For What It's Worth

Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Baked Fresh (Portland Heat #2) by Annabeth Albert



23450161From 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.

Goodreads | Source: e-ARC provided by Kensington via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Review:

Albert’s Served Hot (Portland Heat #1) was one of my favorite romances I've read this year so I was quick to request book #2 in the series, Baked Fresh, when it popped up on Netgalley. Unfortunately I didn’t love it as much.

I loved how Vic lost over a 100 pounds but still has confidence and body issues, especially around the hot volunteer, Robin.

I wish this had been more of the focus but instead it was more about Robin and a former bad relationship that has left him wary.

Vic and Robin are both kind and have amazing chemistry but it went down a fairly predictable path, no surprises. Robin is ok with sex but nothing serious yada yada. Add a bit of a weird dom/sub dynamic in the bedroom and meh…this book just didn’t captivate me in the same way and the relationship dynamics just didn’t ring true to the characters IMO.

The good stuff: Vic - he's just adorable and self deprecating (out of the bedroom - in the bedroom - is this the same person? It didn't make sense to me to all of a sudden be dominate and call Robin boy).
The setting of the homeless shelter. I love how this author always touches on important issues with respect and without lecturing. Baking! I love reading about food and Vic's a pastry chef. Yum.

Welp – this one wasn’t for me but I will continue with the series because I love how Albert incorporates the Seattle setting, social causes and romance. Maybe the next book will be a better fit.

19 comments:

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    1. I'll read almost anything about food lol

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  2. Sorry the sequel isn't as good. I like some of the elements though like the weight loss and undiminished confidence and realistic insecurities. It wasn't too girly though was it?

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    1. No it wasn't. In fact it takes on a more aggressive D/s thing that felt out of place to me. I wish it was more about the body image issues. Vic had lap band surgery so his diet and exercise are touched on but it's more about Robin's relationship issues.

      Not bad - just something I've read many times before. i was more interested in Vic's issues.

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  3. Aw... sorry this wasn't the fit you expected. At least is works well enough for you to continue the series. Sometimes that is enough for me. :) This sounds cute and I need to check out the first book.

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    1. The first one was so damn adorable. She does a lot of things I enjoy - like talking about community and issues (in a non preachy way) but the relationship didn't work for me this time.

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  4. There seems to be a lot of these foodie books on the market at the moment and this sounds a rather good one though perhaps given it didn't capture you like the previous I may well have started with book one.

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    1. I love foodie books. I don't even care if they're very good as long as there are food descriptions lol

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  5. The setting does sound great...sorry this one fell a bit flat!

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    1. I like the authors writing so I'll continue with the series.

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  6. Their chemistry sounds really well done.

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  7. This does sound interesting, although I hadn't read much of M/M books - I do like the foodie aspect of it :) <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. The first one was really cute and nice way to ease into the m/m genre if it's new to you.

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  8. oooh BAKING!!! but agh about character dynamics that are off. eep I'm sorry this wasn't for you.

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    1. I'm a TOTAL sucker for food romances lol

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  9. So this is less of a straight-up, standalone romance and more of an ongoing adventures/romance with Vic story? Sometimes, that really works and sometimes there isn't enough chemistry to keep me interested. Sorry this sagged a bit for you but hopefully, the next one will pick back up!

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    1. This is a stand alone. The series takes place in Portland and they each have some type of foodie career (the guy from the first book owns a coffee cart).

      I loved the first book - Served Hot - and I like the backdrop and her writing but this couple dynamic didn't work for me. I was hoping for it to be more about Vic and his weight loss/body image issues but it was more about Robin and his former bad relationship. It wasn't bad - more like something I've read dozens of times already.

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  10. Bummer it wasn't quite as up to the first one you read. Hopefully the next will have more wow for ya :)

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  11. Haha big ass spider! Darn that The Fall isn't better

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