Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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.
As I seem to say with every Annabeth Albert series, with each story her Out of Uniform series just seems to evolve into ever deeply layered plots and a enlarged group of characters that connect to her center cast of military personnel. Here in Tight Quarters, Albert brings in that ever present and important figure, the journalist and embeds him into the beta team of sharpshooter Petty Officer Bacon.
I loved this idea and theme for many reasons, not the least of which these men and women (journalists who go to war) have always fascinated me. So to have Albert create a main character with a passion for the truth and need for adrenaline that would carry him with the soldiers out into a mission? Perfect, and yet, not have all the information at hand to understand that perhaps in this case he might be a detriment and an obstacle as well. So the author brings both an immediate tension into the group on several levels with the introduction of journalist Spencer Bryant and it works superbly.
Another element that also puts the reader on alert? The team is not a well oiled SEAL team but an unsettled one, trying to find a way to gell together. Under new leadership and uneasy with each other, inserting an outsider, an openly gay one, is highlighting the cracks in the unit now becoming wide crevasses.
The combination of military life and romance is a wonder once more in the hands of Albert. She paints in intimate window into the lives, tensions, and team dynamics of Bacon’s SEAL team as it’s unity flounders in the face of homophobia, uncertainty, and lack of leadership. And then adds in her journalist to which there’s an not an instant attraction between both men, Bacon and Bryant but a slow burn? Wonderful and full of angst.
I loved the hot romance between the men but what really worked for me was that Albert never forgot the reality of the situation the men kept find ing themselves in. For one? That it took a while for the journalist Bryant to understand exactly what an impediment he was to the SEAL team’s mission. That in actuality he was Bacon’s mission during a portion of the story…a scary, gritty portion. And how that might have adversely effected Bacon’s career and their lives should the mission go “south”.
Secondly, that their romance had to take second place to careers and events currently taking place and that they had to assure people (command, publishers) of timelines. That also felt covered in authenticity.
Plus I always love having characters from previous stories pop up again as they do here. Adore that and getting caught up again with their lives.
In short? I believed in this men. Their passions for what they did for a living, and for each other. Albert’s writing carried me away from my real life into theirs, one fraught with danger, suspense, rules, regulations, and lastly a romance for all to connect with. I was investing emotionally with them at all times. Yep, hooked hard.
Cover art is hot and sexy and in keeping with branding the series.
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: July 9th 2018 by Carina Press
Original TitleTight Quarters
SeriesOut of Uniform