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…
Romance | Contemporary | MM Romance | Military Romance | Adult Fiction
***Received an Advanced Readers Copy during a blog tour with ANovelTakePR in exchange for an honest review***
I have become a huge fan of Annabeth Albert, I definitely indulged hardcore in the Out of Uniform Series when I started it several months ago. I can admit that each one is definitely a new flavor, some hit or misses on my spectrum of obsession, but I still cannot deny I really enjoy the writing style of Annabeth. I think honestly it is her characters. She really dives deep in each angle of dynamics to ensure each romance is different.
And speaking of characters, Renzo and Canaan were definitely different, not what I was expecting. Renzo was a bit of an issue for me. One one end, I really liked his broody, complicated yet caring individual. He had this blend of sexy, confident yet insecurity about himself that was downright adorable. And I really enjoyed how Canaan really helped Renzo see how amazing he was both as a person and as a sexual piece of man meat. Unfortunately my biggest issue with Renzo comes with his supporting characters, his family. I felt his personality was dictated way too much by his family and honestly made his character appear …. questionable. It made it hard to connect with him. Plus his reasoning for breaking things off (gotta love the drama tropes) with Canaan was…. interesting, not one of my favorite.
Canaan too was interesting. I liked him yet he annoyed me. Though I can honestly say I enjoyed how much Canaan did for Renzo, again, he really brought out the brighter side of Renzo’s character but there was still a lot I disliked just as much as liked towards him. He had this free spirit yet always appeared jaded, he was outspoken and yet countered this with insecurity of his past, it was very flip flop. But I still loved getting to know Canaan, especially when I know he appeared in previous books on the Out of Uniform series, he was always a delight then and was a delight even now.
Canaan and Renzo together – oh my lanta, they were delicious. I loved their easy flow with one another, even at the beginning. Being able to read their sexual growth together was just phenomenal. The discovered each others personality, their sexual wants and needs, it really aided in the actual chemistry of their relationship. They had a great chemistry at the beginning, they had fun together and bottom line sexual chemistry was fun.
And though I can honestly admit, I did enjoy the chemistry between Renzo and Canaan, I simply could not get over the ‘fake boyfriend’ trope. It was something that I felt wasn’t needed in this plot. I get why, Canaan’s ex-boyfriend was a total tool, but just could have been just as amazing without this dynamic.
Overall, I liked Rough Terrain, but I just did not love it. I had a hard time connecting with the characters, though the chemistry was decent, it wasn’t anything to go for a home run for if I am being honest. There was still just a lack luster with the entirety of it that I think that basically threw me for a loop. Between the ‘Fake Boyfriend’ trope and the honest to goody good ‘Break up for the best’ kind of angle was just a little overdone when it could have been more simple, especially considering what I felt were plot holes.
Even still, this is a great addition to this wonderful series. Each character dynamic gives a different angle to their emotional struggles that it is just always beautiful to see each one evolve into a better human. The romance is definitely fierce, very passionate in this one. I am definitely excited to see what or who comes next!
“Canaan. Baby. Everyone will be coupled up. I’m bringing Eric, and everyone else has someone. I don’t want things to be awkward between us.”
God forbid they were awkward. Like breaking up in Prague hadn’t been bad enough, or Damian taking up with Eric, the replacement drummer, mere minutes later, now apparently they had to socialize like adults because the rest of their friend circle demanded it. And quite honestly, Canaan had lost enough the past few years. He wasn’t losing his oldest friends too. “Things will be fine.”
“Of course,” Damian said, a little too quickly and brightly. “But last time we talked, you said you were seeing someone… Just bring them. It’ll be easier. On everyone.”
More like easier on Eric’s jealous ass. And had Canaan said that? He supposed it was possible in some vague make-Damian-happy way that he’d alluded to such a thing.
“I…uh…” The absolute best thing would be to say the truth, which was that he was exactly as single as he’d been boarding that plane in Prague. As single as he’d been in the three years since, flitting from hookup to hookup, nothing sticking. But what came out was “He’s a SEAL. You know, unpredictable hours. Could be deployed anytime. Can’t say for sure if he’ll have leave…”
“Well, can he try?” Damian did not sound in the least impressed by the SEAL factoid. “And really, I’m happy for you. About time you moved on.”
“Yeah.” About that…
“Listen. Since your guy’s military and all, I’ll just tell Kelly you’re bringing him. I’ll cover the fee, and you guys just show up.”
“I’ve got money.” Not much, but he did have some, and didn’t feel the best about letting Damian float him. Not to mention his imaginary boyfriend.
“My present to you. I insist. Just get your ass to Flagstaff.”
“I’ll try. Probably by myself though because—”
“Bring. Him. Don’t be a loser.”
Too late. He already was a loser. Giant L and all. Twenty-six and concocting relationships out of thin air like some sixteen-year-old might. And he’d be showing up alone with some bullshit story, and things would be awkward with Damian and Eric, because of course they would be.
About Annabeth Albert:
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. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.
To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.
Connect with Annabeth Albert:
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