Title: At Attention (Out of Uniform: Book Two)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 304 Pages
At a Glance: This book could have totally fallen apart, though—it didn’t, I’m just sayin’—and I still would have liked it. Because Dylannnn.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: 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: If you’re like me, when you were introduced to Apollo Floros in Off Base, the first book in Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series, you immediately knew you had to have his story. A badass SEAL who comes to Zack’s rescue toward the end of the book, recently widowed with twin girls, he was a tattooed mystery that absolutely needed solving! Well, At Attention, the second book in the series, gives us that story.
Apollo is fantastic; but, we’ll get back to him in a minute. First, let me begin by talking about the best thing about this book, in my opinion. My very favorite thing about this book, without a doubt, is Dylan. He. Is. Amazing. No longer a fifteen-year-old with a crush on his older brother’s buddy, Dylan is a sexy, intelligent, confident, professional, caring man who pretty much has Apollo’s number from the moment he steps back into his life. Dylan doesn’t back down from the older, and practically professionally intimidating Apollo. He holds his ground in every situation, as well he should. Apollo is painfully aware that Dylan is not a kid anymore, yet he insists on treating him like one at times. I love when Dylan stands up to him. I’m not gonna lie…It’s hot as hell. And, I love even more when Dylan stands up for himself at the end of the book. So, so good.
It’s not for nothing that Apollo continually tries to push Dylan away. He’s still grieving the loss of his husband, Neal. Even though it’s been two years, Apollo is having an extremely difficult time letting him go. We see how badly he wants to move on, and just how perfect Dylan is for him and for the girls, but Apollo is set on the idea that he had his chance at love, and that he’s not going to have a relationship again. Processing grief is exhausting, and it’s different for everyone. Apollo hasn’t been so much processing as stuck, though, and it takes Dylan giving him a reason to really live again to make him see that. I love how Dylan centers Apollo, grounds him. And, I love that Dylan gives him the space he needs to take things slowly—even though he’s totally lying to himself about how much it hurts him and how much he really wants everything with Apollo.
These guys are wonderful together. Their dynamic and chemistry was amazing, whether they were in the bedroom or just hanging out talking and watching TV. And even when Apollo was so high on pain meds that he lost his filter and his inhibitions, and Dylan had to shut his trippin’ ass down! That was a hilarious scene. It was funny, but also made them feel incredibly real. All of their interactions felt really genuine and natural, in fact. The thing that didn’t feel natural after a while was Apollo’s wishy-washiness. He kept reeling Dylan in and then pushing him away, and it became a little repetitive and hard to take. When he was letting Dylan in, though, and they were meshing, there were so many feels and it was gorgeous.
“Wow,” they both breathed at the same instant, then laughed because that was what they did. They laughed. They made joy. Joy making. Dylan kissed him back, willing a second thought across the brainwaves. Please let this be enough. Let me be enough.”
Minor irritation over the repetition aside, I liked this story a lot. This book could have totally fallen apart, though—it didn’t, I’m just sayin’—and I still would have liked it. Because Dylannnn. Also, the end was so good. Albert definitely knows how to finish strong. I remember Off Base didn’t win me over completely until about two-thirds of the way in. And while I enjoyed At Attention throughout, the last twenty-five percent was where the big payout happened.
Second chance love stories are the bomb. Second chance love story with an age gap? Even better. At Attention was a great addition to this series. Be sure to check it out, guys! And, Maddox and Ben are up next, which means friends-to-lovers!!! I can’t wait to see how that one turns out!
You can buy At Attention here: