Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert
Baked Fresh is the second book in the Portland Heat series by Annabeth Albert (the books also standalone, so you don't need to have read book number one). I liked the first book, Served Hot, but this one is even better. Annabeth Albert is becoming one of my favourite authors in this genre - she weaves emotional, romantic stories about normal, believable characters that are a pleasure to read.
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:
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This story was told solely from the point of view of Vic, a baker who is determined to win his friend Robin's heart. Both Vic and Robin have their own problems and character flaws - Vic has managed to lose over 100 lbs but still has food and body image issues. Robin has battled drug and alcohol addiction and is now on the rebound after being dumped by his pompous boyfriend. I liked both characters, especially Vic, as I can really relate to his battle with his weight.
Robin comes across as vulnerable, but he has a strength to his character that he doesn't realise is there. Vic helps Robin see that he has beaten his demons and he deserves to be happy. Vic is so protective of Robin and is a real tower of strength for him - it's really sweet, I loved Vic. I quickly became invested in their story and was willing them to succeed in their relationship and lives.
There are lots of steamy scenes in this book, but it also has a good story to back it up. Love and trust is at the heart of this book - Baked Fresh is a gentle, easy read. The only negative thing I can find about this book is that it made me crave cake which is not good for my diet! I am looking forward to the next book in the Portland Heat series as I really enjoy Annabeth Albert's style of writing. Baked Fresh gets five delicious stars.
Baked Fresh is released on April 14 2015. For more information about Annabeth Albert and her books please visit www.annabethalbert.com.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review