Maddox Horvat and Ben Tovey have been best friends since SEAL training ten years ago, and the two have been roommates ever since the end of Ben’s ill advised marriage. They are both also harboring feelings for one another, but they fear that acting on it will ruin the friendship they have. It doesn’t help that Ben isn’t really interested in a relationship after his marriage fell apart and spends his time on random hookups, while Ben is looking for something more stable. Things have also been a little awkward between them after a threesome ramped up the tension. But the men are determined to put their friendship first, even if that means stifling the feelings they have for one another.
When a mission leaves Maddox and Ben in a life-or-death situation, they must count on each other to make it out alive. And as they begin to recover, they realize that life is short and maybe it is worth taking a chance on things working out. The guys decide to try dating, at least for a short time, to see if things can work between them. Their chemistry is explosive and things seem to be working out well. But both men are uncertain about the future, worried that the other man wants something more or different and that the idyllic relationship they have isn’t something they can sustain. It is even more complicated as Maddox questions whether he even wants to continue in the Navy, or whether he will pursue his dream of opening a bakery. It seems like the men are on the verge of something great between them, but they must talk to one another and trust in each other if they are ever going to make it work.
On Point is the third book in Annabeth Albert’s excellent Out of Uniform series. They all feature Navy SEALS and so far, all couples who are living together. On Point is another great installment and picks up the story of Ben and Maddox who we got to know in At Attention as Apollo’s friends. I do think this book would work as a standalone as we learn the background on Ben and Maddox’s friendship and relationship in this story, but it is a bonus to have the some familiarity with them from earlier in the series.
I liked the pacing of this one as the story starts giving us a sense of these guys and their relationship, and then takes us along as they go on their mission. We know things are tense between them and the details slowly unfold told in flashbacks. The men end up in some serious danger, so there is a nice suspense element here, as well as a chance to really see how much these men mean to one another. Although they haven’t yet acted on their attraction, they are so strongly bonded that each man is willing to lay down his life for the other. I think this part is a really nice set up for the rest of the book, and it also gives us some interesting perspective on their military life.
When the men start “trial dating” they fall into a relationship very easily. They have both been wanting the other for so long that things spark pretty hot right away. I like that we also can see each of their fears and doubts here, both whether they can each give what the other needs, and also whether there is a future for them given their different long-term goals. But all the while we can also see how solid their connection is, how much they mean to one another, so even as they struggle we have confidence they can make it through. There is some nice character growth here and I enjoyed getting to know these guys below the surface.
I am really enjoying this series and On Point is another great installment. It was fun to get Maddox and Ben’s story, as well as to reconnect with some other series characters. After this story ends, we get an excerpt that gives us a glimpse into what is next for the series, and I am definitely looking forward to more.