One of Portland’s hottest young baristas, Brady is famous for his java-topping flair, turning a regular cup of joe into a work of art. Every Wednesday—aka “Knit Night”—hordes of women and their needles descend on the coffeehouse, and Brady’s feeling the heat. Into the fray walks a tall, dark, and distractingly handsome stranger from New York. His name is Evren, and he’s the sexy nephew of Brady’s sweetest customer, the owner of the yarn shop down the street. He’s also got a killer smile, confident air, and masculine charm that’s tying Brady’s stomach in knots. The smitten barista can’t wait to see him at the next week’s gathering. But when he tries to ask Evren out, his plans unravel faster than an unfinished edge. If Brady hopes to warm up more than Evren’s coffee, he’ll have to find a way to untangle their feelings, get out of the friend zone, and form a close-knit bond that’s bound to last a lifetime…
Praise for the Portland Heat series
“Tremendously charming and sexy.”—RT Book Reviews on Served Hot, TOP PICK
“A really enjoyable story.”—Joyfully Jay on Baked Fresh
“Sometimes an author just gets everything right…Absolutely perfect.”—Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews on Delivered Fast
About the Author
Annabeth can be found online at annabethalbert.com, @annabethalbert on Twitter, and Facebook.com/annabethalbert.
Read an Excerpt
By Annabeth Albert
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Annabeth Albert
All rights reserved.
"You're my favorite barista," the girl said with a self-conscious giggle. She was all of eighteen, if that, and reminded me of my sister, with her wispy hair and pale skin.
"Tonight I'm the only barista." I took a breath, kept my tone light, and didn't give in to the urge to sigh heavily.
I grabbed a mug to get her latte started. Wednesday nights were our busiest of the week, and I was stuck working alone because my coworker had called in sick. I hated Wednesdays, but I wasn't in a position to turn down hours. As it was, our boss had been slashing staff for the evening shifts, citing cost-cutting measures, so he hadn't seen fit to give me a backup.
"You're the best barista I've got, Brady. You can handle it," he'd said on the phone, in his usual offhand manner. He didn't like to be bothered with what he deemed trivial stuff. So I was alone to face Wednesday hell, better known as Knit Night, the weekly event in which a horde of women and their baskets of fibers descended on the coffee shop. But they all bought at least one drink and that meant tips in my jar.
And I was a damn fine barista, something I reminded myself as I put a little flair into making the girl's drink. She came here for this after all — the little bit of a show as I flipped the mug and steamed the milk, the latte-art smiley face I finished the drink with, the winning smile I dredged up as I handed it over. For an instant I made her feel like she was the sole focus of my attention instead of the line of traffic behind her. That was my skill, the one that was going to elevate me from Brady the barista to Brady the national-champion barista and alleviate a whole shitload of problems.
Buzz. From deep in my black apron pocket, my phone vibrated against my thigh. Hell. One of those problems was undoubtedly slipping into a crisis state, but I couldn't risk fishing the phone out with a line of customers. I'd have to hope that my sister could hold down the fort at home and that whatever it was could wait for a lull in the rush.
The next order was the girl's friend, another latte, another smiley face, but I made the mistake of glancing up at the door as I worked. The next customer to come in was the hottest guy I'd seen in a very long time. He had artfully styled black hair, the sort of purposefully messy cut that probably cost three digits and took twenty minutes in the morning to perfect. His slim-fitting jeans also looked designer — a rich color somewhere between brown and black and a subtle sheen to the fabric. A fancifully wrapped scarf over a close-fitting, long-sleeved shirt would probably get noticed by the Knit Night ladies, which was exactly what I did not want to have happen.
Our eyes met as I drew the latte art with a stirring stick, and he grinned widely at me. Gorgeous rose-pink lips and perfect white teeth straight out of a dental ad, and —
Frak me. I flubbed the smiley face, distracted by my efforts to memorize the handsome stranger. Rather than hand over a squiggly mess, I chucked the cup and started over. The girl didn't seem to care as she was deep in conversation with her friend at the end of the bar.
"Sorry about the wait," I said to the guy when it was finally his turn and he moved up to order. His intent gaze coupled with his polished appearance made me more conscious of my untrimmed beard and scruffy ponytail and made me wish I was wearing something a bit nicer than a faded People's Cup T-shirt.
"It is no problem," the guy said. He had a gorgeous voice — deep and polished, like a shiny piece of ebony. He had the fast speech and clipped consonants of an East Coast accent, but there was a lilt of something more exotic there, too. "I am happy to wait. Very peaceful in here."
Ha. I checked the clock as I tried to think of some flirty reply. The heavy glass door that led to Alberta Street swung open. It was 6:58 and Violet was first as usual, holding the door open for the herd of knitters. Not the steady trickle of a breakfast or lunch rush but twenty-plus women, all obsessed with punctuality and festooned with hats, scarves, and knit vests. Each ordered drinks for here with the sort of lengthy deliberation of someone who only ordered one coffee a week.
An older woman with the look and demeanor of a no-nonsense teacher, Violet made it her business to keep her fellow knitters in line. Knit Night was the brainchild of Iplik, the yarn store just down the street from us on Alberta, but Violet was the weekly event's unofficial hostess. As usual, she started giving her comrades orders about table rearrangement.
The People's Cup wasn't huge by any means, and Knit Night tended to fill the joint up. The space was longer than it was wide, with couches in front of the plate glass window, the coffee bar running along one wall, tables in the middle of the room, and a long wooden farmhouse bench and table for communal seating in the back of the room. The Knit Night ladies liked to turn the couches around and group the center tables together, creating a setup conducive to conversation but a tripping hazard for the rest of the patrons. And the arrangement resulted in an unholy din really, especially on nights when their ranks swelled to thirty or more.
"Remember to keep the aisle clear," I said to Violet and her minions. I'd warned them about creating tripping hazards with their knitting gear, but it was as futile as telling the twins and Jonas to keep their Legos in one area. Like my siblings, the ladies loved to spread out their projects.
"What'll it be?" I swung back to the register, no closer to having the right banter for the stranger, but no longer in a position to care. However, he'd stepped aside for Violet and her herbal tea order.
"I'll be back when the line clears," he said with a wink. He had a leather messenger bag, the sort meant to look like something Indiana Jones would haul around, for which one paid for every crinkle in the distressed finish. He'd probably come in wanting a quiet place to work.
He had the look and accent of a displaced New Yorker — working some cushy freelance job, no doubt. I liked thinking up little stories about my customers, but I didn't bother coming up with a lengthy one for him. He wouldn't be back once he saw how loud Knit Night got. And the ladies were likely to pester him about his intricately knit scarf with its pattern of interwoven cables. One time, I'd made the mistake of wearing a wool beanie I'd found for a buck at the thrift store. Every single knitter needed to remark on its construction. Dude was so going to be beating feet once Knit Night got underway.
Without a coworker, I was slammed, having to work both the register and the machine. While it kept me hopping, I didn't lose my rhythm until the triplets showed up.
They weren't really triplets. That's what I called them in my head — three middle-aged women who apparently texted each other every week to coordinate their outfits. This week it was cardigans — one yellow, one pink, one green — all in a similarly complex knit pattern. Each woman had long, grayish-brown hair, all carried identical hemp knitting bags, and they all were incapable of making a decision.
"Now, ladies, what are we ordering this week?" the first asked the other two. "I was thinking mochas?"
"Oh, I was thinking chai," said the second.
"Don't we want lattes?" the third asked. They couldn't each order to their own preference. No, they had to agree on that week's beverage, something they couldn't seem to do prior to holding up the line.
"Oh, yes," the first said. "We want some of Brady's art."
I immediately started thinking of what bit of whimsy would make the triplets happy. The smiley faces were better suited for the teen girls, but I could come up with something special just for the ladies. I was good at that, and the detail-oriented work itself always soothed me, even when the shop was busy. But what drove me batty was how the triplets were prone to changing their order as soon as I had it straight in my head.
Yellow gets skim.
Pink gets half caf.
Green gets picky.
Brady gets distracted by the sexy stranger texting on his shiny smartphone in the rear of the store ... No time for that. I moved quicker, trying to ignore the fact that my eyeballs wanted to track his every movement.
"No, wait." Yellow cardigan stopped me in midpour. "Did I remember to say decaf?"
"Nope." I dumped the cup, ready to start over.
"And mine is sugar-free, too," Pink added.
Buzz. My apron vibrated against my thigh again. Behind the triplets, the line was at least ten deep. Damn it, Renee. Just handle the kids. Please.
Finally I had the three of them set. Green took a sip, then held out the cup. "Is this coconut?"
"You said nondairy, nonsoy?" I took the cup back.
"I meant almond breve." She sighed, like I should have gotten that at first, and if I wasn't distracted by what was going on back home, I would have remembered to ask her which nondairy, nonsoy option she wanted.
"Here, let me try again." I had just finished her new drink, complete with a leaf design in the foam, when a loud crash rattled the whole shop.
A two-seat table had tipped over, sending two coffees flying and leaving two women in tears.
"My Fair Isle sweater!" The younger of the two, a pixie with platinum hair and a hook nose, held up a dripping garment with half a dozen colors of yarn, still on long needles connected by a cable. "I've worked six months on this!"
"I'm sorry!" The rainbow-haired young woman in a roller derby T-shirt had tears streaming down her face.
"You never look!" The first wasn't having any apology.
"Hey, my hat got ruined, too!"
"Ladies." I stepped out from behind the counter, grabbing the mop we stashed against the wall. I approached the mess and tried to inject some patience in my voice as I said, "Maybe if you didn't move the table —"
"And what business is it of yours?" Oh, Miss Fair Isle was pissed and she was turning it all on me and the other knitter.
"Brady! Can we order?" someone called from the line at the counter.
"Did you forget to sweeten this one?" Green cardigan triplet was apparently still not happy, but I ignored her to set the fallen two-top to rights. As I straightened, I noticed a pair of expensive-looking desert boots: the brown leather staples of all Portland hipster men. And as my gaze traveled upward, I took in the handsome stranger who had somehow managed to find his way right into the middle of the Knit Night chaos.
"Is this always so ... boisterous?" he said with a faint curl to his gorgeous full mouth.
"'Fraid so. Welcome to Knit Night." I finally gave in to that heavy sigh I'd been holding in for the last hour.
"It is not so bad." His lips curled as his gaze latched onto mine, not breaking away.
He didn't move, and I didn't scurry back to the counter like I should have. The air felt charged —
"Debbie. You ruined my Fair Isle! Two hundred dollars' worth of yarn! Ruined!" Anger. That's what the air was charged with. Fair Isle lady wasn't letting it go and was all up in the roller derby girl's personal space again.
Buzz. My leg vibrated yet again, this time the steady pulse of a missed call. This just wasn't my night. I had no idea when I'd get a chance to breathe, let alone check the latest message. A solo Knit Night was proving to be a special kind of hell. And, of course, the most attractive man I'd seen in weeks had to be dropped right into the middle of it. I gave him five more minutes before he scurried out to the chain place down the street. They were stealing enough of our business, why not him, too?
"Ladies. May I see?" Instead of fleeing, the man stepped closer to the arguing women.
To my surprise, the angry knitter handed over the soggy garment. "Evren! I thought I saw you over in the corner. You should have joined us! Is Mira with you?"
"I wouldn't miss it." One of my favorite customers stepped out of the line for coffee. The owner of Iplik, the yarn store, she was a neighborhood institution unto herself. And she'd been sorely missed the last few Knit Nights. I'd heard a rumor about some health problems, and I was very glad to see her, even if she did look thinner and frailer, with an elegant knit turban on her head. She was one of the very few people who knew my situation with the kids, and I still got all warm at the memory of the little knit ornaments she'd given me for them at the holidays.
"And what is all this fuss?" she asked.
I loved her lilting Turkish accent, and I realized that was what I'd heard in the man's voice — New York with just a hint of Turkish.
"There's no fuss," Miss Fair Isle said, flipping her long blond hair. She was too busy making goo-goo eyes at Evren. Not that I blamed her. He was handling her soggy yarn balls with such deftness and care that it made certain parts of me take notice. He had long, elegant fingers with blunt tips. Capable grace.
"I think this can be fixed," Evren pronounced, and the whole group exhaled. "Now, why don't we let the man get back to his coffee?"
"Evren, this is Brady, my favorite barista," Mira introduced me with a flourish, emerald tunic top rippling. "Brady, this is my nephew. He's come to ... help with the store."
"That's great." I forced my voice to be bright and cheery, just like hers. But I knew his arrival couldn't be a good thing — her health must have been even worse than the rumors. "You must be the famous nephew she's always raving about."
Truthfully, I'd pictured someone younger from Mira's stories about her favorite relative. Evren was probably a bit older than me, perhaps in his late twenties. And if I was honest, I'd imagined someone diminutive and round, like Mira was before her illness, not tall, confident, and composed. And hot as hell.
"Perhaps Hala Mira exaggerates." He patted her arm before turning his attention to the bickering knitters. By the time I was back behind the counter, he had the two women sitting next to each other again, laughing, and he'd stowed the soggy mess of knitting in a shopping bag to "fix later." That pronouncement had drawn much awe from the Knit Night crowd.
There had been the odd dude at a Knit Night before, hipster types with scraggly-looking bits of scarf and an eye on a girlfriend or potential girlfriend, but I was still impressed when Evren opened his bag and pulled out a half-knit sock on the needles and a completed sock, which was passed around and oohed and aahed over by the ladies. It was indeed a nice piece of work — at least three colors that I could see, and some sort of complicated pattern that had him pulling out charts and diagrams.
His hands were so sexy that I kept spying on him as I finished the rest of the initial Knit Night rush. I liked watching his long, elegant fingers move rapidly with the teeny needles, liked how he gestured as he passed his scarf around, and really liked when he flipped his ridiculously thick, straight hair off his forehead with a flick of his hand. Wonder what else he's good at with those hands ...
With the scarf on the table, his long neck was exposed, and he had the sort of prominent Adam's apple and faint scruff that never failed to turn me on. Maybe after Knit Night, I could say a few words —
Buzz. Hell. Finally, I had enough breathing space at the counter that I could check the texts, keeping the phone hidden behind the counter.
I discovered a series of texts from Renee, each more dire than the last.
Madison's stomach is upset. Should she eat dinner?
She's puking! All over the rug! Help!
Fever's 102!!!! Brady!!! What do I dooooooo? :(:(:(
I could hear Renee's wail just from the text. Yeah, eighteen wasn't a baby anymore and we could all do with fewer hysterics from her, but she was still munchkin-size, with a sweet voice and a sensitive attitude. It was hard to get those memories of us as little kids out of my head. I'd been five when she was born and I'd been the type of older brother who fell hard for the family's new addition — the tiny blond-haired toddler I'd begged my mom to let me push on the baby swing. The too-damn-cheerful kindergartner who'd held my hand so tight on the way home from school every day.
Renee and I had both grown up a lot faster than we'd wanted to when our mother and her second husband died last year, and now we were doing our best to raise our younger half siblings together.
Trying to keep the phone low and discreet, I frantically typed back.
Calm down. Children's fever reducer in the medicine cabinet. Top shelf. I circled the dose on the box for the twins. Give that. Home soon. Promise.
Excerpted from Knit Tight by Annabeth Albert. Copyright © 2016 Annabeth Albert. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
* * * 1/2 The Portland Heat series (and, really, anything by Annabeth Albert) is an auto buy for me. The first and second books won me over with their sweetness and the third book is such a comfort read that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it. So it’s no surprise that when Knit Tight became available I pounced. If you’ve read Delivered Fast you’ve met Brady. I was dying for Brady to have his own story and was thrilled when I found Knit Tight was all about him. But I was completely derailed by Brady’s love interest. Please note that I was THROWN off but certainly not put off. It’s just that not in a million years did I expect Brady to be matched up with someone so perfectly put together. It was a wonderful contrast to Brady’s long-haired skater/garage band look. As always, there are plenty of obstacles in the way of our two love interests getting together but Brady and Evren struggled more than the other couples in this series. Their individual responsibilities coupled with Evren’s insecurities over Brady’s bisexuality brought plenty of turmoil to their relationship. Sometimes the conflict was drama filled. Hard to avoid that when one MC is trying to raise his three younger siblings and the other is caring for a family member who is dying of cancer. But it’s not all angst and pain. Quite the contrary. Real life drama often leads to humor. The biggest amusement I found while reading this book was seeing these two trying to navigate sex around their insane schedules and distinct lack of privacy. Hard to have your boyfriend over when you share a two bedroom apartment with your three younger siblings. In the end these two find a way to be with one another, to lean on one another and to share each other’s lives. Yes, there are some sad and frustrating happening in their lives, but the Happy Ever After makes everything worth it. This is yet another excellent addition to the Portland Heat series. A series that I was happy to learn will have a fifth installment at the end of the year. YES!!! If you are looking for a romance that will gently squeeze your heart and make you smile the rest of the day, then Knit Tight is certainly for you. Nat
Warning: Secondary character with cancer I originally skipped this one because some reviewers didn’t like Evren and it scared me off. I should have not doubted Annabeth Albert because she’s an artist when it comes to romance. This one had a lot of feels and the emotion was written so well. Considering all the heavy topics, Annabeth Albert does any amazing job of keeping the story uplifting. When Evren finds out Brady is bisexual he’s not interested in a relationship. Evren has been burned twice from bisexual men and now he has some prejudices. But they can’t totally stay away and a friendship is born. However, the chemistry is so strong that they quickly move into flirting and phone shenanigans. Because they are both so busy, much of their romance occurs over the phone but this was done so well and just heightened the tension between them. I loved Brady’s confidence when it came to his dating mojo. He has a lot of stress in his life but he’s not afraid to go after what he wants and to express his needs. The conversations these two have are spicy *fans face*. Evren has lots of quirks in the bedroom and this might annoy some readers but I wasn’t bothered by it. In fact, I really liked that Evren had certain wants that might not be “mainstream” or “normal”. It was a nice change of pace to have a character that didn’t want certain things that are so common in romance novels. And it also shows that a person’s sex life can come in many forms and people can still be happy if they don’t do everything. Brady respects Evren’s requests and it in fact leads to some very sexy moments.
This fourth book in the Portland Heat series is fantastic! It is full of real emotion and struggle, but joy, kindness and mostly love. Bradly has so much on his plate, too much to carry on his own. Evren impresses me with is caring. He effortlessly gives. He has a hard time accepting Bradly's support. He too is overwhelmed with too much to deal with while caring for his ailing aunt. I like watching Ev go from being so closed off to embracing a family. The ending is divine. Highly recommended author and series Adult read
This was such a sweet romance! It didn't exactly start out that way--well, it did, and then it veered temporarily into "What the heck?" territory, but by the ending it was back to sweetness. Evren just needed to get his head out of his butt over Brady's being a bisexual and learn to truly let others (mainly, but not strictly limited to, Brady) in to help him with all of the crap that life was sending his way, and then everything was back to feel-good romance land again. Well, except for the part that made me cry. But then Brady and Ev were back to making me sigh happily, so... :) I loved Brady's character--not much of a surprise, since we see the whole book from his point of view (with the exception of the small snippets of Ev's knitting blog which we get at the beginning of every chapter except the first one--loved this device, BTW!). He's got so much on his plate, with his four younger siblings that he's been responsible for since the death of their parents--seven-year-old twin girls, a ten-year old brother, and nineteen-year-old sister who helps up to a point, but who also wants to be a "normal" nineteen-year-old girl. Between work and his family, his dating life has been nonexistent. And then he sees Ev across the busy coffee shop... Ev's a bit harder to like at times. At first he's all cute and flirty--until he finds out Brady's orientation. He's had bad experiences with two bisexuals, and says he won't chance it again and shuts Brady down. But then he decides friendship is doable, only they both clearly want more...anyway, he's lucky that Brady is patient. And that he really, really likes him. It also doesn't hurt that Ev's so good with kids... ;) This was my first book from this author, but it won't be my last! Even though it's 4th in the series, Knit Tight worked just fine as a standalone. Rating: 4 / B+
4.4 / 5 ~> KNIT TIGHT took my Heart for a Ride! ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ 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
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.
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 would pass it along to friends. It shows what lifts will bring.