Looking for a new author to try out? Here’s everything you need to know about Annabeth Albert, whose books include Conventionally Yours, Sailor Proof, and the Out of Uniform series.
What She Writes:
Contemporary M/M character-driven romance primarily written in dual POV (sometimes 1st person, sometimes 3rd person).
Expect: geek-love, domesticity, and competence porn.
See also: age gaps, size difference, and virgin heroes
What Makes Her Unique:
If you’re looking for certain kinds of rep, she’s likely to write it. Demisexuality, bisexuality, heroes using wheelchairs, heroes with ADHD or other neurodiversity, and so on. Her protagonists also work through their issues by talking them out on page – literary stand-ins for healthy communication and conflict resolution need not apply. Her military romances are very popular, but often her protagonists (including many of the partners of the military protagonists) have unique or unglamorous jobs.
The tension in her stories tends to come from a situational problem or long-held idea. Think vacation romance (one is going home eventually) or eternal bachelor (can have bedroom fun, can’t do emotional connection). Most often it’s more of an AND, actually, with emotional hang-ups compounding the situational conflict. This results in a relatively calm narrative voice with a focus on internal processing, domestic scenes that demonstrate what the future could be like, and gray moments that allow the protagonists to consider their life choices and desires after a fight. Some drama may occur (like escaping a flash flood by climbing a cliff face or surviving an avalanche), but it doesn’t drive the story.
How I feel when I’m reading:
Why We Love Her:
Her books are calmly, domestically, charmingly satisfying. And she leans into the geeky.
She Might Not Be For You If:
You prefer plot-driven romance to character-driven romance. Or you like high drama. Or if characters not acting in their own best (romantic) interests drives you up the wall. Also: Most of her protagonists want marriage, and though some of her couples don’t have or discuss children, kids or a desire for kids is not unusual.
Tipsy. Ah, that was it. Dylan was definitely buzzing, and the usually rock-solid Apollo had to be doing the same. That explained the laughing and the touching and the unrestrained eagerness. Darn it. Dylan wished that just this…whatever it was between them was enough, that it could be the sole source of Apollo’s sudden mood shift, that he alone could intoxicate Apollo to this affectionate state.
The lights of downtown beckoned as the boat approached the dock. Wanting more with this man was as foolish as trying to harness the flickering lights of the tall buildings. And yet…
I want it all.—At Attention
The Bottom Line:
These books are not GIANT EMOTIONAL FEELS books that will knock your socks off. They are pure comfort reads that feel good like: I’ll be reading that whole backlist now.
While these sometimes angsty protagonists often don’t feel particularly high-angst, they still may be dealing with various kinds of trauma including: homophobic families or colleagues, internalized homophobia, disabilities from new injuries, personal chronic illnesses, family members dealing with chronic or terminal illnesses, grief from recent death in the family, financial instability or insecurity, etc. Several of her books also include (difficult) coming out narratives (see homophobia).
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