"At Attention" is the second book in the Out of Uniform series but it is fine to read as a standalone. We saw Apollo in the first book where he had a small but important role. This picks up a bit down the road and Apollo is struggling to be a single dad to twin girls. He's still suffering from the grief of losing his partner combined with his work and family responsibilities. He needs some additional help during the summer and his best friend's younger brother is in town and looking for somewhere to live. The two men are attracted to each other but Apollo can't trust himself to open up again.
I went into this with a preconceived idea of what Apollo would be like. From his parts of the previous book I expected him to be a fiery, hot, alpha type. He was nothing like I expected and honestly I wasn't digging him at all for the first part of the story. He was super dad like and boring. His conversations revolved about menu planning, cutting up hot dogs so the kids don't choke, safety ratings on SUV's etc, etc. I groaned every time he opened his mouth. Apollo's real life was a little too close to my real life so I was not digging this book at all for the first 25% or so. (I pick up books to get as far away from meal planning and schedules and kid puke as possible.)
What kept me engaged was Dylan. I adored him and watching him slowly get Apollo to open up and accept help was touching. As the story went on I realized that it was a more serious story than some of the author's previous books and I liked that she took a realistic look at grief and the struggles people go through as they work their way through it. I seriously appreciated that there was no magical fixing of the problem just because Apollo cared for Dylan. By half way through I was much more invested in Apollo's journey and I was interested in seeing how things worked out for these two. These two had some ups and some downs and there was a lot of feelz in this story.
The last 25% or so was my favorite part of the book and there were some very emotional scenes. I loved the epilogue and it was so darn romantic I might have gotten a bit teary-eyed. Maybe. Just a bit. I ended up really liking the book and I think it's a great addition to this series.
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.