Knit Tight, by Annabeth Albert
Series: Portland Heat, Book 4 (Stand-alone)
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
One of Portland’s hottest young baristas, Brady is famous for his java-topping flair, turning a regular cup of joe into a work of art. Every Wednesday—aka “Knit Night”—hordes of women and their needles descend on the coffeehouse, and Brady’s feeling the heat. Into the fray walks a tall, dark, and distractingly handsome stranger from New York. His name is Evren, and he’s the sexy nephew of Brady’s sweetest customer, the owner of the yarn shop down the street. He’s also got a killer smile, confident air, and masculine charm that’s tying Brady’s stomach in knots. The smitten barista can’t wait to see him at the next week’s gathering. But when he tries to ask Evren out, his plans unravel faster than an unfinished edge. If Brady hopes to warm up more than Evren’s coffee, he’ll have to find a way to untangle their feelings, get out of the friend zone, and form a close-knit bond that’s bound to last a lifetime…
Admittedly, I have not read all of the Portland Heat novels by Annabeth Albert. I did read the first one, Served Hot, and while I did enjoy it, I found her style a wee bit too sweet for my liking. Then I happened to pick up Knit Tight and found that, although her books are still sweet, she’s upped the heat and added a bit of flavor. Needless to say, I am a fan.
This book focuses on Brady, a barista at People’s Cup (a coffeehouse featured in the Portland Heat series) who is helping to care for his younger siblings after their parents death, and Evren, a knitter and blogger who has come to Portland to care for his sickly aunt. When Brady and Evren first meet during a particularly rambunctious ‘Knit Night’ at the coffee house, the sparks fly and there is a definite attraction between the two men. Days of flirting and chatting come to a screeching halt when Brady reveals to Ev that he’s bisexual, a deal breaker for Ev who has some very particular demands about the type of partner he is looking for and a bisexual man isn’t one of them.
After Brady helps care for Ev’s aunt when she becomes ill at the coffeehouse, Ev and Brady decide that while a relationship may not be in the cards, a friendship would be a welcome distraction from the daily stresses of caring for their loved ones. Although unable to spend much time in each other’s company due to familial obligations, their nightly phone calls become a comfortable place where they can not only vent about their respective families, but also indulge in some flirty banter at a safe distance. But keeping each other at that safe distance proves to be problematic when they discover they have more than caring for family in common; they have some mutual interests in the bedroom and soon, just talking about those interests isn’t nearly enough. But as family obligations pile up, both men have to decide if they will be able to commit to each other or if family drama and health scares will prevent their budding relationship from taking root.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and the relationship between Brady and Ev. Although there was so much opportunity for this to become angsty, it managed to portray their struggles in a real and emotional way without becoming bogged down in turmoil and unnecessary drama. In the end, you could say that this was a very sweet love story, but that it was tempered with it’s own brand of spice – and that made it a very tasty story indeed.
Annabeth 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.
Emotionally 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.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.