Albert takes her characters even further away from your standard white male could be mistaken for straight romcom lead. We have Brady, the bisexual barista taking care of his four siblings after his parents untimely deaths, and Ev, the yarn store owner’s dedicated nephew who has come back to Portland because she’s dying of cancer who was originally sent from his home in Turkey because he was caught making out with a male friend.
Flew through this one like the first two, basically reading one a day (on my commute to/from work) and maybe 20-30 minutes before bed. I started to see some of Albert’s tropes that she depends on/works into every story, but I’ll get to that.
Albert continues to diversify her characters and their relationships. In this novel we have Chris, the aging disgruntled restaurateur (the same restaurant that the others visit or supply bread for), and Lance, the young undergrad delivery boy from Vic’s bakery and the development of their relationship. It’s not a crazy amount of age difference (12 years), but Chris has a major hang up on it.
In book two of Annabeth Albert’s Portland Heat series we meet Vic, a baker, and Robin, a trust fund kid with a big heart. Their road to romance is of course paved with misunderstandings, stubborn personalities, and steamy sex scenes. That’s all good romances right?
Vic and Robin meet at the local homeless shelter that caters to addicts and teens. We find out midway through the story that Robin got his fresh start/second chance thanks to the shelter and has very high expectations for what he can do there to help others going through similar experiences. This novel wasn’t as specifically diverse as Served Hot or Knit Tight (they’re both white men as far as I can read), but it does have characters that I’ve never read before.
After I finished reading The Book on Rental Property Investing, I knew I wanted to read something lighter and more fun before I jumped into another nonfiction work. That story is a tangent so skip to the end if you want to read about how I ended up on this series (damn overly available libraries :-D).
Now, as I’m writing this six days after I read this and four books into the series, I have a feeling this summer is going to be full of smutty romance novels. I’d apologize in advance, but I’m not sharing the sexy bits (mostly) and well we all need a mental break sometimes. Plus, they’re just so quick and entertaining!
I’m going to go back on my word and say this might edge out Worth Waiting For as my favorite of the Heart of the South trilogy. As I said, I got this with a bunch of others last month when they went on sale.
Even more so than Worth Waiting For, this one seems to have more of an “agenda” (and I mean that in the least anti-politics way possible) of social acceptance. There was one line in the book that really summed it up for me: “God, was Jericho some kind of sexier, trans-friendly Mary Poppins?” (30)
I grabbed this, along with eight other romance novels Qualls wrote or co-wrote, when Amazon was having a sale in February. I enjoyed Worth Waiting For and figured why not. They’re usually pretty short, under 200 pages, and engaging enough to read pretty quickly, especially when laying in a lounge chair on a beach/boat.
Like most romance novels the connection between the two is tangential and almost a friend-of-a-friend connection. It doesn’t really bother me, except when I get 3-4 books into a longer series and then I stop and question every new minor character introduction because I’m like ohhhh is that the next one, or ohhhh is it this new person?
I don’t know why I didn’t read this when I got it way back in January of 2016. I got it two years before it was released widely and a year before it started to pick up steam and getting mentioned during every awards season blog post ever.
I was most impressed with how true to the book the film stayed. I could visualize 90% of the film as I read the book, and the 10% I couldn’t was easy enough to fill in with the characters from the film that I barely noticed it.