Tag Archives: Kensington Books

Series Review: Portland Heat by Annabeth Albert

Served Hot (Portland Heat, #1)  Baked Fresh (Portland Heat, #2)  Delivered Fast (Portland Heat, #3)
Note: This review is for the first three books in the series (spoiler-free)!

Portland Heat by Annabeth Albert
Served Hot: 3 of 5 stars
Baked Fresh: 3 of 5 stars
Delivered Fast: 4 of 5 stars

Series Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since David had come into my life I’d learned a lot more about hope. It looks like ivory sheets and stacks of paint cans and two pairs of shoes next to the bed. It sounds like rustling bedcovers and murmured endearments. Hope tastes like skin and soap and victory and coffee. And I can say now with absolute certainty that hope does come in a paper cup and smells an awful lot like a vanilla latte to go. – Served Hot

This series is full of quick, sweet contemporary M/M romance novellas. Each installment features its own main couple, with their own romance, and while the other characters make an appearance, it’s only in passing. One upside of this is that the stories can basically be read in any order, and there’s no need for recap between them.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. It helps that stories like this are candy for my brain – I’m a serious sucker for romance, the novellas are short enough that they progress quickly with a limited amount of drama, and they require very little mental focus on my part. I’ll definitely keep reading more from Annabeth Albert when I’m in need of a guilty pleasure read.

Recommendation: Read this if you are a fan of lighthearted M/M romance with lots of sexy times, or if you’re a pacific-northwesterner looking for a delightfully familiar setting.


Minute Review: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti

Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome, #1)
Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti (The Scorpius Syndrome, Book 1)
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

“If there are bullets, I’m between you and them. If you get taken, I’m hunting you down till my last breath. And if you end up in hell, I’ll storm the f*cking place until the fires go out.”

Mercury Striking was a whirlwind read for me, because every time I picked it up, I couldn’t seem to put it down without knowing what was coming next. It was a little more “alpha” than my usual read, but the overarching plot was intriguing and I’m curious to see what direction book 2 will take.

Recommendation: Read this if you love action-packed, post-apocalyptic romances full of alpha heroes and heroes-to-be. I also recommend this to romance readers who like comprehensive series plot despite each book focusing on a different main couple.


(This ARC was generously provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

Minute Review: Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert

Love Me Tenor (Perfect Harmony, #2)
Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert (Perfect Harmony, Book 2)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release Date: 2/16/2016

He cuddled into Jalen, burrowing against him until they were both under the blankets, Trevor’s head on Jalen’s chest, Jalen’s arms around him.

Not touching. Um. Yeah. That was going to work out well.

I read this in the middle of an Annabeth Albert binge, and I’m so glad I did. Set with the reality TV backdrop of a boy band competition, the writing style is conversational and the contemporary plot of singing and romance will suck you in. It’s a perfect guilty pleasure book that can be read as a standalone or as part of its companion series.

Recommendation: Read this if you love M/M contemporary romance and the goofiness of reality TV talent competitions. Oh, and LOTS of steamy adult scenes…


(This ARC was generously provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

Minute Review: Treble Maker by Annabeth Albert

Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony, #1)Treble Maker by Annabeth Albert (Perfect Harmony, Book 1)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

The timbre of his voice was like the sea salt caramel sauce Lucas had sampled in Chicago last summer–velvety and smooth caramel, with a classic timeless flavor, but then the pow of the salt–raw, gritty, and one of a kind.

This was such a guilty pleasure read for me! The writing was so-so and there were some formatting issues with the Kindle copy, but the story was upbeat, compelling, and full of steamy, very adult scenes. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely and immediately set out to find more books by Albert.

Recommendation: Definitely read this if you’re a fan of adult M/M contemporary romance, especially if you enjoy reality TV antics and a capella!

Review: Shadows Strike by Dianne Duvall

Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians, #6)


Shadows Strike by Dianne Duvall
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

NOTE:  This review is for a book with mature content and sexy times!

Shadows Strike by Dianne Duvall is the sixth book in the Immortal Guardians series. This one focuses on Ethan, a younger Immortal with about a century under his belt, and Heather, a Gifted One with telepathy. If you haven’t read the preceding books, please do!

The series starts with Darkness Dawns, and if you love paranormal romance and warmhearted characters, this one is for you!

As usual with Duvall’s books, I raced through it. I love her approach to the “immortal warriors” sub-genre, as she depicts men and women who are badass AND considerate. Not to mention that their alpha nature is not used as an excuse to behave like assholes. Ethan and Heather were no different.

“I have the most absurd urge to ask you to promise me you won’t go out after dark anymore.”


“I know. It’s totally unreasonable.”

For those of you who are already fans of the series, Ethan’s story does not disappoint; it was an excellent continuation of the saga. There are a lot of lighthearted elements that reminded me of Roland and Sarah’s story in Darkness Dawns, as well as a ton of action and the introduction of even more key characters. We get to know Aidan a lot more and we revisit a bunch of old favorites. And of course, there’s baby Adira – not to mention all of our favorite Immortal Guardians doting on her.

A quick note about Aidan: I totally fell in love with him in this book. His loneliness in heart-wrenching, yet he opens himself up to the North Carolina team and even little Adira, protecting them with everything he has. My favorite scene, despite this being Ethan & Heather’s show, was Aiden’s teleportation chase.

Okay, time for my one persistent pet peeve with this series: each character’s apparent love of using the term “buttload,” or any variation thereof. I’ve turned my frustration with this into a game to see how many times I can spot the phrase. It seems to be helping. Maybe. This book’s buttload counter: 5

Even with the counter at 5, I love this series. I’m eager for the story continue, and I’m crossing my fingers that Aidan will be our next hero (though I have to say, I find Jared quite intriguing, too!). And hey, neither character has used “buttload” yet, so there’s hope that the count will be lower for their own features 😉

(This ARC was provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

See my review on Goodreads for Some Particulars, including a steam rating!