Tag Team Review: Wheels Up (Out of Uniform #4) by Annabeth Albert

Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren't listening to rules and regulations.

Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething 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 semianonymous 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.


Adam - 3 Hearts

After meeting Dustin in book 2, I couldn’t wait to get his story. I was completely won over by how nonchalant Dustin was about his little brother and his best friend dating.

It turns out that Dustin has two big secrets - he’s bisexual, and he gets off on being tied up and bossed around. And he’s in love with his subordinate.

Wes Lowe is a new addition to the series. Wes and Dustin met on a hookup app, where Wes slowly brought Dustin out of his shell and got him comfortable with his kinks. The two spend a lot of time video chatting, but Dustin is skittish about meeting in person.

But from the moment that Dustin builds up the courage and meets Wes in person, the two just click. They’re hot in bed, and they clearly have an emotional connection too.


However, things quickly go downhill once Wes is transferred to Dustin’s SEAL team.

While I liked the set-up of the story, I found it difficult to focus on the book after that initial meeting between the two. I thought that the “voices” of the two men were just really similar, and so I had to keep pausing to remember who was who.

Also, I found myself annoyed by Dustin’s angst over coming out, given that his family had already accepted his younger gay brother. It just seemed like he was putting himself through unnecessary stress.

But I’m a sucker for a good coworkers-to-lovers story, especially when there’s a forbidden element, so it didn’t take me too long to become invested in Wes and Dustin’s tale.

Though they know it breaks every rule, Dustin and Wes just can’t stay away from each other. And it’s not just the physical attraction that keeps pulling them back together.

After months of chatting online, the two became each other’s best friend. For Dustin, Wes is the safety and acceptance he’s spent years looking for. And for Wes, Dustin gives him the calm and quiet he needs.

They’re perfectly matched for each other.

And of course, the hot chemistry does help. Reading about Dustin, the big gruff lieutenant SEAL, submitting to Wes, his younger and physically-smaller subordinate was incredibly hot.


Eventually, the ish hits the fan, forcing the two men to figure out what they’re willing to give up to be together. I thought the resolution was very sweet, with the appropriate grand gestures and a perfect HEA.

While it took me awhile to get into this book, I ended up enjoying Dustin and Wes’ love story!

SheReadsALot - 4.5 Hearts

I'm still wearing a WTF face after finishing Wheels Up. And not for the reasons you might think.

This is my favorite of the Out of Uniform series (so far). So...what's the face for?

See, I wasn't expecting it. Hence me being perplexed at how much I enjoyed this story and leading men. I didn't think any character would have knocked Dylan off of my pedestal of #1. Looks like Dustin just did. At least, I'm keeping it in the family. I love the Strauss brothers!

I couldn't get into the beginning of Wheels Up. I liked the setup, people who have a connection online who finally take a chance and meet in real life. But something about the beginning, had me going through the motions. I continued and then somewhere in the middle it finally clicked, I really liked the MC's.

Standalone Wheels Up features Dustin, the older brother of At Attention's lead Dylan, is a 32 year old lieutenant who is coming to terms with his sexuality and finally admitting to himself that he is bisexual. He's still figuring things out with himself and not sharing with anyone including his best friend or brother. He worked himself up to seeking someone to jerk off with on a gay military hookup app. And he ends up befriending a guy. Other than sharing aliases, neither one share what department of the armed forces they serve in. They just bond through shared kinks and form something more than a jerk off buddy. After months of interactions and cyber hookups, they meet in person. And the chemistry they share only blossoms. But it was supposed to be a one night stand...

Until Dustin's jerk off pal becomes his subordinate the next month due to a transfer. Younger, semi out Petty Officer Wes is a shock to Dustin's system. And it's a shock for Wes himself. Wes has his own shit to deal with as he has a sick sibling that rocks him to his core. The camaraderie with Dustin, though it is forbidden the moment he became Dustin's subordinate, helps get Wes through the day.

The bond between both men is present from the beginning hookup to the San Diego naval base. And reading them try to fight and deny it is what finally pulled me in.

The sexual chemistry is undeniable. Dustin's 6' 4" and a walking and talking SEAL poster boy. But in the bedroom, he's submissive with a penchant for ass play. And has a problem coming to terms with needing to have someone dominating him. Wes fills that role perfectly. Wes is a sexy care taking dominant (my fave!) The kink is mild D/s with some bondage. If kink isn't your fave to read, I think it is light enough to be tolerated. Big Guy Bottoming SCORE! *coughs*

The sex was not on every page though it starts off as a sexual relationship. It was a slow build into something more and each sexual contact has an emotional aspect that I dug, each act meaningful since they have to go through some many hoops to keep their secret.

There is some angst, Dustin dealing with his bisexuality and his perception of what his family and friends will think, he's lived the lie as a ladies man for so long it's all he knows. and Wes has his family crisis to deal with. The forbidden love just added another layer on a difficult setup.

But it worked.

And somewhere around 50-60%, I was all in and invested on seeing how these would ever get a chance to be together. I loved the angsty moments so much.

The ending is perfect for the main characters, not overly sweet and schmoop without consequences. It's realistic and they both have to put in work for it. You can give me any romance where their HEA isn't handed to them on a silver platter and you will have one enthralled reader on your hands.

As I was with Wheels Up.

Recommended to fans of loners who finally get their chance at a HEA, sexual exploration, and military men! 

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