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Ratings and Reviews (4 28 star ratings
4 reviews
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4.3 out of 5
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    Not my favorite but I still liked it.

    Danced Close is the sixth book in the Portland Heat series but each of the books can be read as standalones with no problem. This isn’t my favorite story by Annabeth Albert but I still liked it a lot. I just didn’t seem to feel the connection between Todd and Kendall and that’s super unusual for me with an Annabeth Albert book. I have loved every single one of her stories and I’m pretty sure that I’ve read them all. I hate it when I can only give a 4-star review to one of my favorite authors. Now a 4-star review is still great IMHO, but it still pains me when I feel that I just can’t give 5 stars and still be honest about my feelings when I read the book. Opinions on books can be affected by so many things like what else is going on for me when I’m reading a story or maybe I was too tired when I tried to read it? I wish I could pinpoint the exact reason. I still think the writing is superb and I really suspect that it was the characters that I couldn’t connect with as easily and I have with the characters in the other books in this series. (Knit Tight is one of my all-time favorite books.) It's also a fairly short book so that might have been part of it. A bit more detail about both of the MCs would probably have helped me feel more connected. This may sound weird but I tend to judge a book by whether or not it makes me cry. If a book really gets to me I invariably shed tears, it’s just the way I am. I didn’t shed any tears reading Danced Close; another first for me with an A.A. book. I’m not going to restate the books blurb because it’s great and I couldn’t say it any better if I tried to summarize the book in my own words. I will say that if you are an Annabeth Albert fan you definitely should read this story and I think you will at least like it as I did. I just can’t say I loved this one. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.
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    Danced close

    Two guys who thought that no one could love them. they found what they were looking for in each other through dance and understanding. even though it did not go as smoth. however the way they worked through the hard times led them to their HEA.
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    Contemporary M/M Romance

    Danced Close by Annabeth Albert Portland Heat Novella #6 A sweet love story set in Portland that tells of a bakery shop employee and a wedding planner who don’t expect a HEA but find one anyway. With genderqueer male Kendall always worried that people don’t get or appreciate him for himself and Todd who is carrying his own load of history while maintaining sobriety there shouldn’t be much for the two to have in common. That said, Todd does seem to see Kendall in ways others have not and Kendall appreciates this. Later, setting up for a wedding, Kendall sees Todd feeling the rhythm of a musical number and thinks, “Why not?” He then asks Todd to be his partner at the class he has signed up for explaining that the person he signed up to attend with him has had to bail for family reasons. As they get to know one another they share their pasts and learn one another’s preferences. There is eventually about a week of questioning and angst but eventually things are made right and life moves on in a very pleasant way for both of them. This is the type of book you might enjoy if you are looking for a quick MM read that is fun and sweet and not too deep. It does deal with issues of sobriety, addiction, genderqueer identification, stereotypes, families, trust, etc. tactfully without going into depth on any of the issues. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for the ARC. This is my honest review. 4 Stars
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    Another Great Portland Heat Story

    > > Judging a Book by it's Cover < < Two men in suits holding a classic dance pose. Subdued colors, as most of the covers in this series tend to be. Did not read synopsis... it's a Portland Heat installment by Ms. Albert ~ that was enough for me to grab hold of it. > > Looking Deeper < < POV ~> Alternating first person. Clearly defined, easy to follow. Kendall identifies as genderqueer. He's confident and comfortable with who he is, whether wearing sweatpants, a vintage suit or a sheath dress and heels. As a wedding planner, he loves providing the magic for a couple's special day; however, he is wary of relationships thanks to a bad prior relationship. Todd works at the bakery. He has some baggage and a load of insecurity issues. It's not until Kendall needs a replacement dance partner for an upcoming benefit that these two men begin more of a meaningful friendship with mutual attraction. Their chemistry is a bit awkward and their progression is almost painfully slow. The secondary characters were varied. Dialogue and cast interaction was good: believable. The plot was enjoyable and the flow was evenly paced and smoothly written. Although the story contained mention and bit roles from previous couples and/or characters, this book could stand on it's own well enough on it's own. Conflicts are internal and eventually worked through. The conclusion was solid with a "flash forward" style ending. I wish Todd's grandma had been included in the epilogue, since she played such a big part in is life, but other than that, it was another wonderful addition to the Portland Heat series. . Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.025 ~ Stars: 4 ========================== ⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐
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