Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: January 14, 2019
Received From: NetGalley / A Novel Take PR
The camping trip from hell may be the first stop on the road to happily-ever-after.
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…
SEXUALITY: bisexual, homosexual
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: biromantic, homoromantic
TROPES: fake dating, lost in the wilderness, height difference
TAGS: adult, contemporary, romance, queer romance, queer characters, military personnel
WARNINGS: ableism, parental death mention, cancer mention, vomiting mention, cheating mention, anti-bi language
“Mine. All mine.” Renzo put his free hand on Canaan’s chest, covering his heart. Mimicking the gesture, Canaan moved his own hand to Renzo’s heart, right over his medallion necklace.
“Mine,” he told Renzo. “Not letting go.”
What is there to say about this book but that it was an absolute joy to read?
I have adored Canaan since the very first time he was on page, and that has only grown into an obnoxious amount of love as the series has continued. Seriously, I could burst from all the happy feelings Canaan makes me feel, especially after reading ROUGH TERRAIN. He is the sexy, fun loving man that we first get to know, but with this novel, we finally get to see the whole, true Canaan. And we learn that he has the biggest heart, wanting only to take care of the people that he loves, and to help others however he can. He’s sweet and honest and stubborn and isn’t afraid to make himself vulnerable, even when it doesn’t work out for him. It’s impossible not to leave this book caring so much about Canaan Finley.
Similarly, we finally get to learn about Renzo, who we only briefly meet a few times in TIGHT QUARTERS. We know that he’s bisexual and likes to share fitness videos on instagram, but as with Canaan, we get a more complete picture of him with this novel. He’s a man constantly struggling under the weight of his family’s and his own expectations for himself; one who is embarrassed and scared to talk about sex, let alone have it, because he’s had some bad experiences in the past; and he’s a gentle soul who, again, like Canaan, just wants to care for and support the people he loves. He’s less of the brash SEAL one expects and more of a confident, considerate sweetheart.
And the two of them together was just *chef’s kiss* wonderful. They’re simultaneously tooth rottingly precious, sexy as hell, and a bunch of fun to read about. While they certainly have their ups and downs, especially during the fake dating portion of the story, the two of them are so good for and with each other. They make an effort to understand the other’s priorities and their likes and dislikes, and they take that effort even further by making a point to show they care and are able to adapt and incorporate each other, and their priorities, into their lives.
While I’m so sad that the Out of Uniform series has come to an end, I truly believe ROUGH TERRAIN was the perfect close.
Frequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.