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Delivered Fast (Portland Heat) by Annabeth…

Delivered Fast (Portland Heat)

by Annabeth Albert

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When I picked up the first book in this series, I figured I was taking a chance. I don't have a problem with M/M romance, and I've actually read some pretty graphic stuff that was great, but so often what I find in this genre are covers that scream of sex and deliver very little romance. So the Portland Heat series has been an incredible find, and just like the last two books I loved in this series, Delivered Fast serves up realistic characters, genuine emotion, and intense but believable romance.

Chris owns a cool coffee shop slash restaurant, and his life tends to revolve around the success of his business. A failed long-term romance has soured him on dating and kept him away from even the most casual of encounters. But a delectable new delivery guy has him taking notice, even if he's not sure about acting on his attraction. The guy's definitely younger than him — probably too young — and even though Chris is pretty sure Lance is flirting with him, he's not sure what to make of it. He can't really hide his attraction, though, and he finds himself agreeing to a casual relationship — no expectations and no strings attached.

Lance is not as hesitant to put himself out there, and while he agrees to casual, it soon becomes clear that there's nothing casual about his intentions. Their budding romance is a study in patience, as Lance has to work to get Chris to let down his guard and let his heart show, but Chris doesn't really stand a chance when Lance turns on the charm. Lance was sweet and understanding and patient, and there's just no way Chris couldn't fall for him.

Their age difference was just over a decade, something Chris couldn't seem to get past, but what it really came down to was trust. It seemed like he used age as an excuse, a way to protect himself from believing in Lance and then having his heart broken, so that definitely took some time to work through. And who could blame him, really? Anyone that much older than his significant other would be at least subconsciously waiting for the younger, hotter partner to grow bored or disillusioned or simply find someone more his speed. But Lance's gentle determination just made their happily ever after that much sweeter.

Like the two in the series that came before it, Delivered Fast is pretty much the perfect romance novel. Characters aren't perfect, but their hearts are big, and it's just impossible not to relate to the insecurities and dreams they have. I know I've said it before, but this is one M/M romance series that every romance junkie should be reading.

***FicCentral received this book from for free in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  ysar | Jul 8, 2015 |
Review copy provided by NetGalley

Chris O’Neal has owned his coffee shop for years when the very cute, but much younger than Chris, Lance Degrassi begins delivering for the local bakery. Chris is determined to be oblivious to Lance’s flirting, no matter how tempting he is. But, when Lance keeps coming back, Chris’ will to resist starts to falter, even though the only outcome Chris can see is heartbreak, especially when he learns Lance is heading off to grad school in the fall. As he learns that Lance is not only handsome, but funny, loyal and smart, he starts to wonder if a broken heart would be worth getting to spend some time in the arms of the delivery guy.

I love this series. Albert gets you hooked on her characters so fast, it’s kind of amazing. All of the couples featured have been real, flawed and so fun to get to know. But, Lance and Chris might be my favorite.These two were so right for each other, I was tearing up when it didn’t seem like they could find a way to make it work. Their chemistry was off the charts and I liked how they fought for each other.

Plus, Chris and Lance have their own lives outside of the romance between them. Chris had dreams of becoming a marine biologist, but while that didn’t work out, he still has aquariums in his apartment and he’s really attached to his pet fish. Lance is working while he goes through grad school, but still living at home to save money. He’s a child of a big family and his living situation is because a) he’s grounded and practical and b) he loves his family and they’re supportive of him. The fact that each of the characters has their own world, makes the story so much more realistic. Plus it makes the stakes all that higher for the couple.

All the books in “Portland Heat” are on the shorter side, but they leave you wanting more. I could have read so much more about Chris and Lance! They have so much heat and laughter, what more could you want in a romance?
  nicovin | May 21, 2015 |
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Book description
Portland, Oregon, aka Hotlandia, where the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are ready to serve everything piping hot, fresh, and ready to go—like the hard-working, hard-bodied men behind the counters—with no reservations…

Sure, Chris O’Neal has problems. His restaurant is still co-owned by his ex. His flannel-and-tattoos style is making him accidentally trendy. He can’t remember the last time he went out and had fun. But he’s not lonely, he’s driven. And the hot bakery delivery boy is not his problem, no matter how sweet his buns.

Chris is old enough to know Lance Degrassi’s sculpted good looks and clever double entendres spell nothing but trouble. Lance is still in college—he should be hitting the clubs and the books, chasing guys his own age, not pursuing some gruff motorcycle-riding workaholic. Especially when he’ll be leaving for grad school in a few months. But Lance keeps hanging around, lending a hand, charming Chris to distraction. Maybe some steaming hot no-strings indulgence won’t hurt.

Then again, maybe it will… [Kensington]
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