Off Base

Out of Uniform, #1

I didn't realize when I started this book that it is a spin off of this author's #gaymers series. If you're up to date on that series you will recognize both Pike and Zach from Connection Error. That being said, this book is a standalone and you do not need to have read CE to read this. (although it's a super good book so you should)

Zach is living in Coronado and going through training with his Navy SEAL unit. He's gay but he's firmly in the closet and has not had any type of relationship with a man before. He was raised by ultra-religious and homophobic parents and has some awful teammates in his military unit. Zach has no intention of coming out or of having any kind of relationship. All he wants to do is focus on his career. He's lonely though and drowning in fear and anxiety. He meets out and proud Pike through mutual friends and while he's attracted to the man, he literally can not imagine living like Pike does.

Pike is something else. He came off as a bit immature at the beginning of the book but as the story went on I realized that's not it at all and I found myself pulled into his charm. When Pike gets a job offer in the San Diego area he needs a roommate and he seeks Zach out. It seems like a bad idea to Zach but he does it anyways and off these two go. They start of circling each other and over time become friends. Then they become more. They end up together pretty quickly but Zach's not out and much of the storyline revolves around that.

I appreciated the fact that Pike does not push Zach to come out. I liked that it is recognized that this is not always the right choice for everyone. (books where coming out is a big declaration of love is a pet peeve of mine). There's a serious look at the risks/benefits for Zach as well as looking at that while Pike's trying to be supportive, there just may come a day where he can't do it anymore without hurting himself emotionally.

There are a host of side characters and there are two in particular that I really liked and I have high hopes that we'll see books about them in the future. Ryan and Josiah are in it quite a bit so it was nice seeing them again.

Overall I really liked this. It had great MC's, an interesting plot, it was both romantic and steamy and it was a super good start to a new series. I can't wait to read more.

Book Blurb for Off Base

After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike's flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike's arrival would spark from Zack's teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can't refuse. 

Pike Reynolds knows there won't be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He's an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he's had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can't risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack. 

Living with Pike crumbles Zack's restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn't know how to be the man Pike deserves.

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2016 4.50