Author ~ Annabeth Albert
Published ~ 14th March 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Portland, Oregon, is one of the hottest cities in America. Just ask all the hard-working men sweating it up behind the counters of the restaurants, boutiques, and cafés all over town . . .
Newly clean and sober, Todd’s taken a shine to his job at Portland’s most talked about bakery. It’s not just the delicious desserts they sell, but the tasty treats who keep walking through the door. That certainly includes Kendall Rose, a wedding planner with eyes the color of brown sugar and skin to match. Todd doesn’t try to hide his attraction to Kendall’s elegant confidence and unique style, even as he worries about exposing the secrets of his past.
For Kendall, the attention is just part of the anything-goes Portland he’s grown to love. But he’s still looking for that special someone who will embrace all of him—including his gender fluidity. So he takes a chance and asks Todd to be his partner in a dance class leading to a fundraiser. When the music starts and he takes Todd in his arms, Kendall is shocked at how good it feels. Turns out taking the lead for once isn’t a mistake. In fact, it might be time to take the next step and follow his heart . . .
4.5 “Bearded baby lumberjack” Stars!
“Lord almighty….your mouth. But isn’t that kind of fun?”
“Yeah, knowin’ we’ll see each other again on Thursday, but not knowing what we’ll get up to…”
“Anticipation, you mean?”
“Yes. That’s the word I was looking for. I want to anticipate with you.”
Danced Close by Annabeth Albert is the sixth book in her Portland Heat series. I am a huge fan of this author (particularly this series) with her fun and heart-warming books that leave you clenching your heart and happily sighing. This book was no exception. From the first page I was hooked and wanted to see just how things would play out between the shy and uncertain bakery employee and the sexy and androgynous wedding planner with a personality that was hard to ignore.
Todd is a recovering addict who is piecing his life back together. Even though he’s been sober for two years, he still struggles with his self-worth and does not want to take on a more extensive role at the bakery he works at even though his boss is constantly encouraging him to do so. Kendall Rose is a wedding planner who has found his niche with LGBTQ+ weddings, although he would not mind expanding into the heterosexual market. He’s as unique as they come with his distinctive style and gender fluidity. Todd and Kendall have had a few encounters when Kendall comes into the bakery with clients. Although there is an attraction on both their parts, Todd is certain someone like Kendall would never give him the time of day. Kendall, on the other hand, is a little standoffish when it comes to relationships seeing as he was burned by his last boyfriend who simply could not accept him as he is.
When Kendall’s best friend bails on him for the dance classes they had planned, he finds himself without a partner. Todd steps in and the rest is history so to speak. Things heat up between the pair and both are not opposed to giving in to temptation. Kendall and Todd are surprised to discover that they connect on many levels. Will they both have enough courage to take a chance with their hearts?
Kendall was such a lovable and vibrant character. Todd, on the other hand, surprised me with his sweetness and genuine acceptance of Kendall. It was heart-warming and definitely something that won Kendall over. This was a tender, sweet and sexy tale as we watch the two men go from a tentative friendship to something more. Something neither one of them expected when they ventured down the road of harmless flirtation and lust. Both men certainly had a few hang-ups to deal with, but nothing is ever smooth sailing when it comes to love. Is it?
All in all, Danced Close was a wonderful addition to this series. I love how real and unique the characters this author creates seem to be. Todd and Kendall were no exception. This book is another heart-warming gem about learning to open up and letting that someone special in, becoming vulnerable and learning to trust in love even when it happens with the last person you expect. This is a wonderfully executed romance by Ms. Albert. It’s is not bogged down with unnecessary over-the-top angst and drama. What you get is a sweet, fun and light-hearted love story that will leave you happily sighing and clutching your heart. This is definitely a series to check out for lovers of the M/M genre. Highly recommended.
Portland Heat Series
Connect with Annabeth Albert
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency