Title: At Attention (Out of Uniform #2)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: April 10th 2017
Page Count: 209
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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.
“Puzzle piece, remember? You make everything else make sense.”
Out of Uniform is turning out to be my favorite series by Annabeth Albert. At Attention features Lieutenant Apollo Floros, whom we met in Off Base, and Dylan, his best friend’s younger brother. That’s a favorite trope of mine! So many things worked great here:
-The contrasts. The MCs are polar opposites, which made the story all the more appealing to me. Dylan is the light to Apollo’s darkness. Where Apollo is broody, moody and gruff, Dylan is funny, flirty, and full of positive energy. The ten year age gap worked great but not as I expected it to. Dylan is pretty mature for his age, and the wise one in this case. Apollo’s grief makes him weak and closed off where Dylan is concerned.
-The grief. It was done to perfection. The dead partner’s trope is not my favorite, but here it felt real without it being overwhelmingly angsty. And how refreshing that the dead man is not presented like the bad guy, or someone lesser than Dylan. Apollo really loved Neal, and he just can’t let him go, despite all these new feelings he has for Dylan.
The most powerful scene in the book was the one where Apollo finally makes peace with his loss. I may have cried a little bit.
“…I want to live again, Neal. I need to live again.[…]
You don’t deserve to be my ghost…”
-The smex. Two words: mirror sex! Apollo has a dirty, dirty mouth on him, and a thing for mirrors. Nuff said.
-The kids. I really don’t care about kids in my books, but I liked Apollo’s twin daughters. Their presence was important to the plot, but I didn’t feel that they stole page time from the MCs. Also, they were portrayed very realistically, like actual 5 year olds instead of adults trapped in kids’ bodies.
-Greek MC! Ok, the truth is that apart from Apollo’s name and a few mentions of his relatives, there’s nothing Greek about the story, but hey…I’ll take what I can get.
-Very solid HEA. It was almost too much, but this is just who Apollo and Dylan is.
Bottom line, I may have liked Off Base a little bit more, but this second installment was a big winner too. Recommended!