is the fourth installment in Annabeth Albert's Portland Heat
" series. If you haven't read the previous books, no worries, each title can be read separately.
Sometimes, it is difficult to completely love a story when it feels unbalanced -- e.g. you love one character but dislike the love interest. As in the case with this one. It was easy for me to love Brady the barista whom at relatively young age must takes care of his younger siblings. I found him to be such a nice guy, reliable, and mature.
On the other hand, I couldn't warm up to Evren. It wasn't even about his kink
(he didn't like anal or skin on skin sex, too messy) because as an asexual I can relate to not prioritizing sex above all else, penetration or otherwise, but it was more about him keeping Brady on arm's length. The relationship between the two of them felt one sided.
See, to me, it seemed that Brady is the one yearning enough to get any scraps from Evren. He has to deal with Evren's 'rules' of "no drama, no false problems, no anal
" but Evren doesn't really do anything in return. Sure, yeah, he helps Brady once in a while in terms of taking care the young'uns, but when it comes to the personal part, he doesn't want to share his problem and just pushes Brady away. At parts where I should feel sympathetic, all I felt was annoyance. Yes, Evren was just too cold and distant for me to root for him.
So the whole progress between Evren's not trusting Brady in the beginning (Brady is bisexual, Evren is ... not happy) to friendship to lovers ... and then THAT ending just felt off. Also there were times when I felt like I was being told rather than shown about how Evren and Brady finally connected.
Other things that I wasn't too fond of was the part about Brady's bisexuality. This is probably the third book in matter of weeks where I encounter bisexual guys. Two of those books dealing with the gay guy not trusting the bi-guy that they can fully 'commit' to one gender. I admit, this might be the huge issue that any bisexuals must face. But the way that it's written here in the beginning, somehow I feel like I'm being preached upon. When Brady mused "God. Why did I constantly feel like a PSA for bisexual marginalization?
", I wanted to say, yeah, this did sound like a PSA.
I guess I just don't want keep being reminded blatantly when I read my fiction. I don't mind books with social issues but I prefer them to be given to me in more subtle and natural kind of way, rather than the character listing out wrong perceptions about one sexuality. I like that I can think about it rather than just nodding in agreement. I guess I assume that M/M readers in general is more open towards the other letters in the LGBTQIA spectrum anyway, disregard whether they want to read each letter's romance or not.
I'm not disliking this but I'm not mind-blown with it either. So far, book #3 (Delivered Fast
) is still my favorite. The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.