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4.6 out of 5
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    bittersweet but lovely romance

    This fourth story in the Portland Heat series brings together a barista and a knitting designer. (Let's just pause and reflect on the awesome uniqueness of that combination for a moment......okay, on with the review). I really enjoyed the previous stories in this series (which were all food or drink related in some fashion) and we get that link here with Brady, a top notch barista at a Portland coffee shop. When he's not working he's helping his 18 year old sister care for their two younger siblings after the tragic death of their parents. Between working full time and supporting his family, he's got no time for a relationship - but that doesn't stop him from eyeing the new addition to 'Knit Night' at the cafe. Evren is in town to take care of his aunt, a woman who had a big hand in raising him, and who is part of the knitting group that meets Wednesday's at Brady's work. She's unfortunately been diagnosed with cancer and unable to keep running her yarn shop without help, which is where Ev has stepped in to help manage the shop and care for her during her treatments. Brady can't help flirting with Ev when Ev indicates a similar interest. But Ev is also there only temporarily, ready to move back to his regular life once his aunt is better. Stealing a few moments together here and there seems to be all they can manage - but will they take a leap of faith and try for more? I loved this story. It's rather bittersweet, with Brady's responsibility as essentially a single parent, and Ev's role as caregiver for his dying aunt (and to be clear, if you are sensitive to the big C in your stories, you should be aware of this subplot) making their romantic forays that much more meaningful. The first stumbling block to them getting together is actually not the lack of time but rather Ev's personal conviction to not get involved with a bisexual, much to Brady's disappointment. That Ev would think that because Brady is bisexual he would not be committed to a relationship with a gay man is hurtful and at first damaging to the tentative steps they've made towards a relationship. Ev's had bad experiences in the past with bisexual lovers, and his fear of getting involved with Brady comes from that background. But he is unable to resist taking the friendship he and Brady are developing further, first with flirtation, and then more when it becomes clear that Brady is willing. The two of them are very compatible sexually, with Ev liking to take a dominant hand in things, and Brady quite happy to let his submissive side out to play, a break from his constant need to be in control at home all the time. Ev has some interesting quirks in the bedroom that amuse Brady, but for the reader, it makes their relationship feel believable. They are definitely hot together once they let down their guards, and the result is some steamy scenes. Trust is the biggest factor in holding Ev back from opening himself up fully to Brady, and combined with Brady's belief that his siblings would be a drawback to any man wanting a relationship with him, make for a lot of hardships for this couple to overcome. They are both really likable characters, and I loved seeing Ev open himself up to Brady, and in turn show Brady that it's okay to have someone else to lean on. In the end we get a story about two men who take each other's flaws hand in hand with their positive qualities and a reminder that romance can flourish in any situation. 5 stars.
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    4.4 / 5 ~> I Got Emotional! I NEVER Get Emotional!

    ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FOUR ½ - STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ⭐ ⭐ Provided by NetGalley in Exchange for an Honest Review ⭐ ⭐ Judging a Book by it's Cover: Two men in close embrace wearing thick knit sweaters in neutral colors. Title and Author graphic is in contrast to the cover, standing out nicely without being over-powering. Looking Deeper: First-person POV from Brady's perspective. Brady is the top barista at The People's Cup (coffee shop co-owned by Chris [book 3] and Randy. He's the legal guardian to three young siblings and still cares for his eighteen-year old sister. Struggling to keep afloat and always worrying about social services taking the kids, he's been forced to grow up and mature faster in the past year & still doubts himself daily. Evren (Ev, to his friends) returns to town to care for his ailing aunt, Mira. Mira owns the yarn store down the street and started Knit Night that gathers weekly at the coffee shop. Brady and Ev's chemistry is immediate, but Brady's bisexually presents a roadblock for Ev as he's had bad experiences in the past. At last, they both agree they need a friend, who else would understand the pressures of being a sudden, unplanned caregiver to family like one another? The bond of friendship evolves, but hurtles are still in place. It takes a tragedy and a lost opportunity to pull them closer once again, but there are still many choices to be made and obstacles to overcome. I liked these two. Both men were trying so hard to be strong and independent, but came to learn how much stronger they could be when they had someone on their side, even if it was late-night calls or quick lunch breaks. I'm not a crier, but this one choked me up in a few places... there's real emotion there. For being just over 100 pages, the plot is full and rich, there is enough dynamics and content to truly impress. The secondary characters ranged from whimsical knitters to Brady's varied siblings, each providing another layer of depth and personality to the story. While there were plenty of conflicts and obstacles along the way, they all managed to be resolved in a realistic manner. There was some predictability, but sometimes there are only so many outcomes that can be had, so I am not concerned by this minor issue. The conclusion was solid. All points that I made notes on were addressed in the end, efficiently. A solid and satisfying ending was delivered. Overall, I very much so enjoyed this installment of the Portland Heat Novellas. It can stand alone, but Annabeth Albert writes such fluid and charismatic books that you'll want to read them all. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.4 ~ Stars: 4.5, if 1/2s were allowed! ------------------------------------------------------------------------- By: Tina J / Happily Ever Chapter
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    I want more Brady and Ev!

    Knit Tight is the 4th book in the Portland Heat series but you don’t need to have read the other books to enjoy this one and there is no cliffhanger. I have read all of the books in this series and I loved all of them. Baked Fresh was my favorite but now it’s tied with Knit Tight. This book stirred up my emotions and just about broke my heart in places. That’s about the highest praise that I can give a book. I know not everyone likes an emotional read but they are my favorite kind of story. Knit Tight is told in first person POV by Brady. Brady is a barista who works hard and is trying to keep his family together. When his mother and step-father were killed in a car accident he fought to take custody of his younger siblings even though he was still young himself. The love Brady has for his siblings, and his desire to care for them, is amazing. Evren (Ev) is visiting his aunt Mira to help out with her yarn store while she undergoes treatment for cancer. Customers from Mira’s store visit Brady’s place on Wednesday’s for Knit Night. Things can get pretty wild on Knit Night and Evren steps in to help calm two customers after coffee gets spilled on their knitting projects. Brady is immediately taken with Ev and wants to see him socially not just when he comes for coffee. Things get off to a rocky start when Ev finds out that Brady is bi; Ev doesn’t do bi and he stops coming in to get his daily coffee. They finally agree to be friends and Ev resumes his daily coffee habit. I wish I was better at putting things into words about how much I liked this book. The way Ms. Albert writes Ev’s dialogue is so good I can “hear” his New York, with a side of Turkish, accent. His speech pattern has a wonderful lilt to it that I really enjoyed. Another thing I enjoyed about this book is that Evren loves to knit and design patterns. Most chapters begin with a passage from his blog, Evren’s Yarnings, which are fun to read and can be very poignant – especially the ones towards the end of the book. Brady’s trials and tribulations with his family are skillfully worked in and around his and Ev’s budding relationship. This book is so much more than a story about Brady and Ev. It’s about their love of their respective families and the lengths they are willing to go to for them. I guess I should also mention that the sexy time between Brady and Ev is HOT! :-) I am amazed at how well developed the characters are in this story – especially since it’s only 132 pages long; it seemed much longer and I definitely mean that in a good way. Portland Heat is a series that I can highly recommend. If you like MM stories with lots of feeling you will love these books. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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    Exquisite romance for the soul

    As with all the series another exquisite romance. The story of Brady and his family trying to stay as one after the loss of his parents added to the strugle of Mira with her nephew by her side is enough to make a romatic cry. Adding in the spark between Ev and Brady it becomes a cry fest with a box of tissues. A fabulous love unfolds and HEA that makes the toes tingle.
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