Review: At Attention (Book #2: Out of Uniform Series) by Annabeth Albert

At Attention

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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.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

Apollo Floros never saw himself as anything but a single, career military man.  Love, however, can change everything, and when he met his husband, everything in Apollo’s world changed.  He found himself a married, career military man with twin daughters he was hopelessly in love with.  Fate, like love, can change everything.

To be sure, Apollo is still hopelessly in love with his twins, but the last year without his husband has been hellish.  An accident took his partner and now Apollo can’t see a life beyond his grief and caring for his daughters.  In an effort to keep them safe, Apollo has an air-tight control on every aspect of their lives, with lists and protocols in place.  In fact, if it weren’t for the lists, the routine, and his mother, Apollo may not have made it this far.  Problem is, his mother has a cruise scheduled for the summer, and if Apollo can’t find a live-in nanny for the girls, he’s going to be up a creek. 

Dylan was just a gangly teenager the last time he saw Apollo, his brother’s best friend.  The torch Dylan’s carried for Apollo over the years has barely diminished and when the opportunity arises to help the soldier and his girls, Dylan’s all in.  Dylan’s career path has led him to Apollo’s door; both his college degree and his experience make Dylan the perfect person to look after Apollo’s girls and if that experience also puts him Apollo’s sights, all the better.  As the summer wears on, Dylan proves time and again he is an amazing caretaker and good friend.  Dylan has made it perfectly clear he wants more from Apollo, but understands the man is still grieving the loss of his partner.  Additionally, Apollo is older than Dylan and is having a very, very hard time seeing the boy he once knew as the man he now is.  Until, they kiss.  There’s no mistaking the grown-up Dylan has become, which means Apollo now must deal with his own issues if he ever wants to be truly happy again. 

The Bottom Line:  In my review for the first book in this series, Off Base, I noted how hard first-in-a-series books can be, and I hoped the second installment would up the ante.  Mission accomplished!  Apollo and Dylan are such a handsome and caring couple which made rooting for them and their HEA so very easy to do.  Apollo’s heart and his world were shattered by the loss of his husband yet, there’s Dylan who represents all Apollo wants for his future.  The big issues in this read are truly big: loss of a loved one, survivor’s guilt, the guilt over loving another, and age discrepancy.  Mixed into all of this are some yummy naughty bits and some funny moments that certainly help lighten the overall tone of the read.  Overall, At Attention raises the bar for the Out of Uniform series and is a standard I sincerely hope will be met in all future installments.

Pre-order for the April 10, 2017 release: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

About the author and where to find her:

annabeth-albertFrequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

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