Review: Off Base by Annabeth Albert


Title: Off Base (Out of Uniform #1)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Genre/Themes: MM romance, military, gamers
Release Date: 9 Jan 2017

Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Add on Goodreads

Rating: 4 Stars


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.


This is a spin-off of her Gaymers series but works well on its own, so there is no need to read the other series though they are rather good, especially the last book, and I highly recommend them.

The main set up is in a way similar to that in Connection Error, here we have a military man and a gamer (in this case, gamer--turned-college professor) coming together. The Navy SEAL Zack is a virgin hero, deeply in the closet, not fully out even to himself, while Pike is his opposite - he has never been in the closet and cannot (doesn't even try) to pass as straight. Now, you can imagine the tension arising from these two living under the same roof and dealing with the strong attraction existing between them.

I liked the intensity of the relationship, both their struggles - personal and professional felt real to me. Pike didn't want to start things with someone who was not clear about his own sexuality, while Zack was under a lot of pressure from his family and the military to keep playing the perfect straight boy. At time sit felt like Pike came as a bit too aggressive in his insistence for Zack to come out since this could and in a way, did, put him in real physical in the military. His family were ultra conservative, religious and homophobic and coming out as gay to them went as well (bad) as can be expected.

All this put enormous stress on both Pike and Zack and made it really difficult for them to form a real relationship rather than just being f*ck buddies on the sly. Add to this the professional insecurity and turmoil both faced as two young men trying to fit in the world of grown-up working people after graduation, and things quickly reached a boiling point.

The story creates a strong sense of community and support for Zack and Pike as a couple, which really sends a positive, hopeful message. Zack ended being rejected by his family and it was not an easy thing for him to deal with but he also got the support he needed from the military and his friends (waves to Ryan and Josiah).

I found both main characters to be well developed, full-fledged, which made them so very likable. Their story is the story any two young men trying to build a life of their own - personally and professionally which I can recommend to any fan of good contemporary romance.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images