A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

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Rating: 5 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.

With the release of Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert cements Rainbow Cove as one of my favorite destinations for love and romance.  Of course it started with Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove, #1) where Mason Hanks with his friends Adam and Logan Rosner open a bar and grill in an Oregon seaside town desperately in need of revival.  Mason finds love with the town’s Sheriff Nash Flint while they struggle to keep their new restaurant alive.

In Tender with a Twist,  we find both the town and the restaurant all still trying to survive.  The restaurant is trying to make it through the off-season until the tourists return and the town is trying to adapt and understand what it would mean to be an LGBT destination point if the new resort opens up and the influx of new  businesses arrive.  Not all the townspeople are happy with the new developements.  In every way change appears as a force to be faced here in this story.

For both Curtis and Logan, the need for change is at the heart of the issues both men are facing.  With Annabeth Albert, there’s never any “telling” in her stories.  The author’s ability to telegraph the deep confusion, grief, frustration, and pain these men are going through to the reader is real and amazingly vivid.

For Curtis, he’s caught in place by the loss of his husband, held in stasis by his mother-in law’s grief as well as his own,  plus her guilt that refuses the let them both move forward towards anything like a life without her son. That’s she is also his last remaining tie to the man he loved? Just another knot on the ropes holding him in place…the fear that if he moves forward he will lose her too. He’s let everything go, abandoned their old friends, their pleasures, even houses.  Only one thing he has left personally…his need to be a sub.  And that has just been pulled away from him when the Dom he’s been using has said they can’t continue.  Plus his best friend, Nash, has just found a partner.  So now Curtis truly feels alone and isolated.  Albert makes us feel every bit of the pain and heartache emanating from Curtis Hunt.

Then there’s the surprising bundle of character traits that is Logan Rosner.  He is one of the most amazing characters and one I absolutely adored.  Logan too is bound by a past that won’t let go.  This time it’s his parents who refuse to see him as an adult, keeping him firmly planted in his painful past, binding him in their fears and in their image of him.  But Logan has strengths he has kept hidden, including the fact that he’s a Dom. An untried one, basically, but still a Dom and Curtis fits everything he wants in a sub.  And more…Curtis fits everything Logan wants in his life.

How Annabeth Albert works these two complicated men past the age barrier, the grief, their backgrounds, their families that are holding them back, all the realistic elements and then moves them forward into a relationship that the readers see lasting for the rest of their lives?  Well, it’s one of the most heart warming stories that I’ve read in awhile and one that’s made me love the Rainbow Cove series even more (if that’s possible).

The D/s element is so well done here, especially as it can’t be part of the romance, at least not at first.  Curtis can’t handle that.  So it’s woven into a different part of their lives as they discover more about that aspect of each other.  That level of trust then allows an openness for other revelations to follow.  And yes, it’s sexy and very, very hot!

But for me it’s the healing of two hearts and the love that these two men find together that even now starts to send me back to the beginning of their story to start to read it all over again.  Rainbow Cove is a very special place and as much as I love all of Annabeth Albert’s series, I suspect that this one has found it’s way to the top of the list.   It’s certainly my top destination location.   Make it yours!  You don’t have to have read the first in the series to read Tender with a Twist but it helps to give you that additional background knowledge on the place and characters you will meet here.   Plus it’s another fantastic story.  I highly recommend this one and the series.

Cover design: Sloan J Designs.  I love this design.  It’s perfect for the character and I love the tone that comes across.

Purchase at Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 2nd 2017 by Annabeth Albert
SeriesRainbow Cove #2 settingOregon (United States)

A MelanieM Review: Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove #1) by Annabeth Albert

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…

Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.

Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.

When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

Trust with a Chaser is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, a hot law-enforcement hero, opposites attract, plenty of sexy times, and one hard-fought, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Annabeth Albert introduces us to a  brand new series with another heartwarming winner of a contemporary romance!  The first in her Rainbow Cover series, Trust with a Chaser brings us Mason Hanks (so named because he was no bigger than a Mason jar when born) being reunited with his hometown and disreputable family clan when he returns to Rainbow Cove to open an eatery with partners.  Mason is fighting many battles upon his return.  He’s trying to separate his reputation from his family’s, introduce new tastes and dishes to customers not sure they want change or a gay bar and eatery in their community. Albert makes us love everything about Mason.  His enthusiasm for the new business, his love of food and even his family loyalty, especially for his niece.

Nash Flint is the sheriff with the weight of the  town on his shoulders.  Nash feels his responsibilities, not as a job but almost as a family righteous “carved in stone” duty handed down from his dead father, one who could do no wrong in the town’s eyes.  It’s kept him from having a personal life that he wants, an openly gay life with a partner, something he feels the town (or his mother) would never accept.  With Mason’s return and Nash’s attraction, the shakeup that follows is one that is both frustrating to the reader and yet, understandable to a man like Nash.

Albert lets the story and the situations and Mason slowly crack the walls around Nash.  The town is full of complicated relationships and the dynamics are on full display here whether in small situations at the Sheriff’s Office or during Town Meetings about the state of Rainbow Cover and potential development.  The author builds her universe and characters with care and love, with smooth writing and a storyline that pulls you into this couple and their growing relationship.

This is a slow-burn romance with I just fell in love with!  A new book from Annabeth Albert is always a cause for joy, a new series even more so!  Trust with a Chaser is a great new contemporary romance with the promise of more in this universe!  I  can hardly wait!

Cover art is cute and perfect for the character!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 255 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Annabeth Albert
Original TitleTrust with a Chaser
ASINB073VPJX56
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Rainbow Cove #1 setting Oregon (United States)