Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ARC Review: Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform 7) by Annabeth Albert

Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…

Dani's rating:

Canaan works at a smoothie shop on a military base, but he has life goals. He's taking care of his grandfather and studying to be a nurse. Canaan used to be the drummer for a band that made it big (or at least bigger) after he left.

But Canaan doesn't regret his decision, nor does he regret ogling the navy SEALs, or one SEAL in particular, who come into the smoothie shop to load up on protein.

Renzo (Rooster to his navy friends) enjoys flirting with Canaan more than he wants to admit. It's not that Renzo isn't out. His colleagues and family know he's bi, but his time in San Diego may be limited and relationships require time, something that's in short supply for a dedicated SEAL.

When Canaan offers trouble, Renzo can't say no, and so begins a relationship built on adventure and kisses. Renzo goes camping with Canaan and Canaan's former band mates (including Canaan's douchey ex), posing as Canaan's boyfriend.

When the men get trapped on a trail during a deluge, their flirting moves to another level. Canaan credits Renzo with saving his life and doesn't want to let Renzo go.

Renzo and Canaan's relationship is strong from the start. Canaan is big on talking things out and realizes quickly that Renzo is a perfectionist, especially when it comes to sex.

Renzo has a rather, uh, BIG problem. But Canaan assures him he can take it (really, it's no hardship!) and there are other ways to have fun. Renzo and Canaan burn up the sheets. This book has some of the hottest frotting scenes I've ever read. I loved all the sexy in this story!

There's also a strong sense of family. Both men want to do right by the people who raised them. Canaan adores his grandpa, who takes a liking to Renzo, especially when Renzo proves he can cook.

Renzo's family, especially his mom, puts him on a pedestal; the hero worship makes Renzo feel like he'll never be enough. His brother needs constant care, and Renzo still feels guilty for an accident that wasn't his fault.

Rough Terrain is well paced and tender, with overtones of hurt/comfort. There is some mild relationship angst toward the end, but it's resolved without undue drama.

I really loved this couple and was thrilled with their wonderful HEA. These two will fly high and land together. Always.

P.S. We've met Canaan in a previous Out of Uniform story, but it took me nearly two-thirds of the book to have this epiphany.

Get the book:

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
~Harper Lee

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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