05 April 2015

Portland Heat Spotlight!

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 tale has two MC’s David a daily coffee drinker and everyday for lunch comes by Robby’s coffee cart and orders the same thing and eats lunch. Robby, owner of said cart has been secretly crushing on David and finally gets the opportunity to ask him out and David declines.  That following weekend David finds Robby at the festival, one thing leads to another and they kiss, David freaks and Robby is sure he’s another closet case just like he’s ex. Or is there more to David’s story?
This was such a great tale about patients, understanding and growth, to a point. I liked how Robby had developed enough of a crush on David so when they started dating and he started getting the whole story he was already invested. And David finally started coming out of his shell, so when he is forced into an uncomfortable situations he can deal.  The only thing I didn’t like is the fact we focused all on David, granted he had the bigger issue, but Robby and he’s past relationship clearly hurt him and he is bringing that into this one, but that was just kind of skimmed over. Would have been a more rounded story, I think, if we got everyone sorted out, and not laid blame at the feet of one character. 
From its famous coffee to the mouthwatering fare at its cafés, restaurants, and bakeries, Portland, Oregon, has a lot to whet the appetite, including the hard-working men who serve it all up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…

Vic Degrassi is a baker on the rise, and it’s all thanks to his rare ability to make—and keep—his New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s losing weight, giving up smoking, or graduating from culinary school, Vic goes after what he wants—and gets it. This year? He wants Robin Dawson, the sweet-hearted hottie who volunteers with him at the local homeless shelter. When he learns that Robin is suddenly single after being unceremoniously dumped, Vic is more than happy to offer a shoulder to cry on—or at least a fresh-baked pastry to bite into. But it’s been a long time since Vic’s gone on a date, and he’s nervous about risking his friendship with Robin. So when their flirtation turns into a steamy night together, Vic and Robin have to figure out if they’re friends with benefits or lovers in the making, and if Robin is ready for something more than just a rebound. There’s only one way to find out: turn up the heat…
Even though this is book two in the Portland Heat Novellas series, it can be read a stand alone.  Also coming in at around 128 pages, little longer than your average novella, nice right?
This is a story about Vic, a guy who over the last several years has been through some pretty major changes in his life, always starting them with a New Year’s resolution.  This year he decides to start dating, but not just anyone. The one guy he’s been wanting for the past several years but has felt like he’s not good enough for, Robin. Robin, has been through a lot in his young life, he grew up rich until he’s family found out he was gay then they cut him off. Thinking that would teach him straight. What it did was showed him the sadder side of life. Now at twenty three, he’s mended that fence and picked himself up, started a business and volunteers at the soup kitchen that saved his life, the same one that Vic drops off food and pasties his Bakery has left over at the end of the night. Now that Robin is single again, Vic decides to take a chance, even if he knows he will only be the rebound guy.
I just loved how flawed both of these characters are, it’s not often you find both MC’s screwed up. It’s normally one helping the other.  I enjoyed how Robin just got out of a relationship and we respect that, and how Vic is willing to do anything just to spend time with him so sweet. How Robin is warming up but with his past is gun shy.  The secondary characters make it a well rounded story. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was the touch of D/s or BDSM we were starting to get into.  Calling Robin “boy” during sex, the use of a blindfold and beads, a commanding voice to control Robin into submission, all was consensual and needed. But not talked about prior to “in the moment” usage.  The only reason why I didn’t drop this to a 4 was because there is a line that says something like neither one really knows what they are doing…  I guess I’ve read too many D/s, BDSM books, I felt like those situations should have been talked about first. 


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