Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Kensington Books
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.
What a wonderful story! This one was not only one of the most exciting stories I’ve read by this author, it was also the hottest—and the one that I am putting at the top of my list of favorites.
The author sprinkles in back story as she sets best friends, Ben Tovey (who we met in At Attention) and Maddox Horvat, off on a SEAL mission that fails spectacularly. But Ben, almost at the cost of his own life, manages to rescue Maddox after he’s injured, dragging him to the secondary pickup point. For Ben, it’s more than “SEALS never leave anyone behind.” He loves Maddox and has for years, though no one knows—including Maddox.
As it turns out, both are rescued and both are sent to emergency surgery and later recuperation, but neither knows the other’s condition, and it drives Ben crazy once he’s awake and aware. It also turns out to be the impetus he needs to finally reveal his feelings to Maddox once they are on the road to recovery and back to rooming together.
I totally adored their discovery of each other’s sexual kinks and preferences. Honestly, one needs a personal fan to read these scenes. And it’s not just the sex act—it’s the chemistry, the emotion, the joy of being together. Both men are sexually experienced, but never together, and giving in to their hearts’ deepest desires played out even better, IMHO, than many first-time-with-a-man scenes.
Naturally, there’s a problem looming on the horizon—Maddox decides not to “re-up” but fails to tell Ben and Ben hears about it while on duty. Heartbroken that Maddox didn’t trust him, Ben pulls away and moves in with his family. But Maddox didn’t tell him because he knew Ben would talk him out of it, and the one thing Maddox wants as much as he wants Ben is to own his own bakery. With the help of his friends, that dream may come true—but at the cost of losing Ben forever.
It wouldn’t be an Annabeth Albert story without a happy ending, so have no fear. But the joy is in watching it unfold and sharing in the happiness that is this couple’s final destination. Highly recommended!