Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered. Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone. Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.
Source: Netgalley My Rating: 4½/5 stars
Spencer Bryant has finally gotten his dream assignment, being embedded with a SEAL team. As an award-winning journalist, this is the assignment he was wanted and waited patiently for, for a very long time. Thanks to a very personal and tragic experience, Spencer feels obligated to complete this assignment and produce a piece that not only honors the service of military members, but also brings attention to the care, or lack thereof they receive following grievous injuries and separation from service. Spencer has no intention of ruining anyone’s life or exposing information that could hurt the teams or the Navy, but he is committed to telling this story.
As bad luck would have it, Bacon gets stuck with the reporter being embedded with his team. Though Bacon knows Spencer’s work and even admires it, Bacon isn’t interested in an outsider poking around and potentially harming the men he serves with all. Bacon sees Spencer’s presence as a nuisance at best, and a potentially hazardous situation at worst. On top of every other emotion Bacon is feeling toward Spencer, there is also the intense attraction which just makes Bacon angry. The final straw, Spencer is a genuinely nice man who makes his intentions clear from the very beginning; Spencer may be attracted to Bacon, but he has a code of ethics that won’t allow him to engage sexually or personally with a source.
And then everything goes ass over tea kettle . . . .
With a terrible and simultaneously fortunate turn of luck, Spencer and Bacon find themselves in a position where they can, in fact be together. On so many levels, Spencer and Bacon as a couple are simply perfect. They are both dominant personalities that instinctively know when to let the other take the lead. Spencer understands Bacon’s post-mission mentality and knows how to help him decompress while Bacon knows how to support Spencer in his life and career. The sex is amazing, and the feelings, despite each best efforts, are beginning to grow. Unfortunately, there are some serious problems, and most of them, Bacon knows nothing about until it’s just too late.
The Bottom Line: Let me tell you what! I went into this book suspecting I wouldn’t particularly enjoy it, but I was absolutely and quite pleasantly surprised. In general, I greatly dislike reporter characters, but Spencer proved to be a cat of a different color. With the exception of one big misstep, which he absolutely regrets and fixes, Spencer proves himself to be a decent and honorable man. Bacon, apart from one scene/event, is equally likeable to Spencer and I simply loved his devotion to both his career and Spencer. While I’m generally all about the characters, I found the plot the real winner in this book. I expected this book to one thing all the way through and I got something completely different. That completely different was exactly what I wanted and didn’t even know it 😊 Finally, I love it when an author I’ve read for quite some time can still surprise and delight me and that is certainly true for Annabeth Albert and her Out of Uniform series.