REVIEW–Served Hot by Annabeth Albert

Book Title - Served Hot

Author - Annabeth Albert

Stars - 4

Buy Link – AMAZON

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!

This was an interesting book, but for reasons that are different. A lot of romance books are quick to the actual physical sexual interactions, but this book takes it slow and it works for it. The characters are well rounded, and their path is slow for understandable reasons. This is a very sweet book, and I hadn't read one of those in a while. You feel the characters frustrations and fear, and I found myself rooting for them, hoping one would take the risk and lay it out on the table. It is a good length as well, it is a book you can read in an afternoon, and it is not too short.
Robby owns his own coffee cart in the business district. He is in a hundred year old building atrium. He is single, having been so for two years after Brian. He shares an apartment with roommates as he hasn't ever had enough money to afford a place in Portland alone.
David P Gregory is a finance director for the Library. He is shy and reserved, not really sure of himself. He had been in a relationship with a cop who wasn't out and who barely cared for him. They had grown up together, but the relationship had been in secret, going as so far as his boyfriend had been married briefly. David wasted 12 years with the guy until he was killed, leaving David very emotionally messed up and having zero idea of how a real relationship should be.
Robby looked forward to lunch time when a cute customer would come in every day and get a coffee. Robby thought they might be flirting, but he didn't know if David was gay or not. He gave off mixed signals all the time. When David forgets his wallet, Robby grabs the opportunity to feel him out by inviting him to see the Pride festival, seeing as he was working it for a friend. Their relationship is moving along, albeit at a glacial pace, and Robby is having trouble figuring out what is wrong. He feels a bit one-sided since David never makes a move and if he does, it is out of sight of others. When he realizes why David is the way he is, they forge a path forward. But life is rarely smooth sailing, and these two have some major issues to work through, if they can. Trouble strikes, and things go downhill. Can the two of them find happiness? Or maybe, they might just have been too damaged to find a way to fix themselves. The pain the two men face and go through will grab you by the heart. David has really been treated poorly and it has done a number on him. I found his journey the most heart wrenching, and I could not stop reading. I had to know how it ended. It is a pleasant read that will make you think about how your actions can help or hurt another person deeply. If you like those kinds of books, this is for you.

Heidi Ryan gives Served Hot


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