Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform #7)

Title: Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform Book 7)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: January 14, 2019
Genre(s): M/M Military Romance
Page Count: 384
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Read book blurb here

FYI, I've read three books in Annabeth Albert's "Out of Uniform" series and enjoyed them immensely, but after reading more than a few SEAL-related books lately, I was a bit burned out with the general theme. But, holy cow, hold the presses ... I loved the everlasting heck out of "Rough Terrain."

The author has a way of taking various plot devices (fake boyfriend and two MCs in peril that brings them closer) that could be overdone in lesser hands and makes them fresh and insightful. Canaan is an admitted "SEAL chaser" and is fascinated by gorgeous Renzo who, with his SEAL friends, weekly drops by the smoothie place where Canaan works (in addition to finishing up his classes to become a nurse).

Renzo looks like the typical buff SEAL but he's got some issues. He's relatively shy, doesn't like hook-ups, prefers long slow gentle kisses and is uncomfortable with sex. ("Canaan was beginning to suspect that Renzo had a hidden romantic side that really valued the emotional part of sex.") He's also got a huge hero complex and a strong bend towards perfectionism. "He had this ... need to be perfect. [...] To be the best son. Best brother."

Canaan, on the other hand, is very comfortable in his freewheeling existence and his sexuality:
Ah. There you go. It's a perfectionist control-freak thing with you. No one's great at sex - that's part of the fun. Weird parts knock together. Things get tangled. People fall off beds. Lube runs out. But then you get lucky, and everything works, and it's ... Nothing like it.
But Canaan also knows that "he wasn't the kind of guy people planned futures with." He's still a college student at 26 and basically lives with his grandpa.

Yet, these two dissimilar personalities work so well together, and for the most part because they honestly communicate with one another. They work together to survive a perilous situation and work together for their happy ending. Yes, the sex scenes are pretty darn hot, but it's their basic understanding and appreciation and love for each other that really really works so well in this book. (Personally, I could have done without the subplot about Canaan's evil-ex but that's a small niggle.) 4.5 stars and a Recommended Read.

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