Title: On Point (Out of Uniform: Book Three)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 320 Pages
At a Glance: On Point was a nice, character driven story, full of friends-to-lovers goodness.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Never fall for your best friend…
Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.
Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.
Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.
Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.
Review: On Point, the third book in Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series, is another solid showing. I remember finding out that the third book was going to be a friends-to-lovers story—Ben and Maddox’s story—and being super stoked about it; I even mentioned how excited I was about it at the end of my review for At Attention. Well, I’m happy to report that Albert delivered. On Point was a nice, character driven story, full of friends-to-lovers goodness. Since this is probably my favorite trope, I can get pretty picky about it…But, aside from wanting to smack the guys upside the head a few times, this was definitely a good read!
I seem to have a clear favorite character in each of the books in the series so far, and in this one it was one hundred percent Maddox. I LOVED him. Right from the start. He has such a huge heart; I basically wanted to hug him (when I didn’t want to smack him) throughout the book. One of the reasons for his need for hugs was how bad his family sucks. We see snippets of this through things Maddox shares, but it becomes even more painfully obvious when they come visit him in the hospital. They haven’t changed a bit since turning their backs on him when he was caught kissing a boy at age seventeen, and even though Maddox now has so much going for him—his team, Ben, his involvement at his church—he still never got over their rejection. And, though he’s extremely good at his job as a sharp-shooter, Maddox really only joined the Navy and became a SEAL to try to make his dad proud. Which is why he has decided not to re-up after this last mission.
It’s apparent straight away at the beginning of the story that Maddox’s decision to not reenlist is going to be a main point of contention between him and Ben. Maddox has no intention of rejoining their SEAL team after his recovery, but he can’t quite get Ben to come to terms with it. Neither one of them can imagine going out in the field without the other after being partners for so long, but Maddox no longer wants to let being a SEAL define him. I loved this:
“Isn’t that what it’s all about? We’re SEALs – being out in the field is everything –”
“No. It’s everything to you,” Maddox said wearily. “It’s awesome and exhilarating and it’s been a great twelve years, but it’s not my life. Life is my friendships, my church, the business I want to build. The dreams I want to reach. And it’s okay, really, that your only dream is to keep serving. But that’s not me.”
Ben…*sigh* He can’t imagine being a SEAL without Maddox. But, more importantly, he comes to realize, he can’t imagine anything without Maddox. Having been badly hurt in the past, both by his ex, and his mother, he is very fearful of commitment, or letting anyone get too close. And, even though Maddox makes everything better, and he can’t imagine life without him, he still lets his fears get in the way. In fact, there was a point in the story where he was being such a huge baby—a selfish dick, really—that I wanted to smack the shit out of him. I understand that his mom, and his ex, broke him or whatever, but I really wanted to taint punch him. (Those last two lines are the literal notes in my Kindle. Along with the hashtags #MaddoxIsAwesome and #BenIsAnIdiot. Ha!)
There was definitely some drama in the story. The guys had an encounter one night, *cough* threesome *cough*, that caused quite a bit of awkwardness between them, and there were flashbacks in the beginning, of what happened to cause all the tension sprinkled throughout the book, which I didn’t love. Flashbacks can be great in some instances, I just didn’t love them as a storytelling device here for whatever reason.
Overall, I just loved how close these guys were. And, their chemistry was fantastic. And, I loved watching Maddox go after his dream toward the end. So sweet. This series has been a lot of fun so far. I’m definitely looking forward to Wheels Up, coming later this fall!
You can buy On Point here: