Title: Wrapped Together (Portland Heat, #5)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Lyrical Shine, Kensington Books
Expected Publishing Date: December 6, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Page Count: 112
Rating: 3 Stars
In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .
For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions–and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has–his heart–without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .
♦ Personal Thought ♦
Compared to the previous Portland Heat installment, Wrapped Together has a much lighter tone. The story brought forward long time friends and rivalries Hollis Alcott and Sawyer Murphy. As a holiday story, it is a sweet even if predictable one.
Reader could well expect Hollis and Sawyer would be together in the end. I didn’t worry about HEA aspect of this story. However, as much enjoyable as I found their banter is, the few flashback where Hollis reminisced the past was rather distracting. Also, many might disagree with me on this, the sex scenes here took quite a chunky portion that they became too much.
Overall it feels like a delayed love story for me. Something that could’ve happened a few years ago but didn’t due to… insecurity perhaps. And then the accident struck and Hollis had fallen into Grinch persona. How Sawyer still held on hope through those years was suspect. And why he decided this year is the right time to try (again) was more so. I guess this need a lot more convincing affection between these guys than shown here.
In a nutshell, Wrapped Together is a heartwarming and cute holiday story (there’s a cat named Benedict but only comes when called Bunny). It’s a sweet treat with a huge dollop of steamy spices.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.