Monday, August 31, 2015

Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert

Baked Fresh
Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Based on my experience with Served Hot, I expected Baked Fresh to be another sweet M/M romance. While it did have its sweet moments, Ms. Albert served up a heck of a lot more heat this time around… no pun intended just because Vic is a baker. There were also more emotional time bombs in Baked Fresh that pushed it over the edge from a four-star read to a five-star read for me as it has made its way to my re-read shelf.

Vic is a big bear of an Italian man who uses his commitment to New Year’s resolutions to affect major changes within his life – attending culinary school, losing over 100 pounds, stop smoking. This year he has decided to try dating. He’s tired of being alone and wants to find someone to fill that void in his life. Interestingly, while Vic does have someone he’s been crushing on, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for the guy and while Robin may have been the why behind the resolution, he’s not Vic’s goal – at least not consciously. But fate has a funny way of giving a guy the opportunity he needs because Robin’s boyfriend just dumped him and it gives Vic the opportunity he needs to become a part of Robin’s life away from the shelter.

What I liked about Vic’s situation is that he approaches much of what he does with Robin with a “hope for the best” mindset, while being happy with just having the opportunity to spend time with Robin. This allows their relationship to develop in a natural progression from friends to lovers to more. Because of the personal issues each man has – Vic’s body image issues and Robin’s sexual anxieties – theirs is a path fraught with plenty of speedbumps and detours. Even though I didn’t get quite to the point of crying, Vic and Robin’s journey certainly had its heartbreaking moments of loss and doubt, but those were well balanced with laughs, friendship, romance, sexy foreplay, seriously hot sex as Vic helped Robin work through his sexual issues, and acceptance. Yes, acceptance is a common theme in M/M romances; however, in Baked Fresh this was not the acceptance of one due to their homosexuality, but rather their acceptance of themselves for who they were and the acceptance by their partner for being the exact person the other needed – baggage and all. Baked Fresh was an excellent addition to the Portland Heat series and I am already anticipating what Ms. Albert serves up next in Delivered Fast.

Check out the Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert Blog Tour post on Wicked Reads.

View all my reviews

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