Blog Tour – Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert – Review, Giveaway, & Excerpt!

Posted April 13, 2015 by Carole in Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Excerpt, Giveaway / 2 Comments

Portland Heat # 2
By: Annabeth Albert
Releasing April 13th, 2015
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…
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.
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…

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

My Review
4 Stars!
I enjoyed this story.  This is
only the second M/M romance that I have read with the other story being the
first in this series, Served Hot.  I thought that this story was
just the right combination of sweet and sexy just like the first in the
series.  This story could easily be read as a stand alone since the
stories really don’t overlap at all with the exception of a appearance of the
couple from the first novella in one scene.  This is a rather short piece
that most readers will be able to finish in a couple of hours but it tells such
a completely wonderful story.
This story focuses on Vic and Robin
and is told from Vic’s point of view.  Vic is a baker and the bakery where
he works donates food to the local shelter.  Robin spends a lot of time at
the shelter as a volunteer.  Vic has had a crush on Robin for quite some
time but he has never acted on it.  When Vic finds out the Robin and his
boyfriends have broken up, he decides to take a chance.
Vic has recently underwent a lot of
changes.  He made the decision to lose weight after the death of several
family members and he ended up losing over 100 pounds.  His self esteem
isn’t great but he is willing to take a chance with Robin.  He decides
that he is willing to be the rebound guy for Robin if that is what it takes to
be with him.
Robin has been through a lot as
well.  The shelter is incredibly important to him.  He had no idea
that Vic has had a crush on him.  He decides to spend some time with Vic
and the pair seem to work well together.  Both of these men have been
through a lot in their lives and they end up being very supportive of each
I liked both of the characters even
though there was a lot of issues with self esteem.  I think that a lot of
people have these issues in real life and I thought it was presented in these
characters very authentically.  There seemed to be a much larger focus on
sex in this story than in the first.  These characters had a lot of
chemistry and worked well together. 
I would recommend this story to fans
of M/M romance.  This novella really tells such a full story in just a few
pages.  I can’t wait to read the next installment in this wonderful little
I received a copy of this book from
Kensington Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

Author Info
Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours
all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s
not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest
romance writer.
complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write.
Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a
passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to
redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.
Represented by
Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

Giveaway ($25 Amazon Gift Card)

Chapter One of Baked Fresh
“So, what’s your plan this year?” Cliff asked as we
unloaded pallets of food for Victory Mission. The stinging December wind
whipped through the loading dock, howling against the concrete walls. I had to
strain to hear Cliff’s booming voice. “Sky diving? Marathon? How you gonna top
last year, Vic?” 
“Dunno.” I hefted a box of tomato sauce cans. That’s
what everyone wanted to know—how I was going to top last year’s resolution to
lose a hundred pounds. Truth was, I was pretty good at resolutions. Four years
ago, I’d resolved to go to culinary school. Three years ago, I gave up smoking.
And last year I lost 111 pounds. But this year I had a smaller, simpler goal in
“Thought I might try dating.”
“Dating? As in a boyfriend?” Cliff snorted, a dry
sound that echoed off the metal loading bay doors. “I’d go with a marathon.”
My stomach churned as I grabbed another box of rolls.
I had my own doubts. I was hardly a prize catch. I hadn’t dated anyone in the
four years I’d been working for Cliff. Never had a boyfriend beyond the rare
three-peat hookup. ’Course, Cliff didn’t know about my hookups, but I hadn’t
even had one of those in eight long months. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t
realized what I was missing. Ever since then, this weird, restless longing had plagued
me. New Year’s was the perfect excuse to do something about it. Get out there.
“You guys done out here? Whole stack of boxes waiting
inside. We don’t have all day.” Robin bustled out onto the dock, bringing a
shit-ton of bad mood with him. A far cry from the sunny, talkative guy who made
me think crazy thoughts, like that maybe dating wasn’t a terrible idea. He was
gone before either Cliff or I could reply. 
“What’s up with him?” I asked Cliff once I heard the
pantry door shut inside. 
“Melissa said Paul broke up with him.” Cliff always
found the gossip. The food bank volunteers were like bored high schoolers,
passing rumors around their shifts like joints at a party. 
“Finally.” I didn’t realize I’d said the word aloud
until Cliff laughed. 
“Aha! On second thought, I highly approve of your
resolution. I’m gonna have to get a bet going with Trish about whether or not
you can land your man. Talk about aiming high though, kid.”
“Didn’t say anything about dating Robin,” I mumbled
into a sack of rice. The last time Robin was single, I had spent months
thinking about him. Wondering if he was out of my league. Knowing he was out of
my league but trying to work up the courage to ask him out anyway. Coming to
volunteer more often just to be around him. Then Paul swooped in like a star
pitcher and sent me back to the minor leagues, where I belonged. 
I readjusted my grip on the sack so I wouldn’t
accidentally tear the darn thing in two. No, I wasn’t stupid enough to make a
resolution to date Robin. I just wanted to get out there. Give myself a chance
to maybe meet a nice guy who wouldn’t care about my food issues and my loose
skin and my bald-by-choice look. 
But now that Cliff had planted the dating-Robin idea
in my brain, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Which irked the hell out of me.
I’d worked hard to deep-six my crush on him. Finding out he was single was a
stupid reason to unearth it. Robin was the
nice guy of my fantasies. And fucking gorgeous. He was sex walking around in
KEENs and hipster T-shirts. He was everything I wanted and everything I wasn’t
ever going to have. 
Once Vic resolves to be Robin’s rebound guy, can he
convince Robin that they’re meant to be? Find out in BAKED FRESH!

2 responses to “Blog Tour – Baked Fresh by Annabeth Albert – Review, Giveaway, & Excerpt!