On Point by Annabeth Albert
Published by: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary romance, military romance
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Anya
What to Expect: Adorable low-angst friends-to-lovers
Plot: 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.
Annabeth Albert was one of the authors I have only discovered this year when a few months ago I went on a very satisfying binge of her Gamers and Out of Uniform series. On Point is the third book in Out of Uniform series and you can read it as a standalone although it’s more enjoyable to read the series from the beginning and get to know the characters that make brief appearances in this book.
The story begins with a rescue mission gone wrong and Navy SEALs Ben and Maddox, who have been best friends for over ten years, are separated from their team and seriously injured. Ben puts everything on the line to save Maddox and I think that’s the first time he has an inkling of just how much Maddox means to him. From the previous book in the series we already know that Maddox has a crush on Ben but doesn’t believe that any serious relationship is possible between them. Ben likes no-strings-attached kind of party while Maddox is more of a homebody and is looking for someone to spend the rest of his life with.
I have read plenty of army romances in the past and what stands out in them the most is the irreplaceable bond forming in the face of life-and-death situations between men who fight together. These situations can often lead people to reexamine their priorities and both Ben and Maddox deal with the aftermath of their ordeal in different ways. Without spoiling too much of the story, Maddox finds himself finally willing to follow his dreams while Ben wants to make Maddox happy after almost losing him but also keeps their life mostly unchanged. At times I was angry at Ben for being unsupportive about Maddox’s choices but you can clearly see that Ben is terrified of losing the friendship and companionship he had for years. Both of them have a lot of trust issues that stem from different past experiences and they have to learn to trust again in order to move on and build something better out of their friendship.
My favorite thing about friends-to-lovers trope is the intimacy. It takes time to build that when you meet a complete stranger, but when it’s a person you know for years, there’s this layer of “you’re my dude” underneath the romance which I love. And it doesn’t take Ben and Maddox long to start feeling at ease with one another once they get to the steamy parts. Let me tell you, the sex scenes in this book are off the charts. Blow you mind HOLY HOT-NESS. Their first time together was one of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read. There is something incredibly erotic and pleasing about two tough army guys so invested in kissing.
THE EPILOGUE WILL KILL YOU IN A GOOD WAY. No, really, I’m being a friend here and giving you fair warning, you will melt to pieces. My favorite part of the book was their first time with all the delicious kissing but this is definitely a close second.
To wrap this up, I’m leaving you with my favorite quote that I think sums up their relationship perfectly:
“I’ve got your back. Leap with me, Maddox’s gaze urged. And same as Ben had followed him on their first dive, out their first HALO jump, he made a choice to believe in that. To leap. Together.”
What you might not like/doesn’t work for you: There are a few flashbacks to their SEALs training and earlier stages of their friendship. There wasn’t too many of them and I didn’t mind it but if you hate flashbacks in books you might find that annoying.
What you will love: Pretty sweet friends-to-lovers story, sexy SEALs, stubborn boys that can’t help falling in love with one another, gorgeously written epilogue.
When not reading for pleasure, Anya is proofreading so it’s ALL THE BOOKS ALL THE TIME for her. She absolutely loves introducing people to new books and share the moment of “SQUEEE that book is amazing!” with them. Read all of her reviews here.
Connect with her: @shiny_luv