“Carina Press always promises an HEA in the stories they publish. This one was hard-won. I highly recommend this book and urge you never to give up on Annabeth Albert’s heroes.”—USA TODAY HEA
In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.
Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.
As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.
Don’t miss the Out of Uniform series by Annabeth Albert! Order your copy of Off Base, At Attention, On Point, Wheels Up, Tight Quarters and Rough Terrain today!
This book is approximately 80,000 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
"SQUARED 'scared' AWAY" ... JUST .. A .. Great LOVE Story
Twenty three year old Mark is part of the wedding entourage for his sister - who is getting married to Carl. Carl's younger eighteen year old brother Isaiah has had a crush on Mark since meeting him earlier at their family gatherings. During the afternoon wedding reception, Isaiah makes his move, to have a more intimate moment to spend a quiet "getting to know you" session with Mark. In the garden, Mark, who only knows how to lead, teaches Isaiah how to dance a waltz. Hands ON, together, radiating their inner body desire tensions only intensifies when Mark rejects Isaiah's suggestion of going to Mark's hotel room. Six years later, what happens in this beautiful romance and love story is related in a surprising scenario of events, relationship growth, trust and devotion! Until FUBAR - A!! How will The Wizard fix it?
This was a very emotional story for me; I loved it.
I'm not sure what else I can say about Annabeth Albert's Out of Uniform series that hasn't already been said. It's a fantastic series and most of the books have been very emotional reads for me.
Squared Away features Mark who's confused about his sexuality, specifically his lack of sexual desire; he's never felt sexual desire for anyone, male or female. He's read up on asexuality but he's not really sure where he fits in the spectrum and he hates labels. Isaiah is gay and out. Six years ago, he made a pass at Mark and there was a spark, but Mark wouldn't act on it because Isaiah was only 18. A horrible tragedy brings these two back together again and memories of all the unresolved feelings they both had come flooding back.
Man, this book really got to me. Both Mark and Isaiah want to take care of the children left behind when Mark's sister and her husband (Isaiah's cousin) died. Isaiah is close to the three kids but Mark is a SEAL, and frequently deployed, so he hasn't spent much time around them. They both want what is best for the children but they are at odds as to what that really is.
While they are waiting for the courts to make a decision about custody of the children Mark and Isaiah grow closer. Isaiah is no longer the randy teenager he once was but he has trouble getting Mark to believe that. After Isaiah learns of Mark's fears about his lack of sexual desire he is quick to reassure him that he is content to take things as slow as Mark wants. He has to work hard to convince Mark that there are many different ways to make each other feel good and that he loves just making out with him.
It takes a lot of groveling on Mark's part to get Isaiah to give him another chance after he screws things up but Annabeth Albert always delivers an HEA, no matter how hard it might be for her guys to get there.
I am so happy that there will be more stories in this series.
BTW - each book in this series can easily be read as a standalone story.
A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.
***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions***
Might be my new favorite of the series
All of the books in the Out of Uniform series are good, although really you can say that about all of AA’s books, some are great but then some, like Squared Away, reach a whole new level of amazing.
This is an angsty, character driven plot, where all of the story and conflict is about the main characters and the situation they’ve been thrust into. Without giving anything away it’s just a very emotional journey through difficult personal hardships, and learning about themselves. I love Mark, what he comes to realize about himself touched me in a deeply personal way and him growing as a person. I love Isaiah even more for how he accepted Mark and they overcame the conflicts.
Due to Mark’s revelation the heat level on this is lower than your typical AA book, but accurate. But oh the romance, I’m not sure I’ve read such a romantic book recently. It’s very focused on their connection , and you can feel it jumping off the page.
It’s probably not perfect, I can see where some things might not work for other readers, but it was so perfect for me. I highly recommend this whole series.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader’s copy.