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.
Book One of the Out of Uniform series
This book is approximately 73,000 words
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!
Customer ReviewsSee All
I really enjoyed this. I’ll definitely continue the series.
Off Base is On Target!
> > Judging a Book by it's Cover < <
Two shirtless men, military man embraced from behind. Strong fonts. Rather sedate and drab in color, with white text. The eye could potentially sweep past this one if not specifically looking for it. Synopsis sounded really good and left me interested.
> > Looking Deeper < <
** NOTE ** This is a spinoff of Annabeth Albert's #gaymers series book #3, CONNECTION ERROR, featuring Ryan (a former SEAL, whom is also one Zack's best friends) and Josiah (video game programmer and one of Pike's best friends). I did NOT read this book prior to OFF BASE, and though I felt I missed a bit by not knowing the moderate secondary characters, it was not too difficult to read as a true stand-alone.
A virgin SEAL? Anything's possible when you're so deep in the closet you half-expect to find Narnia. Zack's trying to be better than his screw-up of a big brother by being the perfect son, sibling, SEAL. But in doing so, he's missing a crucial part of himself. And eventually, loneliness, fear, and isolation could lead to deadly consequences.
Flirt. Flighty. Immature. Labels Pike is tired of having. He wants something real, something substantial, something solid... and he wants it with the one guy he's not even sure is gay, bi or what! Unsure if he's able to even go down that road again after his last "gay, but not gay" boyfriend publicly humiliated him by refusing to come out, he tries to fight the attraction. Seeing past Zack's defenses, he's willing to give the big, sincere guy a chance though.
SECONDARY CHARACTERS: 4.25
Old friends, SEAL team, college colleagues and students, family, Gizmo and Tangerine, and a few more. Not overwhelming in numbers, but enough to provide a deeper, fuller plot. Most of them are tolerant and enjoyable, some are extreme and righteous. A good blend of characters.
CHEMISTRY / COMPATIBILITY: 4.5
There was always an underlying current between Zack and Pike. It was magnetic. Something you knew would burn bright and hot if fed properly. The buildup was wonderful and quite enjoyable. Pike's subtle nudges (and not so subtle shoves) were as entertaining as Zack's eagerness to be the best, to excel in all things. Things were not perfect, but they were right for each other.
DIALOGUE AND INTERACTION: 4.5
Dialogue was always natural and fit the situation. Interactions were believable, even if not always favorable.
PLOT AND FLOW: 4.5
Plot was dynamic, had dimension and depth to the story as well as characters. Writing was smooth. Timetime flowed easily.
CONFLICTS AND RESOLUTION: 4.5
The conflicts that Zack and Pike had faced throughout the book were all either resolved or addressed as works-in-progress. Perhaps we may catch glimpses of them as well as more from Ryan and Josiah in AT ATTENTION, due out April 2017.
I was unable to predict any of the key points that occurred, and only experienced some minor points of predictability. No big surprises or plot twists were present.
Solid and satisfying implied HEA in a short flash forward style ending.
Overall, I enjoyed Zack and Pike's story, but wish I'd known beforehand that it was tied to Connection Error so I could read it first. Although Josiah and Ryan and not intregral to this plot, they are important to the main characters. That said, I am looking forward to continuing the series. The Lt. has me curiosity piqued!
Rating: [R] ~ Score: 44.5 ~ Stars: 4 (4.5, if I could award 1/2 stars)
⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐
Deeds OFF base while an "On Base" Seal - shielding his secret
A real Navy Virgin - 'closeted' - DADT - bridled in protecting, shielding his secret, Zack, a six foot three inch tall "Muscles" Nelson moves from his ON BASE barracks to the Chief's newly purchased San Diego fixer-UPer house exchanging his OFF BASE hours living in the newly purchased home for his labor in repairing, renovating his Navy Chief's real estate fix-UPer venture. Zack's chance meeting while on a weekend pass results with an encounter with twenty three year old curly red head of hair - PIKE, a cute, five foot eight tall charming bundle of dancing witty fun, who is also a game/app-Internet-programming-wizard -- leaving Zack unprepared when his chance encounter date with Pike, now needs a living space when he is offered a college teaching position in San Diego! Consequences spin into a pure enchanting passionate romance splitting apart in denial - breaking their friendship apart. How is Zack going to solve his mistake, and bring Pike back into his loving embrace?