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.
3.5 stars. I’m a big fan of this author’s other work — after reading this book I went and bought three of her other books and read them in two days. It speaks well of this book, which is my first by the author, that as soon as I finished I looked for more.
The strengths of this book were in the characters, particularly Pike, who was a lovely revelation as the book unfolded. This was a nice surprise, considering that I expected to be a Zach fan from the start. Not that I wasn’t by the end! But I loved how much depth and sweetness we got from Pike in this book. His journey as a teacher was lovely to read (perhaps because I teach?).
There were moments in the book I found myself frustrated, however. The initial characterization for both Zach and Pike made it hard for me to really get lost in the story, particularly Zach. I felt like we were being told he was drawn to Pike but not being shown why — in fact, when things came to…a head (ahem), it felt a little rushed to me because Zach seemed so annoyed by Pike. Also, toward the end of the book, there was a scene between them that had me facepalming Pike’s timing.
That said, the intimacy between them, and Zach’s coming of age, so to speak, were wonderful. And I really, really rooted for their happy ending and cheered hard (and was proud of) Zach in the end.
I’d recommend this book, but I would recommend readers get to know the previous series (Gaymers Series) which has overlapping characters that might help draw the reader into the first parts of this one. Although this book can stand alone, even the tiny glimpse we got of Zach in Connection Error changed the way I saw this book on my second read. I am very excited for the next book in this series.
**Review copy of Off Base provided by Carina Press for an honest review.
Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother who began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”. Jude began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007.
Jude is currently working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. Her novels include Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary queer romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. Her most recent novel A Tiny Piece of Something Greater was released in May of 2018. Shadows you Left, a co-written novel with Taylor Brooke will arrive spring of 2019 from Entangled Press.