Title: Served Hot by Annabeth Albert
Portland Heat Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: Novella/112 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In Portland, Oregon, the only thing hotter than the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are the hard-working men who serve it up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…
Robby is a self-employed barista with a busy coffee cart, a warm smile, and a major crush on one of his customers. David is a handsome finance director who works nearby, eats lunch by himself, and expects nothing but “the usual”—small vanilla latte—from the cute guy in the cart. But when David shows up for his first Portland Pride festival, Robby works up the nerve to take their slow-brewing relationship to the next level. David, however, is newly out and single, still grieving the loss of his longtime lover, and unsure if he’s ready to date again. Yet with every fresh latte, sweet exchange—and near hook-up—David and Robby go from simmering to steaming to piping hot. The question is: Will someone get burned?
First in the new Portland Heat series!
Served Hot is the first installment in Annabeth Albert’s Portland Heat series. This wonderful novella is a super sweet and steamy romance between two men who are a little hesitant to take a chance on love. This fast-paced and engaging read is delightfully heartwarming and I highly recommend it to fans of the genre.
Robert “Robby” Edwards owns a successful coffee cart business and the high point of his day is seeing one of his regular customers, David Gregory. There is something about the handsome, preppy businessman that Robby is drawn to, but since their interactions are strictly business, he is not sure if David is gay. When the two run into one another at the Portland Pride Festival, Robby finally works up the nerve to take their relationship in a more personal direction. The two begin dating, but the baggage from their respective pasts threatens to destroy their chance at happiness.
Both Robby and David’s previous relationships were with closeted men, so their romance is new territory for both of them. Robby is not usually the aggressor in a relationship and it was a big move on his part to take the first step with David. Robby is a little shy and timid and while he has a definite idea of what he does and does not want in a relationship, he is mostly content to follow where the rock solid and dependable David leads.
While Robby becomes a little discouraged with the slow pace of their romance, he does overlook some of his frustration with David’s inability to fully let him into his life. Robby is sometimes reluctant to voice his dissatisfaction and this leads to misunderstandings that could have been avoided if the two men were better at communicating their needs and desires. Thankfully Robby does finally stand up for himself, but will this be the nudge that David needs to leave the dysfunction of his previous relationship behind him once and for all?
Served Hot by Annabeth Albert is an entertaining and heartfelt love story between two realistic and appealing protagonists. The romance is slow growing but believable and the sex scenes are delectably steamy. All in all, it is an excellent beginning to the Portland Heat series!