Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

squared away.jpgIn the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*

I just want to start by saying that this book is the fifth of Out of Uniform series but it can be read as a standalone, which is what I did. As in many romance novels, the characters may have appeared before, but I had no problems.

In the beginning, Isaiah is just determined to lose his virginity to the brother of the bride (and his cousin’s wife). Yet Mark despite being really tempted, declines the ‘invitation’. Fast forward six years in the future, Mark, the badass navy SEAL with the nickname ‘Wizard’ comes back home due to a tragic event – his sister and her husband have been killed driving while drunk, and leaving behind them three children.

Despite being a young and irresponsible (and also known as promiscuous), Isaiah takes care of the three children when they cannot reach Mark. And even though he is struggling, and rejecting help from others, Isaiah is doing quite a good job despite the circumstances. He’s helped taking care of them before so he knew them.

But when Mark comes home, two conflicting wills create…well, a conflict. And Mark and Isaiah have to live in the same house and take care of children together. To be honest, I found Mark a bit annoying in the beginning. He comes back home and suddenly he is the one who should take care of the children despite barely knowing them?

But as the story progressed, I started liking Mark more. Trying to figure out his relationship with Isaiah, his sexuality, AND dealing with children and grief makes for a hard time. I loved how patient Isaiah was with Mark as well as Mark trying to figure it all out and dealing with it and eventually telling his friends he is gray-ace.

I think the dealing with grief was quite well done, it seemed realistic and it was not over in a couple of seconds but it took a lot of time to start dealing with it. The children were also lovable and realistic.

But one of my favourite parts of all was Isaiah finding the job he took pleasure in. Despite his father criticising it a lot and almost forcing him to go back to school, he stands up for himself and finds work that he takes pleasure in (and which also help him take care of children).

All in all, it was a nice book and I will definitely pick up the author’s other books as well.


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