Sink or Swim by Annabeth Albert _ Book Review

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Winning and losing are subject to sexy interpretation…

Navy chief Calder Euler loves to win big. His latest score? A remote mountain cabin. Checking it out is supposed to be a quick trip, but Calder’s luck abruptly turns when a freak injury and a freakier snowstorm leave him stranded.

Oh, and the cabin isn’t empty. A silver fox caring for two young girls claims that the property is his, but Calder’s paperwork says otherwise.

Felix Sigurd is on a losing streak, and his ex-husband risking the cabin in a reckless bet is only the latest in a series of misfortunes. He’ll tolerate the handsome stranger for a couple nights–even care for his injuries—but that’s it.

Calder doesn’t know a damn thing about kids, but making pancakes for Felix’s girls is a surprising delight. Trapped in the cabin, the four of them slip easily into the rhythms of a family. But when the ice melts, they’ll have to decide if a future together is in the cards.

Shore Leave
Book 1: Sailor Proof
Book 2: Sink or Swim

Also by Annabeth Albert:

Out of Uniform
Book 1: Off Base
Book 2: At Attention
Book 3: On Point
Book 4: Wheels Up
Book 5: Squared Away
Book 6: Tight Quarters
Book 7: Rough Terrain

Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters. Discover a new Carina Adores book every month!

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Sink or Swim
 is the second stand alone in the Shore Leave series by Annabeth Albert. A romance between a single parent doctor and a Naval Chief.

Navy Chief Calder wins the keys to a cabin in a poker game, unfortunately it’s already owned rightfully by Felix. Felix and his two nieces that he’s raising show up at the same time as him, and because of a slip and a whole lot of snow they end up snowed in together for the weekend. Felix is recently out of an unpleasant divorce, still relatively new to being a parent, and doesn’t see another relationship in the future for himself. Calder is use to being the fun friend and is always ready to gamble and win, but after meeting Felix and the girls, he starts to rethink what he sees for his future. But will Felix turn down everything Calder has to offer, or will he give him the chance at a future together.

“Meeting his gaze, I tried to tell him with my eyes that this didn’t have to be so scary. I believed in him. Believed in us.”

The star of Sink or Swim for me was definitely Calder. I loved how he didn’t let his fears and comfortableness hold him back from bonding with Felix’s girls. Whether it was making them meals or going sledding with them, he made the effort. He also 100% landed somewhere on the asexual spectrum, most likely Demi Grey, but it’s not labeled in the story. He had sexual feelings, but the level and frequency was minimal. He was insecure about not always being able to climax with partners but was all for pleasuring his partner. I love that Felix let him know there was nothing wrong with him and that he was just fine if all they did was kissing and cuddles.

” Oh, baby, talk organization to me.” Chuckling, Felix returned my kiss. He tasted like red wine and happiness, and I wanted to stay in that moment forever.

I enjoyed Felix and his daughters too. Felix was a little hot and cold, but it was understandable under the circumstances. As a single parent, he has to put stability for his girls ahead of his own wants. However, Calder proved over and over again that he was committed to all of them, and Felix’s lack of giving him credit was frustrating. Both girls were darling, one shy and nervous, the other fearless and with a morbid curiosity.

Overall, Sink or Swim by Annabeth Albert was an easy read with a solid happily ever after. Snowed In, forced proximity, pancake mornings, date nights, pantry organizing and lazy kisses.

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