In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.
Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.
As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.
I really liked this book in the Out of Uniform series, for so many reasons. I love books that include kids, especially books that include them for more than just props. I also love books that center around a strong sense of family… Squared Away had all that and more.
Mark loved his family, but his life as a Seal kept him away. Isaiah loved his family too and even though he played the part of “wild party boy” he had his priorities. He was there for them and not just because of his proximity. Because of the physical distance between them, it was natural for Mark to not really know the man that Isaiah had grown into. It didn’t take long for Mark to realize that his assumptions had been wrong, but he still couldn’t shake the idea that Isaiah might fall back into the person who couldn’t commit and wasn’t dependable enough to take on the responsibility of his sister’s kids – plus, he wanted to keep his heart safe.
One of the other reasons why I loved this book is because it was so “real.” The juggling of kids and working. The crushing grief that both Mark and Isaiah experienced and the strength they had to muster to be there for the kids. The judgement that came with Isaiah not only being a man, but gay. Mark wasn’t the only one who thought that Isaiah was in over his head, so he had a lot to prove. The kids came first, regardless and in the end, that’s what made me grow to admire both Mark and Isaiah. Neither one of them were perfect, but together, they were great.
Basically, this story had a lot of heart and was a great addition to the Out of Uniform series. ❤ A couple of characters from past books made appearances in Squared Away and fit in well – offering the support that both Isaiah and Mark needed. Tight Quarters is next and I can’t wait!