Tender with a Twist (Lili’s Review)

Title: Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 2nd 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 264 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

Tender with a Twist is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, featuring a second chance at love, opposites attract, loads of sexy times with mild BDSM elements, and one emotionally-charged, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert just wasn’t my jam. I’m not into BDSM and especially pain kink. I figured I would try it because:

  1. I adore this author. She’s one of my go tos, an automatic buy.
  2. The other tropes are ones I love: age gap and hurt/comfort/healing.

So, despite my trepidation for the two reasons above I decided to try it.

This book did have a lot going for it, and I never felt like setting it aside; I just never fully connected to the story or its characters. This book is about a man still grieving for his partner that passed away, and a young man ready to be his authentic self.

Some highlights:

-Logan and Curtis. Although, I didn’t mesh with them as a couple I did like them as individuals. They held qualities that I’d want to find in my friends.

-The small town setting. I’m a sucker for books that take place in small towns- probably because they remind me of where my family lives in Colombia.

-Tenderness. Despite the D/s overtone, there was a lot of sweetness. I melted every time Logan took care of Curtis after a scene.

-The end was a strong HFN.

**Side note: Can this book be read out of order? I think for maximum enjoyment Trust with a Chaser should be read first. You’re introduced to Logan and Curtis and get a feel for them in the first installment.

In the end, I was bummed. I wish that I would’ve been able to lose myself in this Annabeth Albert love story the way I normally do but I couldn’t. It comes down preferences and pain is just not my thing. 3 Stars.

Rainbow Cove Series

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Galley copy of Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) provided by Annabeth Albert in exchange of an honest review.


I'm a romance junkie, who loves when books make her cry from heartbreak and happiness. A few of my favorite tropes: -Friends to lovers -Hurt/comfort/healing -Age gap NetGalley Member since 2015 2016 NetGalley Challenge 80% Professional Reader 2015 Challenge Participant