Friday, May 29, 2015

Delivered Fast by Annabeth Albert

Title: Delivered Fast
Author: Annabeth Albert
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Portland Heat #3
Main Characters: Chris and Lance
Release Date: May 2015
Publisher: Lyrical
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Portland, Oregon, aka Hotlandia, where the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are ready to serve everything piping hot, fresh, and ready to go—like the hard-working, hard-bodied men behind the counters—with no reservations…

Sure, Chris O’Neal has problems. His restaurant is still co-owned by his ex. His flannel-and-tattoos style is making him accidentally trendy. He can’t remember the last time he went out and had fun. But he’s not lonely, he’s driven. And the hot bakery delivery boy is not his problem, no matter how sweet his buns.

Chris is old enough to know Lance Degrassi’s sculpted good looks and clever double entendres spell nothing but trouble. Lance is still in college—he should be hitting the clubs and the books, chasing guys his own age, not pursuing some gruff motorcycle-riding workaholic. Especially when he’ll be leaving for grad school in a few months. But Lance keeps hanging around, lending a hand, charming Chris to distraction. Maybe some steaming hot no-strings indulgence won’t hurt.

Then again, maybe it will…

My Review:
I've read and enjoyed this entire series, but this book was without a doubt my favorite of the trilogy. And note...this is a trilogy, but besides a passing mention of the previous characters, they are COMPLETELY stand alone. You will never know the difference if you haven't read the others so I say read the ones that appeal to you the most. (Although, like I said, they were all worth reading.)

But this book...wow, I really, really liked it. Lance and Chris have a May/December relationship. Chris is 35. Lance is 22. That is something that Chris is NOT comfortable with. He knows that this with Lance is temporary and that soon Lance will come to his senses and realize that he needs someone more. Regardless, Lance is going to graduate school in California in just a few months, so this is temporary. No getting attached allowed...no matter how perfect the two seem like they are together. 

The entire book is told from Chris's point of view and he's just so sure that they can't work long-term. It's never even an option to him. He gave up his dreams for a guy he loved. He refuses to let Lance do the same. Chris refuses to even consider that they might have a permanent, long-lasting thing between them. He cares too much to let Lance give up his dreams.

Seriously, this book is so good. Lance has agreed to the rules set out by Chris that this is casual, but it's so obvious that Lance's feelings are so much deeper. And Chris simply refuses to consider any other option. This has to be casual. There are too many differences between them for it to be anything more. That age difference is a HUGE hangup for Chris, despite the fact that Lance is so much mature than his age. Lance knows what he wants and I loved his character for that. 

I went to a writing workshop once that talked about the fact that a romance novel should not be able to stand on it's own without the sex scenes. While that's easy to say, it's not so easy to implement. In fact, I can honestly say that this is one of the best examples I've ever read of this happening. There is a lot of sex in this book, but every single sex scene had a HUGE IMPACT on the characters and their emotional well-being. It was such a gorgeous and emotional thing and HUGE KUDOS to Annabeth Albert for her ability to write this book in such a manner. 

I did truly love this book. I could understand Chris's reticence about the relationship, but LOVED how Lance eventually stood up for what he wanted and fought for it. I enjoyed the influence of Chris's fish and how they played into the story. I liked the coffee shop and watching Chris work that very demanding schedule. It was simply a really good book and I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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