Review: Sink or Swim (Shore Leave #2) by Annabeth Albert

Rating: 4.5🌈

We meet Calder Euler in Sailor Proof, the first book in this series, and he wasn’t exactly a sympathetic character. Nor did he come across as anything but one dimensional. He wasn’t exactly someone who’s story I looked forward to.

However, Sink or Swim totally changed my perspective on Calder. Albert takes a bare outline of a man and fleshes him out into a individual who we get to know deeply and connect with once we understand the history and events that drove him into person he appears in Sailor Proof.

That man is now at a point where he’s starting to question his goals in life, his career and his path forward. It happens to coincide with his meeting Dr. Felix Sigurd. Newly, bitterly divorced, with two children he’s a guardian for, and still trying to figure his way through his life when a mixup finds himself, the kids , and Calder , all together snowed in at a cabin.

Albert starts a very complicated relationship process from this beginning. The foundation that each man is standing on is firm of character but each man’s past has built a crumbly mound upon it that needs to be reconciled and resolved between them before they can move forward together and as a family.

The two pov format works so smoothly and well to help define both characters and assist the reader in understanding the difficulties each man faces in their lives, as well as the realistic obstacles they face in their relationship.

For Calder, it’s not just perceiving where that uber competitive attitude came from, but how emotionally he’s able to finally acknowledge it, and let it go. Importantly , its also the research and military career knowledge that’s Albert’s done that’s goes into Calder’s decisions that makes this so believable. The Euler family just comes off as military unit, at every level.

I can’t forget the fantastic children here too. Both girls, so very different, each with opposite emotional reactions to a new man in their and their Uncle’s lives. They are so believable and a little heartbreaking. It’s the outgoing, exuberant Charlotte, ready to climb mountains and brave new realities, with a outlook that remembers love as well as loss. It’s the retiring Madeleine, who needs to be shown a path is safe before she takes a step, her reticence bourn of grief and instability. She’s not yet ready for change. For change hasn’t meant anything good. Both girls are children we can believe in, connect to, and love totally. And in turn, they bring us closer to both men and their relationship.

I don’t know if Annabeth Albert is done with the Eulers. I hope not. They are quite the family. I’d love to see this series continue, along with the Eulers, so we can see more of these couples in future stories. And at the annual Euler camp!

I’m recommending both stories. Read them in the order they are written. It’s very interesting, especially for characters development and relationships.

Happy Reading!

Shore Leave
Book 1: Sailor Proof
Book 2: Sink or Swim

https://www.goodreads.com › showSink or Swim (Shore Leave #2) by Annabeth Albert – Goodreads

Synopsis:

Winning and losing are subject to sexy interpretation…

Navy chief Calder Euler loves to win big. His latest score? A remote mountain cabin. Checking it out is supposed to be a quick trip, but Calder’s luck abruptly turns when a freak injury and a freakier snowstorm leave him stranded.

Oh, and the cabin isn’t empty. A silver fox caring for two young girls claims that the property is his, but Calder’s paperwork says otherwise.

Felix Sigurd is on a losing streak, and his ex-husband risking the cabin in a reckless bet is only the latest in a series of misfortunes. He’ll tolerate the handsome stranger for a couple nights–even care for his injuries—but that’s it.

Calder doesn’t know a damn thing about kids, but making pancakes for Felix’s girls is a surprising delight. Trapped in the cabin, the four of them slip easily into the rhythms of a family. But when the ice melts, they’ll have to decide if a future together is in the cards.

Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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