Group Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform, #2) by Annabeth Albert

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he's lucky a friend's younger brother needs a place to stay. He's surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete's body. Apollo's widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It's been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it's time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he's all man now—an adult who's fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo's muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can't afford to fall for that guy. He's determined to hold out for someone who's able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he'd expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what's more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

Adam - 3 Hearts

‘At Attention’ delivers what I’d expect from Annabeth Albert - complex characters, some hot sex, a good dose of angst, and a sweet happy ever after.

Apollo Floros, a SEALs lieutenant, is a complete grouch. Raising his two girls alone after the death of his husband, Apollo is very protective of his family and has a tough exterior. He only lets his guard down for his girls.

It took a while to get used to Apollo, given how standoffish he was and the way he treated Dylan.

Dylan is Apollo’s best friend’s younger brother. When Dylan was a teenager, he idolized Apollo. Fresh out of university, Dylan just wants to help Apollo over the summer with the girls while he looks for a permanent job.

Dylan doesn’t set out to woo Apollo, but he also wouldn’t say no if things went that direction.

Dylan and Apollo’s early interactions are a bit awkward, but charged with a sexual tension you could cut with a knife. Apollo can’t help but take a look at Dylan all grown up, but he rebuffs Dylan’s flirting.

Grief is a real thing in this book. Most of Apollo’s reluctance to give in to what he wants with Dylan comes from him still mourning his deceased husband, Neal. Apollo thought that Neal was it for him, so thinking about Dylan seems like a betrayal of what they had.


But slowly, Dylan works his way under Apollo’s walls. Not only is Dylan fantastic with the girls, but he reminds Apollo that there’s more to life than just existing.

When Apollo finally gives in, he and Dylan light up the sheets. They are hot. If you like rough sex in front of mirrors and a total alpha top, you won’t be disappointed.

But Apollo’s grief and guilt don’t quit. This is where I lost some of my patience with him. Apollo plays hot and cold throughout the book, hurting Dylan and his daughters in the process. I understood where Apollo was coming from, but the repetitive cycle made me lose some interest around two-thirds in.

However, I really liked the ending. The way Apollo made amends made me believe that he and Dylan really did have what it takes to make it in the long run, and that their emotional connection was just as strong as their physical connection.


Overall, this was an enjoyable read. Recommended if you’re looking for a contemporary MM romance with a strong focus on family and healing.

Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ - 2 Hearts

Unpopular Opinion Ahead. Please don't stone me.

If you had told me prior to reading this I'd be rating it anything less than 4 hearts I would've been all, 'the hell you say!' and maybe hit your face with my glove (lightly, because lady). Just reading the blurb had me all lightheaded with an overwhelming urge to spin around in a field of bluebonnets. I mean, age difference, size difference, second chance romance, possessive MC all reduce me to zombie arms and possible drooling. I just knew At Attention was going to be the turn-the-corner book betwixt me and this author.

Here’s the thing, though, for all of Albert’s devoted fans At Attention will likely work for you. My success with Albert is spotty at best. She seems to have her own romance algorithm that includes this push-pull thing between protagonists. The reasons vary and sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn’t. This time it didn’t.

What happened here was Apollo’s incessant lying to himself and Dylan about his feelings got old. He strings him along. He advances and retreats again and again. Sometimes an author can make this push/pull thing work for me if they show me and make me believe there’s a valid and compelling reason for it. I need lots of exposition and character building so I can truly understand what motivates them to hurt their love interest again and again. I need to feel it and, more importantly, to sympathize with the character's action and that didn’t happen. Because Apollo.

He really is. No one loves a grump more than I but there’s a big difference between grump and asshat. He’s controlling, jealous, the possessiveness I had hoped would have my eyebrows waggling skidded sideways into 'whoa whoa, slow your roll there, craycraybenaynay' territory with a quickness. Add to that his mood changes on a dime and the next thing I knew we were back to…

It made my head spin and it made me feel sorry for poor Dylan. Apollo’s mercurial nature negatively impacts his self-image, making him feel unworthy, lesser which made me want to tell him to RUN FORRR-REST RUUUUNNNNN!!!!! and sapped all the good feels I had going into this book.

I need for my couples to be happy for a certain period of time in a narrative and not just at the end. There needs to be a balance so I understand what it is they’re fighting for beyond sexual chemistry. Why are they so invested in each other? The truth is Apollo and Dylan are hardly together. Sure, you can bet when they are they’re going to have some hot mirror sex with a side of dirty talk *grunts* but then you can bet the farm Apollo’s going to turn arctic afterwards, like right afterwards. Can I not enjoy a lil glow?

No. Because. For the cheap seats in the back.

He gives a myriad of excuses as to why they won’t work-their age difference, his mourning, Dylan’s future plans-but it all rang hollow; it felt like drama for drama’s sake. Especially when I had his POV which didn’t match his hateful and, at times, cruel words and actions. All the excuses and dramatics made Apollo look like a fickle teen when he’s the one that supposedly has all the life experience and wisdom. Dylan at 23 puts him to shame in both the communication and acting like an adult departments.

So, the sex is hot and I did like Dylan but those weren’t enough to save this read for me. Obviously, my opinions are my own and YMMV.

SheReadsALot - 4 Hearts

I've seen this author's work, perused the blurbs and I didn't bite.

But this blurb was the prettiest show pony with SRAL approved buzz words and themes:

  • widower still grieving after partner's passing (bring on the pain)
  • widower has kidlets AND needs a manny
  • manny is the widower's best friend's little brother
  • best friend's brother has had a crush on widower since his teens


Of course, I lassoed the hell out of this book and gobbled all the words.

Being as it's my first Annabeth Albert read, I'm not sure how it rates on the Annabeth Albert scale. If this was very on her A-game or there's better? *shrugs*

I was entertained and had a great time reading At Attention.

23 year-old Dylan gets a chance of his lifetime when his unrequited crush hires and moves him in his San Diego home for the summer. Dylan's crush, 34 year old Apollo needs a nanny to take care of his adorable 4 year old twins whole Apollo works on a naval base. This book can be read as a standalone, I wasn't lost. And I'm curious about the previous and future pairings.

Dylan tries to tamp down his lusty feelings as Apollo works through his grief. Two years has passed but there is no time limit on grieving. And Apollo is a grumpy, more reserved bundle of emotions. He would take time to start to contemplate having feelings for another man. Luckily, Apollo's libido isn't broken. And try as he might, he can't deny the easiness he has with Dylan. The camaraderie and sharing his daily worries of being a single parent added more base to their friendship foundation formed with Dylan was just a teen.

The story is a good mix of nerdy, adorable, (lightly) angsty, sexy and sweet. Dylan can't stop his feelings from blooming once again. Apollo sees his friend's kid brother in a new light, an adult. They try going the friendship route on equal terms, but their bodies won't be denied.

The sex in this book?

The sex If I had to give it a flavor, it's hot vanilla custard. Sweet, varied and with a hint of spice. (highlights: intercrural (yay!), frottage, light domination/ control a smidge of exhibition) There is mirror sex but, it could've been hotter in my opinion. I might have been spoiled by a hotter mirror scene in another NA series I've read.

The grieving and the time given for Apollo to work through his process was more important factor for me. Apollo plays hot and cold. The ghost of his lover is one he surrounds himself with daily and it's hard to break through. Dylan makes him crack through the shell. Plus, he's possessive and doesn't want any other guy getting Dylan's time. He wants it all to his self. That was bonus characteristics that I enjoy. The possessiveness and the control in the bedroom (of course).

The best bonus of all? Dylan wasn't a pushover. And he spoke his mind even if might hurt, be it himself or Apollo. I'm #teamDylan all day!

This story was really good. Not Earth shattering, or extremely memorable. For all themes it had going on, it worked. The writing is easy to read, all of the characters are likeable. All of them from kids to grandmas. I really liked how it ended, well maybe before the fluffed ending. It was added sugar I could have done without. But HEA lovers will totes lurve it.

This couple totally worked for me and I see them having a long loving future ahead of them.

Recommended for readers who enjoy contemporary, like the tropes I listed and wallow in second chance romance.

Come join me as I ride my pretty pony into the sunset.

#NoRegrets #teamDylan

Review copies were provided by NetGalley.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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