Squared Away (Out of Uniform Series #5)

Squared Away (Out of Uniform Series #5)

by Annabeth Albert

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488081323
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 04/16/2018
Series: Out of Uniform Series , #5
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 26,277
File size: 869 KB

About the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out more visit annabethalbert.com. 

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Squared Away (Out of Uniform Series #5) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
HEABookNerd More than 1 year ago
Once again Annabeth Albert writes a fantastic book and I’m loving this series more and more with each new addition! I’m a huge fan of deeply emotional, character driven reads and I always find that with Albert’s books. Squared Away in particular was giving me all the feels; between the grief over losing Cal and Dani, to Isaiah’s worry over keeping custody of the kids, to Mark’s self discovery it was overflowing with emotions. I was sucked in from the very beginning and desperate to find out more as I went on this journey with Mark and Isaiah. The pace in the beginning was a bit slower but I think it fit the overall somber feel of that part of the story. But even with such a heavy topic weighing in, I never felt overwhelmed by the character’s grief, which I appreciated. Albert’s skill with writing allowed the reader to see everyone’s pain and oftentimes anger without totally derailing the more happy and hopeful parts. The characters are always a strong suit of these books, and I loved Isaiah from start to finish! He’s wonderfully confident and compassionate and he’s never afraid to go after what he wants. Isaiah never backs down on his fight to take care of the kids and he was truly a wonderful “parent” for them. I loved seeing him in the prologue and then getting to see how much he’s grown up once we see him with the kids. He’s also incredibly understanding of Mark as he works to sort out his sexuality and accept himself for who he is. Mark was a tougher cookie to crack in the beginning and he comes across a bit standoffish and snobby. He has no confidence in Isaiah’s ability to be a stable parent but he soon sees just how much Isaiah has changed. I really grew to love Mark as well in the story and most of that comes from how much introspection and acceptance he goes through in his journey. I always love a book that can teach me something new so I really appreciated Albert’s representation of a character who was grey ace or demisexual. Mark has pretty much given up on relationships and the idea of love because he’s rarely interested in other people or sex. He’s been attracted to men before but he doesn’t really consider himself gay or even bi. Mark goes through a lot of self-discover in this book and watching him learn to understand his orientation and what’s happening in his mind, body, and heart was really great. Mark and Isaiah have such amazing chemistry in a really sweet way. But make no mistake these two are hot together, but they also share the quieter moments like cuddling during a movie and kissing for endless amounts of time. Of course Marks’s newly found self is hard at times for him to accept and this causes friction between Mark and Isaiah. The inevitable clash was heartbreaking to read and I felt so much for both men who are just trying to find happiness after so much loss. I loved Squared Away from start to finish and I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
Archaeolibrarian More than 1 year ago
Squared Away is the fifth book in the Out of Uniform series, but can be read as a standalone, as I did. However, I must say that now I have found out what an exceptional writer Annabeth Albert is, it won't be the last book of hers I read! Isaiah is a bit of a 'flirt', and at eighteen he decides he is going to lose his V-card to a SEAL at his brother's wedding. However Mark, the SEAL, isn't interested in just being 'someone' to sleep with, and so tells Isaiah he isn't gay or interested. He then manages to avoid Isaiah for the next five years, although he still hears about Isaiah's exploits. Trust me, he is no longer a card-carrying member! These two get thrown together by tragedy, and are both left in charge of three children. This story revolves around the decisions they make, and how they learn to love and live together, whilst loving three mini-humans who demand so much time. Squared Away is a complex love story that goes so slow it is completely and utterly scintillating. I wondered how it would work with Isaiah's reputation, but it was simply amazing. Yes, his reputation bites him in the ass, but with Mark, he goes slow - and it is beautiful. There are reasons for this as Mark is demisexual. We find out exactly what this means for Mark, and the struggles he has, both with it and with being scared to want more with Isaiah. Oh man, this is so good. I mean, seriously! The chemistry between these two melted my kindle, and I loved every word. It is heart-breaking, it is beautiful. With no editing or grammatical errors that I noticed, Squared Away is an exceptional story, told by a brilliant author. Her style of writing is realistic, with plenty of complex emotions and situations. Life doesn't always go smoothly, but it can be worth the effort you put in to a difficult situation. Absolutely amazing, and I am now putting more books by this author on my T-B-R list! You'd be a fool not to read this one. * A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. * Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Squared Away is a super adorable and emotional story about friendship, family, loyalty, and heartbreak. I found myself crying a few times during the story because these characters just go through so much. Between losing their family member, having their whole lives and futures turned on their side when they find out they are the guardians on these three adorable children, navigating their feelings for each other, there was just never a moment for these two to just breathe. Not only is this an amazing romance, but it deals with grief and all the emotions and things associated with losing a loved one. There’s pain at the loss, anger for the fact that she drove drunk that night, uncertainty about the kids, worry over CPS taking the kids away while they find them a more suitable home, and the need to have normalcy when nothing is normal. There was just so much that these characters go through, and yet they have to remain strong and put on a brave face for the kids. The kids, who are too young to fully grasp what happened to their parents. This story was just so emotional that it was hard not to find myself invested in these characters lives. This is the second story in the Out of Uniform series that I’ve read, and it’s the second one that I’ve immensely enjoyed. I love that the author makes the story feel so real. She’s able to pull the reader in and make you feel like you are part of the story. You feel their emotions, their turmoil, and it’s so hard to not get wrapped up in it all. I really need to go back and read the other books in the series, because if the two I’ve already read are anything to go on, they are going to give me a book hangover.
whatsbetterthanbooks More than 1 year ago
Sensuous, intimate, and sensitive! Squared Away is a heartfelt story that takes us into the lives of Mark and Isaiah as they each must learn to cope with the loss of a sibling, their new status as guardians to three children, and a budding relationship that will require a lot of trust and understanding. The writing is generous and compassionate. The characters are sorrowful, supportive, and flawed. And the plot told from two different points of view nicely unravels to reveal a tale about life, loss, grief, responsibility, friendship, family, support, and the importance of communication. Squared Away is another beautifully written tale about finding unconditional love by Albert that not only touches on the struggles encountered by same-sex and interracial relationships, but also the challenges faced by those who are grey ace on the asexual spectrum.
Mari-BayouBookJunkie More than 1 year ago
4 Stars! After Isaiah's cousin and his wife die in a tragic accident, both him and Mark Whitley's, the wife's brother, are left dealing with the aftermath and trying to keep the couple's 3 young children in their custody. Mark thinks Isaiah is too young at 24 to really know what he's getting into and Isaiah is determined to prove him wrong. Squared Away is book 5 in the Out of Uniform series and can be read as a standalone, although I suggest you pick the whole series as it's amazing and you won't regret it. When I started reading the book, I found Isaiah very likable and wasn't too sure about Mark, then I started liking Mark and getting slightly frustrated with Isaiah, and thankfully, by the end, I got to a happy medium and ended up liking both of them. Isaiah was young and wasn't too certain of what he really wanted to do with his life, other than taking care of his cousin Cal's children, and I really enjoyed seeing him find something he could be passionate about. He was great with the children and I really enjoyed their interactions. Of course, he was also in a bit over his head and refused to ask for help until Dylan pointed it out that he should put the children's welfare above his ego. He was really patient with Mark as he figured things out, and really, I can't fault him for getting fed up that Mark just refused to give it a try. Now, Mark, well, I wasn't too sure what to make of him at first, although I liked his journey of self-discovery as he finally accepted his sexuality and kind of settled on a label. It took him a long time, too, which was a bit annoying. I just couldn't understand what the problem was with others finding out he was with Isaiah, but I guess all's well that ends well. Overall, I think the two of them showed a lot of growth throughout the book and it was nice seeing the progression of their relationship. While Squared Away wasn't my favorite book in the series, it was still pretty good, a bit angsty and heavy in parts, but well balanced with the romance and becoming an instant family. I loved that the kids were such an integral part of the story without taking it over, too. And of course, it was nice catching up with other characters from the series. All in all, this was a lovely hurt/comfort read and I have no trouble recommending it. *** Copy provided to the reviewer via NetGalley by Carina Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
Nameher More than 1 year ago
I love the writing of this author and with Annabeth Albert, the story is the thing. She has a way of telling the story that is genuine and emotional and the intimacy is just right to tell the story. I would characterize this as the story of frenemies to lovers with a bit of a twist as they have much more to consider than their own feelings. I think that Mark, the Navy SEAL has much to learn on this journey of self-discovery and it is engaging and even fun to watch him change as he learns to listen and observe. Emotional tension becomes sexual tension when two men connected by the marriage of Mark’s sister and Isaiah’s cousin come together as the result of a tragedy. The characters in this story are very different, yet complement each other. Mark is the Navy SEAL in every way and Isaiah, formerly a bit of a party boy has grown up quickly to care for his cousin’s children. Each man has an idea about what the new normal will be following the tragedy without taking into account, the plans of the other man or of the deceased parents of the young children. Mark believes that his strength will serve him in his new role but he has no relationship with the children nor any experience with children. Isaiah is vulnerable yet determined and resourceful but the task ahead is not for the weak. The author delivers an emotional and satisfying story in her own indomitable fashion.
HEChapter More than 1 year ago
DEEPLY EMOTIONAL ~ MARK IS MY PEOPLE! ~*~*~ HEC's SECOND #5STAR REVIEW OF 2018! ~*~*~ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FIVE-STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ > > Judging a Book by it's Cover > Looking Deeper Third-person SQUARED AWAY is the first book I've read that contained a Demi or Ace character so I had nothing to compare it to but trust that Annabeth Albert did him justice. I was not sure how I'd feel reading it but I was surprised by how much I, personally, identified with Mark... like he's of my people. Isaiah and Mark had so many hurdles to overcome with meddling family, friends, neighbors, grieving, the courts, past experiences, lack of experience, kids, schedules, work/school, and personal identity awareness that it was emotionally exhausting to read them endure it all. I can only imagine how much harder it was to write it. They made a believable insta-family, learning by trial and error, and not all days were perfect. There was a mishap, leading to an ER trip and subsequent fallout that validated the learning process of parenting and the struggle of balancing it with another person just as new. The kids were enjoyable and felt age appropriate. I loved Mark's character, though sometimes "Stubborn SEAL" would not have been my choice of words for him. Isaiah was amazingly compassionate and did an outstanding job at becoming a mature and responsible "parent" the moment he was needed to step in. Their chemistry was magnetic but denied and ignored for a length of time, so this was a slow build but, again, it felt RIGHT for Mark's character. Secondaries were strong and varied in supportive or opposing nature. Dialogue was smart, their interactions were natural. The plot was heartfelt, dynamic, and entertaining. Flow was easy and smooth. Some of the conflicts could have been avoided with better communication and a more direct approach - and especially with the matters of great importance that needed to be addressed but kept getting pushed back. Other obstacles were tripped and fallen over, flat on one's face. But they got up and continued on "one step at a time, one foot in front of the other". It seemed to be a running theme and, really, it was all they could do with what they were given. Predictability was lower than expected, especially having read numerous books by this author previously. It went places I did not expect and did not go places I figured it might. I was quite pleased with that. The conclusion was solid, satisfying, and sweet. (They needed a dog though! LOL) I've enjoyed this series all the way through, but I think this one really stands above the rest. It was deeper on an emotional level and that really spoke to me. . Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.525 ~ Stars: 5 ========================== ⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐
ButtonsMom2003 More than 1 year ago
This was a very emotional story for me; I loved it. I'm not sure what else I can say about Annabeth Albert's Out of Uniform series that hasn't already been said. It's a fantastic series and most of the books have been very emotional reads for me. Squared Away features Mark who's confused about his sexuality, specifically his lack of sexual desire; he's never felt sexual desire for anyone, male or female. He's read up on asexuality but he's not really sure where he fits in the spectrum and he hates labels. Isaiah is gay and out. Six years ago, he made a pass at Mark and there was a spark, but Mark wouldn't act on it because Isaiah was only 18. A horrible tragedy brings these two back together again and memories of all the unresolved feelings they both had come flooding back. Man, this book really got to me. Both Mark and Isaiah want to take care of the children left behind when Mark's sister and her husband (Isaiah's cousin) died. Isaiah is close to the three kids but Mark is a SEAL, and frequently deployed, so he hasn't spent much time around them. They both want what is best for the children but they are at odds as to what that really is. While they are waiting for the courts to make a decision about custody of the children Mark and Isaiah grow closer. Isaiah is no longer the randy teenager he once was but he has trouble getting Mark to believe that. After Isaiah learns of Mark's fears about his lack of sexual desire he is quick to reassure him that he is content to take things as slow as Mark wants. He has to work hard to convince Mark that there are many different ways to make each other feel good and that he loves just making out with him. It takes a lot of groveling on Mark's part to get Isaiah to give him another chance after he screws things up but Annabeth Albert always delivers an HEA, no matter how hard it might be for her guys to get there. I am so happy that there will be more stories in this series. BTW - each book in this series can easily be read as a standalone story. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions***
Misty McMillen More than 1 year ago
All of the books in the Out of Uniform series are good, although really you can say that about all of AA’s books, some are great but then some, like Squared Away, reach a whole new level of amazing. This is an angsty, character driven plot, where all of the story and conflict is about the main characters and the situation they’ve been thrust into. Without giving anything away it’s just a very emotional journey through difficult personal hardships, and learning about themselves. I love Mark, what he comes to realize about himself touched me in a deeply personal way and him growing as a person. I love Isaiah even more for how he accepted Mark and they overcame the conflicts. Due to Mark’s revelation the heat level on this is lower than your typical AA book, but accurate. But oh the romance, I’m not sure I’ve read such a romantic book recently. It’s very focused on their connection , and you can feel it jumping off the page. It’s probably not perfect, I can see where some things might not work for other readers, but it was so perfect for me. I highly recommend this whole series. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader’s copy.
AustenRowling More than 1 year ago
This is the fifth book in the Out of Uniform series, but can be read as a stand alone. When Isaac and Mark (wizard) first meet, there is an attraction and they form a tenuous bond, but due to their age difference, Mark’s reluctant to act on it. In fact, Mark spends the next 6 years avoiding situations where they are in the same rom. Now, due to the deaths of Isaac’s cousin and Mark’s sister, they are forced to live and work together taking care of their young children, while fighting a custody battle. Unfortunately their wills didn’t match, giving each of them custody. Spending all this time together, initial perceptions are challenged, and they realize they make a really good team. Along the way, they finally act on their old attraction and fool around, and fall in love. With help from the courts, they also sort out a custody agreement and living arrangements that makes almost everyone happy. I really enjoyed this book. It was very much relationship and family focused, but there was enough military content, so that it fit in with the rest of the series. I liked Isaac from the start, his whole focus was on the children, and doing what he had to to show he was the best person to take care of them. Mark was harder to warm up to. He still saw Isaac as the irresponsible party boy teenager he was when they met. Being a SEAL, he was all about being in control and didn’t stop to look at the big picture, he also didn’t give much thought to having custody would affect his job. I did enjoy watching their relationship develop while Mark made some discoveries of his sexuality. He is asexual/gray ace, and while he had no issues with being attracted to a guy, he wasn’t always comfortable with sex. Isaac was very understanding and never forced him to do anything. He was happy make out and frot all night, though it took Mark awhile to believe and trust his words. Aside from some of Mark’s actions, which does cause some relationship strife, l have a little niggle when it comes to the children. While she does a better job keeping the older girls acting their ages (preschool age), occasionally the baby does things I don’t think he should be able to do. I think he starts talking a little too soon. Overall, this is a great addition to the series and I recommend.
AustenRowling More than 1 year ago
This is the fifth book in the Out of Uniform series, but can be read as a stand alone. When Isaac and Mark (wizard) first meet, there is an attraction and they form a tenuous bond, but due to their age difference, Mark’s reluctant to act on it. In fact, Mark spends the next 6 years avoiding situations where they are in the same rom. Now, due to the deaths of Isaac’s cousin and Mark’s sister, they are forced to live and work together taking care of their young children, while fighting a custody battle. Unfortunately their wills didn’t match, giving each of them custody. Spending all this time together, initial perceptions are challenged, and they realize they make a really good team. Along the way, they finally act on their old attraction and fool around, and fall in love. With help from the courts, they also sort out a custody agreement and living arrangements that makes almost everyone happy. I really enjoyed this book. It was very much relationship and family focused, but there was enough military content, so that it fit in with the rest of the series. I liked Isaac from the start, his whole focus was on the children, and doing what he had to to show he was the best person to take care of them. Mark was harder to warm up to. He still saw Isaac as the irresponsible party boy teenager he was when they met. Being a SEAL, he was all about being in control and didn’t stop to look at the big picture, he also didn’t give much thought to having custody would affect his job. I did enjoy watching their relationship develop while Mark made some discoveries of his sexuality. He is asexual/gray ace, and while he had no issues with being attracted to a guy, he wasn’t always comfortable with sex. Isaac was very understanding and never forced him to do anything. He was happy make out and frot all night, though it took Mark awhile to believe and trust his words. Aside from some of Mark’s actions, which does cause some relationship strife, l have a little niggle when it comes to the children. While she does a better job keeping the older girls acting their ages (preschool age), occasionally the baby does things I don’t think he should be able to do. I think he starts talking a little too soon. Overall, this is a great addition to the series and I recommend.
CRISSYM More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read in this series and it can be read as a standalone. I enjoy a good m/m romance read from time to time and I was excited to read this one based on the blurb. However, this book was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed the storyline and the characters. However, the story flowed at such a slow pace. There was really nothing that made this story stand out for me and I even though it was an okay read, I expected more. I really thought this book would blow me away and it didn't, so I'm a little disappointed in this one.