Review: Off Base - Out of Uniform #1

Off Base (Out of Uniform) - Annabeth Albert

**** 4 stars ****

 

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"This was home. This house. This man. Home."
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Off Base featuring Navy SEAL Zack Nelson and Pike Reynolds, is a spinoff from Albert's #gaymer series. We briefly met Zack at the end of #3 Connection Error  sharing a room with one of the main characters, Ryan, who’s also military. We also met Pike, who's Josiah's friend. Josiah's is Ryan's love interest in Connection Error. While it's strictly not necessary to read Connection Error before starting Off Base, you’re not doing yourself a favor. Off Base can be read as standalone, but I really recommend reading Connection Error, because it’s a great book, and you’re able to fully enjoy Ryan and Josiah’s appearance in Off Base, and get most out of these books.

 

Pike is an outgoing guy. Not being out is not something he ever had to deal with, because there never were a question about his sexuality. He always knew he was gay, and the world around it knew it too. He has grown up with a great, accepting mom, and mostly accepting environment around him. He did get burned by falling for his straight best friend when he was a teenager, and that burn still hurts. Pike is a guy who would flirt with wallpaper, he’s got no filter and he’s got a keen sense of observation. He also got a thing for military guys (who doesn’t?).

 

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(..) Pike knew that, like Fireball shots, he was an aquired taste. And twice as much fun. Or at least he liked to think so.
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Pike scares the heck out of Zack. Zack grew up with his very conservative parents, and a bully of an older brother. He doesn’t want to look too closely at his sexuality that he has repressed for so long. He feels a big urge to be the perfect son, the perfect SEAL. Mostly to try to keep his own focus away from his repressed interest in guys.

Zack frustrated me a lot throughout the book. He was so far in the closet he had Narnia snow on his shoulders. Pike manages to lure him out, though, and Zack helplessly follows. He wants and needs so much. He really is into guys, and especially Pike, he just don’t want to acknowledge what it will mean for him if he does. Zack wants only Pike, but he also only want him inside the confine of their shared house. Zack struggles so much, and still continues to deny that part of himself throughout most of the book, and in denying himself, he also denies Pike. Pike and Zack were wonderful together, and I really loved their moments, and blossoming friendship and relationship. He frustrated me, though. I felt he never stood up for himself. He pulled away from Pike at moments of importance, instead of standing proud beside him. I understand why he did it, it just frustrated me.

 

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"Please stop lying to yourself. It's killing me to watch. [Pike]"
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I really liked the side plots of Pike being a professor and teaching. Him caring for his students really warmed me to him. Zack had trouble with bullying during his training, and my frustration with him continued. It got worse, before it got better. But when it did get better, and Zack finally acknowledged himself, it got awesome! I loved how things was resolved. They weren’t easy resolutions, but both Zack and Pike worked through them. Pike deserves a medal for his patience.

 

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I realized that telling was what I needed for myself too. It was a relief almost.
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I got really curious about Lieutenant Apollo, who was introduced at the end, and apparently the next book is about him. I also have a feeling that I haven’t seen the last of Harper, one of the other SEALs.

 

All in all, it was a pain suffering through Zack’s denial. Pike had endless patience. There were lots of good moments, and they were so good together. The last 20% shifted my feelings from frustration, to just gooey. I’m so happy for Zack and Pike!

 

Recommended!


An ARC copy was given me from the author. I wrote an honest review after finished reading it.