Chemistry emanates off of the page. This story was about as close to perfect as it gets. ~ Leigh, Guilty Pleasures
Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations…
Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO—and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semi-anonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction—they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.
Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.
But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.
With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.
This story was about as close to perfect as it gets. The characters were good men, their interactions kinky and sexy as hell, and their relationship emotional and from the heart. I loved every second of this book and couldn’t put it down.
We’ve gotten snippets of Dustin in the previous books in the series, but we’ve never gotten to know him like we do here. As the brother and best friend to men in a relationship with one another, you would think that Dustin would be comfortable with the realization that he himself is bisexual. But pressure that he has put on himself won’t let him be truly open to those he loves. Exploring this part of himself online, the Navy SEAL meets up with another soldier on a dating ap, and an online relationship develops.
When Wes suggests that he and Dustin meet IRL, neither of them are prepared for the chemistry between them. Chemistry which Ms. Albert has captured so beautifully and simply emanates off of the page. The scenes between Wes and Dustin are melt-your-Kindle hot and arousing, and yet at the same time sweet and touching.
But in the military, things are not as simple as they seem, and when Wes is transferred and winds up working under Dustin, the non-fraternization policy in effect turns what was a burgeoning relationship into one that is forbidden. However, neither men can deny the feelings that they have for one another, and as the reader, I desperately didn’t want them to. I loved everything about these two men and I wanted with all of my heart for them to find a way to have a happily ever after.
There was so much about this story that I found intriguing and enjoyable. I loved reading about the military aspect and the structure surrounding their lives. I loved seeing Dustin’s best friend and brother, Apollo and Dylan, and how their lives were going. And I loved the kink. I found it so interesting that the author posed the man with the higher rank and the more imposing physique as the more submissive partner in bed, and the way it simply worked.
My only criticism was the ending. Without revealing anything, I wish that I could have had everything wrapped up tighter than it was. The ending had a sense of realism that I feel was completely in line with the story. Yet, I wish I could had a pretty little epilogue sitting there waiting for me.
With this one exception which was my own preference and not a flaw in the story, I absolutely loved this book. For any fans of M/M stories, this series is fabulous and one that is not to be missed, and Wheels Up is my favorite so far. There is no way not to like anything this steamy and sweet.
Once again Ms. Albert offers up an intense, sexy, and emotional romance that I could not put down. ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures
For the second time in the span of a few weeks, I find myself reading a book about an officer and an enlisted man falling into a relationship something that is absolutely a no go with the military and once again I find myself questioning those rules and regulations just as I did before DADT was repealed. I’m not so naïve that I don’t understand the issues that can come with this type of relationship and in this book in particular it is a big deal, but I also can’t help but think that we and human beings and the military who protects us can’t after all these years figure out a way to make this work. That being said, Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert is another excellent addition to her Out of Uniform series.
For months Dustin and Wes have been talking on Joe4Joe and enjoying some mutual satisfaction via the web. On a trip for some alumni functions out east, Dustin is a bit stunned when Wes who is station in the DC area suggests they met. They share one great evening until Dustin is called back to his home base in San Diego, one month later Dustin is stunned to find that Wes is the newest member of his SEAL team and his subordinate. Immediately these two thrust into an impossible situation and while they are in agreement they can be nothing more than colleagues, staying away from each other proves harder than they imagined. I actually really loved these two together, they are well suited in their love of sci-fi and documentaries, but they also are a match in their bedroom kinks. Let me just say, these two burn up every surface they touch and yet I could feel how hard it was for them when they had to part ways and the guilt they both felt every time they were together. There was no shortage of emotions in this book and they were warranted on several fronts. I appreciated that these two really opened up to one another on a personal level, while they did spend a lot of time in the sack, they also shared so much of their lives with one another and were way more to one another than a f*ck-buddy despite the lies they told themselves. They made some errors and life was difficult for them both, but there was no doubt that being together was important to them and finding a way to make it happen paramount to their happiness and embracing their true selves.
Once again Ms. Albert offers up an intense, sexy, and emotional romance that I could not put down.
Dustin wasn’t nervous. Just because Wes had put it out there that they could go back to his room didn’t mean they had to. Didn’t mean his pulse had to rev like a personnel carrier, all loud and roaring in his ears. Didn’t mean his fingers had to suddenly have nothing better to do than shred napkins. And it definitely didn’t mean he needed to keep up the idiotic rambling. Damn it, Strauss, remember who and what you are.
He’d seen Wes’s chest before on camera, but the camera was fuzzy, missing key details like how Wes’s nipples were the exact color of Dustin’s favorite butterscotch toffee and how his collar bones looked made for biting. And the camera had never captured the force of Wes’s stare, the way he seemed to see past Dustin’s soul to his most secret of desires.
“Think you could get your cock out for me?” Wes’s voice was as seductive as a kiss, and his eyes never left Dustin.
Using his left hand, Dustin got an awkward grip on his cock, drew it out, waited for the next command.
“You’re doing so good for me,” Wes praised. “Pinch a nipple for me, nice and hard, and I might let you touch your cock.”
“Oh fuck.” Dustin absolutely loved when Wes played like his, and being able to look at his intense face while he made such dirty commands was the best head trip ever. Following orders, he used his left hand to pinch his right nipple, hard enough to make himself gasp.
“Twist it. More.” Wes leaned forward, arms resting on his knees.
“Hurts,” Dustin panted. He’d had worse pain, of course, but somehow deliberate pain like this was a far different beast than the ordinary wear and tear he took over the course of training or a mission.
“That’s right. Doing good.” Wes’s blue eyes were almost black now. “You’ve earned a stroke, but slowly.”
“Yes. Thank you.” Dustin’s eyes squished shut as his hand connected with his throbbing cock.
“No, look at me,” Wes commanded, and Dustin’s eyes snapped back open.
He stroked himself with a firm grip, but slowly like Wes wanted. He had to squeeze hard on the base because he was that close to the edge. “Oh God.” His voice broke.
“Yeah? Tell me what you want.” Wes was breathing hard, the only sign that he wasn’t immune to Dustin’s show.
“I’m close.” Dustin’s whole body trembled as he repeated the slow stroke upward on his cock.
“No, you’re not.” Wes’s voice was stern, his eyes like granite chunks. “Tell me. Tell me what you want.”
Usually this was where Dustin would start begging to come, admitting to progressively kinkier fantasies, but instead the truth tumbled out. “Touch me. Oh, God, touch me please.”
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. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.
To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.
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 active children.
Annabeth is giving away a $10 amazon gift card + any back catalog e-book by Annabeth Albert