Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations….
Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a 20-something hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO – and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semi-anonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction – they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.
Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude, and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.
But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.
With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.
Rating: Narration – A: Content – C+
I’ve heard good things about Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series of m/m romances featuring characters in different branches of the military. As usual, I’m coming late to the party, so audiobooks are my gateway into the series in which, unusually, each instalment uses a different narrator (the majority of series books tend to use the same one for each book). The fourth book, Wheels Up, caught my eye because it’s performed by my narrator-du-jour, Greg Boudreaux (aka Greg Tremblay), so it seemed a good place to jump in; it’s a standalone, although a couple of characters from the previous book (one of them the brother of one of the principals) make cameo appearances.
On a flight from San Diego to Washington, Lieutenant Dustin Strauss inadvertently lets slip his destination in a text message to the online chat/cyber-sex buddy he knows only as Saucer-Man. When Saucer-Man – whom Dustin suspects works in security – suggests they meet face-to-face, Dustin is nervous. He and Saucer-Man have been chatting regularly for the last six months or so and getting to know each other on Joe4Joe, a military-themed hook-up app, and Dustin is perfectly happy with the way things are. The relative anonymity of the app allows him the freedom to indulge his need to submit unreservedly with his sexual partner; he’s enjoyed months of no strings, slightly kinky cyber-sex and isn’t sure meeting up is a good idea for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that he’s bisexual but still closeted when it comes to his attraction to men. In spite of the fact that his brother (from the previous book, At Attention) is gay, Dustin has never told his family of his sexual orientation, and lately, he has found it harder and harder to suppress that side of himself, and the strength of the connection he feels to Saucer-Man – which is not just about sex for him – is making him question his decision to quash that side of himself.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.