Welcome to my review for book 2 in the Portland Heat series by Annabeth Albert. Please read on for the excerpt, don’ forget to check out the other tour stops to see what other readers thought about the book and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
The second in the Portland Heat series, Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert does work well alone: the two factors that tie the titles in the series are the location of Portland Oregon and the Male / Male romance themes. Focusing on different professions and areas within the city, Albert has presented a nice slice of Portland that incorporates the foodie feel of the town while giving a glimpse into it’s residents.
In Baked Fresh, we meet Vic and Robin. Vic is on a self-improvement campaign, he’s lost over 100 pounds, and has been trying to get into better shape, even though he has self-image issues. In his early 30’s, he’s had his eye on Robin, who he met through his volunteer work at the shelter.
Robin is 23, an ex-addict with issues from a recent relationship breakdown and his own problems with sexual addiction / rejection and compulsions. Really working on himself and his own issues, a relationship is the furthest thing from his mind.
In a vastly different approach from the first book, the sexual element in this story is far more prevalent, and I found that the connection between the characters, for me, was far more physical than emotional. This was two broken / damaged people who, with the best intentions are trying to make a life together, but there just is something not quite present in the mix. Whether it’s the age or the issues, and a bit too much of Vic’s quick conclusions and Robin’s manipulative and attention seeking immaturity that had me rolling my eyes more than once. I loved that Vic wanted to help, but Robin’s need to push-pull-direct every situation except in the bedroom where he was anything goes just felt unnatural.
While this wasn’t a bad read for me, it just didn’t work as well as Served Hot for me in terms of character development, perhaps because so much of the interactions between Vic and Robin felt as if they were centered around sex, rather than honest sharing of feelings.
Title: Baked Fresh
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Portland Heat #2
Also in this series: Served Hot, Delivered Fast, Danced Close
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Kensington
Published on: 159
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 13 April, 2015
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From its famous coffee to the mouthwatering fare at its cafés, restaurants, and bakeries, Portland, Oregon, has a lot to whet the appetite, including the hard-working men who serve it all up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…
Vic Degrassi is a baker on the rise, and it’s all thanks to his rare ability to make—and keep—his New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s losing weight, giving up smoking, or graduating from culinary school, Vic goes after what he wants—and gets it. This year? He wants Robin Dawson, the sweet-hearted hottie who volunteers with him at the local homeless shelter.
When he learns that Robin is suddenly single after being unceremoniously dumped, Vic is more than happy to offer a shoulder to cry on—or at least a fresh-baked pastry to bite into. But it’s been a long time since Vic’s gone on a date, and he’s nervous about risking his friendship with Robin. So when their flirtation turns into a steamy night together, Vic and Robin have to figure out if they’re friends with benefits or lovers in the making, and if Robin is ready for something more than just a rebound. There’s only one way to find out: turn up the heat…
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A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.