Title: Knit Tight (Portland Heat #4)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Lyrical shine
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Page Count: 112
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
It’s no secret that Portland, Oregon, has some of best restaurants, shops, and cafés in the country. But it’s the hard-working men who serve it all up that keep us coming back for more…
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…
While not my favourite in the series –nothing holds a candle to Delivered Fast (Portland Heat #3) –the 4th book in the Portland Heat universe was a cute enough read.
Brady is a 23-year old barista with a super complicated family life. His time is limited and his opportunities to date even more so. Lucky for him, one of his regular customer’s nephews shows up to help out in the family store and Brady develops a very serious crush. Evren is originally from Turkey, he has strong family values, and has come to the rescue since his dear auntie has some health problems –to put it lightly. Evren comes off as quite uptight, but very charming and the sexual chemistry jumps off the page right off the bat.
But. Brady has literally no time like a normal 23-year old would. Evren is closed off, has a strong fear of bisexuals, and even though they sort of flirt and they sort of become closer, everything is just so very strained that I struggled to enjoy reading about them. I loved Brady and absolutely respected his priorities and commitments. I also understood that Evren did not trust easily and wanted more than a little attraction to go the extra mile with someone. But it felt like every step of the way there was an obstacle. Especially when it came to sex. One of the reasons I absolutely loved the third book in the series and why it’s one of my all-time favourites in fact, is that the sexual relationship developed organically; it was ultra steamy/kinky/hot; and it acted as a catalyst to propel character growth and plot development. Here, there were so many damn restrictions, I felt like poor Brady needed a manual to know how to fit in Evren’s world. First, he had to convince Evren that being bisexual does not mean Brady has a free for all policy and would cheat and sleep with just anybody at any given time. I did not appreciate that one of the main characters held those sort of beliefs –I get it dude, you’ve had it bad in the past with someone, but come on. Then it was all about how Evren did not like messiness and bodily fluids and anal. Some of the most emotional sex scenes I’ve ever read have come from messy, raunchy, filthy sex scenes, and while anal is definitely not a requirement, that sort of “don’t touch without disinfecting before” vibe is a turn-off. There are some sex scenes in this book, few and far between, but they’re short, and the dirty-talk attempted fell flat for me.
Overall, I think Brady was compromising with someone difficult whose heart might have been in the right place but Evren was just too high maintenance. I liked their HEA and how their respective family issues were resolved in the end, however bittersweet that resolution may have been, but the journey there was more filled with doubt and worry for me (and for them) than with hope for something better.
Obviously, it’s an Annabeth Albert book, so it’s well written. I loved the writing style, the story flowed easily, and the plot was smooth to follow. But I just wished for more. More time, more relationship stuff, more emotion, more spontaneity, just more. I will still recommend it as well-written romance, but it’s not of those that made an impression for me by this author.