Monday, June 5, 2017

On Point by Annabeth Albert

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben's still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he's not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4 Miscommunication stars.

On Point is the third installment of the Out of Uniform series by Annabeth Albert. Readers would have no issue reading On Point as a standalone. However, other characters from the previous books are mentioned, as Maddox and Ben's journey started in those books, so it would help form an emotional connection to the main characters sooner to read about them from book one.

Maddox and Ben are on the same Navy SEAL team, roommates, best friends, and ignorant to the fact that the other is in love with them. On Point is definitely the epitome of friends-to-lovers, with slow-burn romance tossed in.

The novel starts out with a bang, deep in military action, which is the catalyst for the life change for both characters.

Ben is a cad after his divorce, and Maddox has forever been a homebody. In the beginning of the book, there is a bit of a mystery about what angst both Ben and Maddox are fretting over. I will say, it was hotter than Hades (the voyeurism). This lust-driven passion didn't last past that point, as romance became more front and center for the guys. The between-the-sheets action felt tucked in between scenes, not necessarily flowing into the story.

When Ben and Maddox started dating, it's like the book shifted gears and became a bit too sugary sweet. It was abrupt after the first half.

Since these guys have been best friends for 12 years, had each other's backs in combat, and saved each other’s lives, it was bizarre that they wouldn't trust each other enough to 'talk it out.' There are hundreds of pages of miscommunication on the pages, where a single 3-minute conversation would have cleared up any and all conflict. So, if they knew so little of the other in over a decade, where is this love stemming from? (In regards to Maddox wanting a different sort of life.)

Usually this type of plot rubs me a bit raw, but in the case of friends-to-lovers, it lent validity to their journey. But near the 80% mark of the book, it did get a bit much for me to swallow, where I started to resent the characters for not being adult enough to just talk. It felt a bit drawn out due to this.

Recommended to fans of MM Romance, especially those who need a ton of romance and a happily ever after. I'm highly looking forward to the fourth book in the series, and enjoy this author's writing style.

Note: I had an advance copy, so they may have been resolved. The flashbacks weren't denoted by italics, with an extra space, or a symbol. I struggled many times trying to figure out if it was in the past or present. The present would flow right into the past and back into the present without the reader knowing. This type of storytelling does even out after the halfway mark. But there was another occasion near the end, where Ben is remembering an event similar to the one he's experiencing in the now, and I had no idea it was a flashback for three paragraphs, and it was beyond confusing.

4.5 stars

I absolutely loved this story! This series is all about military men and, for the first time, the author starts the story with a terrifying SEAL deployment that goes horribly wrong. The initial action sequence is horrific but grimly realistic and it provides readers with an intense introduction to Ben and Maddox. Once home, this friends-to-lovers story is gritty and full of soul searching angst as Ben and Maddox weigh their feelings for each other against the very different future each man envisions for himself.

During rehabilitation, Maddox realises he doesn’t want to re-enlist. He wants to open a bakery and he wants a husband and a family. Ben can’t wait until he’s cleared and medically fit. He loves being a SEAL. He’s also terrified of commitment. For years, Maddox and Ben have been inseparable. They live together, they socialise together, and they’ve been secretly in love with each other for much of their friendship. And their sexual chemistry is off the charts (there are some scorching hot scenes in this book!). These two are wonderful together.

I do have a couple of reservations about this book – there were moments where Ben’s self-destructive behaviour was more than irritating. I also struggled with Maddox’s need for a traditional, monogamous heteronormative life. The experienced Navy SEAL reads a little bit like a needy Bridget Jones at times and some scenes feel unnecessarily emasculating. This is the second book in this series that seems to assign m/m couples outdated traditional m/f gender roles and mindsets and it really doesn’t work for me.

I know I’m over analysing a wonderful story that I read in a single sitting. It left me on a feel-good high and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The friends-to-lovers story is intensified by the fact that these two aren’t just friends, they regularly entrust their lives to each other. This is definitely my favourite story in the series and I’m hoping for some more action scenes in the next book.

I really enjoy this series, alpha men, hot sex, and deep feelings. How can you go wrong with that? You can't in my book. There were times I wanted to smack the living hell out of Ben though, man, he really ticked me off a time or two. Maddox just made me want to crawl into my Kindle and hug him. These two had such deep feelings for each other but were so afraid to tell the other one; I get it, I really do, but sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet. I loved seeing couples from previous books too, that was nice. I loved how Maddox would hum or sing to calm himself down, my nephew does that and it just made me connect with him more as a character. There are some smoking hot sex scenes too. I hope we get to see more of these two in upcoming books and I hope there isn't a long wait, I need more!

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Military Romance

Ben and Maddox have known each other for years. There was always a deep friendship, but both were attracted to each other, but the timing was always off. When the timing is right, both Ben and Maddox take a chance.

Both men are fit and yummy to think about – they can tangle with the baddest people around but when their feelings take them further into a relationship, they are explosive. I liked that their relationship was developed – it wasn't an insta-love relationship, but one that was years in the making. They knew each other and that helped to create great chemistry and love.

When things happen, trust is needed, love and forgiveness too. Will Ben and Maddox let their relationship die or take a chance and maybe get what they have both wanted for so long?

Ben and Maddox are best friends, Navy SEAL teammates, and also roommates. But their relationship is strained. At the beginning of the story the guys are seriously injured on a mission. The story takes us from the present where they are in the Indonesian jungle, to times of the past few months, showing us how things between them became so strained.

When the guys return to US soil, they agree to date while they are recovering from their injuries. I loved Ben and Maddox. They are different but they fit together perfectly, even though they don't necessarily see it. They are trying so hard to be together, but their inability to be open and honest causes problems.

On Point had a huge emotional pull for me. It is dual point of view and I loved both guys, so when they were having troubles, I didn't know whose side to take. My heart was all confused and I shed tears several times. Luckily, by the end of the book I'd cried happy tears too. I loved On Point and I know this is a book that is going to be one that gets added to my re-read list.

This is the third book in the series, and is a great addition, giving us Ben and Maddox's story. The characters from the other books do feature, so it would be sensible (and very enjoyable) to read them in order, but this is a strong book that could stand alone.

These two men are the very best of friends and work colleagues, and yet have been hiding their feelings for each other for years – and only because they fear losing their friendship, rather than any ethical SEAL issues. Living in the same house puts a strain on everything, as Ben continues to work his way through the local twink population – something that, due to a voyeuristic moment, gives us one amazingly hot scene!

The story cuts forwards and back a few times, to give context and to establish just why things have to change. The op that they are on together that goes wrong is described in vivid detail, making quite an impression on me. It serves its purpose in bringing their fears and dreams into sharp relief and requiring them both to do some serious thinking.

I found Maddox to be a really interesting character, with his strict upbringing, which rejected him, yet he still found peace in his beliefs and friends in a more welcoming community. His love of baking and cooking, and his desire for calm – even though he was a prize-winning sharpshooter. The drive to succeed and make his hateful family proud was more important than his own needs – so much was woven into his character as we read further into the story. I am not saying that I didn't like Ben, but he was the more vivacious and yet needy of the two, and so pulled less at my heartstrings!

Really looking forward to seeing what comes next and catching up with these guys.

Also Available in the Out of Uniform Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Off Base post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our At Attention post.

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

Connect with Annabeth

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Fan Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of On Point (Out of Uniform #3) by Annabeth Albert to read and review.

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