Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Danced Close by Annabeth Albert


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 Stars!!!

I absolutely loved Todd, who was such an adorable man, despite all he'd gone through. I loved that he was so upfront about everything, so accepting and understanding. He seemed more mature than his years, which all things considered made a lot of sense. I liked Kendall, even if there were a couple of instances in which I wanted to shake him up a bit to help him get over his hangups with relationships, especially when he had such a great man in Todd. I liked that he didn't make a big deal out of Todd's big reveal, but actually went and researched and talked things over with Todd. They were really sweet together and had great chemistry. I just adored how naturally their relationship progressed and how perfect they were for one another, even if they couldn't have been more different.

With every new book I read of her, Annabeth Albert just confirms why she's one of my favorite authors. All her books are well-written, of course, but they also have a lot of heart and passion and sweetness, with flawed, realistic characters you just fall for, and while this series is very low angst, there's still some to balance it all out.

All in all, this was such a sweet addition to the Portland Heat series, of which I've been a huge fan since the first book, and it felt a little like coming home to me, what with Robby and David from Served Hot appearing in Danced Close. While it can be read as a standalone, the series is awesome, so don't miss out, you won't regret picking it up. 

Highly recommendable!

*** Copy provided via NetGalley for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement

4 Stars! 

Annabeth Albert has magic - far, far sweeter and deeper than the blurb suggests. 

I loved this book and the only reason that it doesn't get 5 Stars is because it ended without quite giving me what I needed - I needed the words, but I got the hints, I got the 'picture' but *greedy me* wanted that little bit more, and needed that little bit more, because it felt as if a really, really important decision was missing. I can't tell you more, but read it and it'll become clear.

AA did well not to reveal too much about Todd in the blurb, so what I read about him and found out about him touched my heart in a good way; he's one of the sweetest, straightest-talking leads I've come across and I loved his hard-found confidence and backbone. I loved his total embracing of Kendall and his quirks, and that he was so non-judgmental. I liked that Kendall wasn't at all fazed by Todd's reveal and that he took steps to make sure he could deal with it, without making it feel like a big issue.

There's very little sex in this, but a lot of sweetness, a lot of decency, a lot of concentrating on the stuff that was important to both guys, but I just wanted to know what their future would entail with the reveal. I hope they'll pop up in connected tales.

ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Kensington Books, for my reading pleasure.

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