On Point by Annabeth Albert (Out of Uniform #3)
M/M Contemporary Romance
Released: June 5, 2017
Reviewed by Tracey
Never fall for your best friend…
Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.
Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.
Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.
Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.
On Point is the third book in Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series, and it’s a friends to lovers story about two navy seals. Ben and Maddox have been best friends since they met and formed a strong bond in their initial Seal training. They have always had each other’s backs, and rely on each other, mentally and physically, for each of their missions. Ben has been living with Maddox for two years, ever since his marriage tanked, which gave him some serious trust issues. Maddox has secretly been in love with Ben for years, and living with Ben while he hooks up with every hot man he comes across is quietly beating Maddox down. Maddox wants a secure, long term relationship, while Ben doesn’t even want to say the word relationship. For once, they are both single at the same time, and they end up having an awkward, kind of threesome, which really makes things weird between them. But, both men are determined to fix the problem, their friendship is their number one priority.
On a mission to Southeast Asia to rescue two Senator’s sons, they are separated from their team, and both badly injured. They have to rely on each other to survive, and both men would sacrifice themselves to save the other. The near death experience and the long recovery makes both Ben and Maddox realize they want more from each other, but not at the expense of their friendship. They decide to just date for a period of time, no strings and no heavy emotions, but just exploring their explosive and hot chemistry. They already love each other, even if Ben doesn’t realize it’s the forever kind of love…and not just bro love. The main factor for both men is preserving their friendship. Trying to navigate sex and emotions while maintaining a best friend status becomes a rocky road for both of them.
The angst gets real when Maddox comes to understand he doesn’t want to stay in the navy. His dream is to open a bakery and pretty much become a homebody. He had only joined up to prove to his homophobic family that he was a real man…nothing tougher or more manly than being a Seal. Ben’s dream is to stay a Navy Seal, and to always have Ben right there beside him for life and work. Their opposing ideas on their future, and Ben’s inability to admit that he wants Maddox in every way, makes for a difficult times. Maddox is smart enough to be aware that if he and Ben are going to be together in the future, one of them has to change the direction of their future. When Maddox wants to talk, Ben just diverts him with sex.
“Ben…” Maddox warned, “we need to talk. You pronounced fuck wrong.” Ben laughed at himself.
Maddox loves Ben enough to do this, and thankfully it coincides with what he really wants in life. Ben causes a lot of miscommunication with his fear of relationship and commitment, and these feelings cause most of the conflicts in the book.
The pacing of this story is good, the sex is hot and emotional. The author draws you into Ben and Maddox’s world easily. The behavior of Ben really irritated me to no end though. He comes across as pretty self-absorbed, even when he believes he’s doing things for Maddox. He’s not one of my favorite characters in this series, but he does seem to grow up in the end and admit that Maddox is what he wants and needs.
“It was easier to be your buddy than to admit that I was hopelessly in love with you.”
The epilogue shows that Ben can be the type of man Maddox deserves and that a love based on friendship can be everything one desires.
A fast and fun read, it’s a sweet story where there is a good HEA,,,plus, it’s always fun to catch up with the characters from books 1 & 2. This can be read as a standalone, but it makes it more interesting if you’ve read the first two books.