert At Attention Out of Uniform series
Jude Sierra View All →
Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother who began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”. Jude began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007.
Jude is currently working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for Queer Books Unbound. Her novels include Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary queer romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. Her most recent novel A Tiny Piece of Something Greater was released in May of 2018. Shadows you Left, a co-written novel with Taylor Brooke will arrive spring of 2019 from Entangled Press.
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