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Danced Close

(Portland Heat #6)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  649 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Portland, Oregon, is one of the hottest cities in America. Just ask all the hard-working men sweating it up behind the counters of the restaurants, boutiques, and cafés all over town ...

Newly clean and sober, Todd's taken a shine to his job at Portland's most talked about bakery. It's not just the delicious desserts they sell, but the tasty treats who keep walking through
Kindle Edition, 132 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Lyrical Shine
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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

All the books in this series can be read as standalones, and this one is no exception. We briefly visit with Robby and David from book 1, as well as Vic and Robin from book 2, but these are cameo appearances; Vic (who owns a bakery) has the biggest role, as he is Todd's boss.

Todd doesn't have much faith in himself at all. He doesn't even trust that he can frost a cake properly, even though Vic encourages him to try. He's a recovering addict, two years sober, and just takes it a day at a ti
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
A sweet story with two likable MCs, I think with a little tweaking this one could have knocked my socks off.

This book isn't my first rodeo with a genderqueer MC, and I was excited to try another one. I think Annabeth Albert did a great job with the characterization of Kendall, but I had some issues that I feel pretty conflicted about.

A lot of the book is focused around Kendall's gender identity and how he is perceived and treated by others. On the one hand, the author really had to devote a bu
I liked this book (I always like Annabeth Albert’s stories), but I just didn’t feel connected to the characters in Danced Close the way I have to others in this series.
Elsa Bravante
La mayoría de las veces me cuesta mucho conectar con esta autora, me parece muy aséptica y creo que normalmente le falta un toque de emoción a sus historias. Aquí me ha vuelto a pasar. La historia es pasable, pero nada especial, ni sus protagonistas, se tocan muchos temas complejos pero sin ninguna profundidad, y eso es algo que no funciona conmigo.
This is the sixth book in the Portland Heat series, but it can be read as a standalone.

I absolutely adore dancing and I couldn't wait to read this book after seeing its lovely cover. I imagined it might be a short and light read. But what I got was so much more.

From the start I fell in love with both characters: Kendall - a beautiful genderqueer wedding planner and Todd - a former addict, now working in a bakery.
These two men couldn't be more different, but still they were perfect for each ot
3 Stars

I am like a broken record when it comes to my reviews for this series.

The writing quality, as always, is pitch-perfect, and this story had some serious depth to it, considering its length, but it's still a middle ground kind of read for me... Enjoyable enough, but not particularly memorable.

With the exception of book #5 (Wrapped Together), I just haven't connected with the characters in this series, despite how complex and well-written they have all been.

Regardless of my so-so reaction
3.5 stars

This was a very sweet story with 2 very likable MC's. I loved how Todd embraced Kendall's genderqueerness with not even a blink. I enjoyed that.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
The two MCs were super sweet and I liked them both, but nothing really happens in this book. They take dance lessons and fall for each other, the end. It's like the challenges they both face are complete no-issues. I didn't even understand the mini break up much...
The end came a little abruptly, in my humble opinion.
It was ok, but not my fav by this author. I generally really love her books.
R * A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Stars!!

Oh the angst is back and I reveled in all the insecurity and doubt! Seriously, this little series is deceptively wrought with a lot of feels and tough issues and all the twisty feelings that come along with it.

Todd hasn’t had it easy, and he’s been through some very rough times with equally rough consequences. He’s getting back on his feet, trying to appreciate the small things in life and not fucking things up. A bright point in his day is when he gets to see Kendall, the beautiful w
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m
This story warmed my little cold heart.

When I started this book I was expecting something completely different from what I got but it was a good surprise, I thought this story was goind to be more focused on Kendall which I wanted because I haven't read that much about gender fluid characters but there's a little bomb about Todd that's dropped and I was shocked. I'm not sure if this was mentioned in a previous because Todd did appeared in another story but I had no idea. It was so real and sad
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**4.5 stars**

I'm in the minority among my GR friends about this one, but for a whole different reason this time. I freaking loved this story!

As a cis woman I can't comment much on Kendall's gender fluidity, but his portrayal felt very authentic to me. You see, Kendall hates it when people try to overanalyze him, or "figure him out". He's just the way he is, and he doesn't want others to make a big deal out of it. The author did just that: gave us a genderqueer character, comfortable in his own s
Denise H.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*** Kendall, 28, is a wedding planner, and sees the cutie at the bakery, who has gotten even hotter now that he's got a beard. Todd is interested in Kendall. He asks Kendall how he considers himself, sort of how does he "label" himself, and Kendall happily replies. He is a gender queer gay man. He is a man who likes some feminine flair, a touch of eyeliner and lip gloss, and the occasional silky top. They begin to flirt and Kendall needs a dance partner for a charity event. Todd loves to dance! ...more
3.5 stars

This is the 6th book in this series but can easily be read as a standalone. The strength of this story to me were the unconventional MC's. Kendall is a gender fluid wedding planner and he uses the bakery that Vic (from book two) owns. Vic has a newer employee named Todd who's quietness interest Kendall. They are total opposites and Kendall doesn't have much success with relationships. He finds that most men want him to "tone down" his behavior and dress and he's sure that Todd, who's be
Kendall is a wedding planner and Todd works at a bakery where Kendall takes his business (PS: The bakery is owned by Vic, the MC of book #2). Todd is a recovering addict so he thinks Kendall is out of his league. While Kendall breaks up with his boyfriend who cannot take on Kendall's femme-ness and wants him to tone it down; and Todd seems to be the similar type. But they can't help to be attracted to one another.

When Kendall's best friend must bows out from dancing class they are both signed u
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
**edited to add** Don't spoil this book for yourself! Annabeth has a way of throwing in a curve and it is a better read when you go in not knowing all the details.

I am not sure how a story with such strong themes could be a soft and easy read, but this one is.
This is book 6 (and the final book I believe? correct me if I am wrong) in the Portland Heat series, but it can definitely be read as a stand alone.

Todd is a recovering addict (he works for Vic and is friends with and sponsored by Robin).
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ng-for-review
Let me preface by saying I am a fan of Ms. Albert's.

Unfortunately, Danced Close is not her best work. The characters read like charictures/stereotypes and the issues facing Kendall and Todd aren't given the gravitas they deserve. Gender identity, drug addiction and one more I won't mention...These are not the makings of a light and breezy romance.

The instalove and opposites attract trope (my favorite) work, but then I need more. Why DO they work? Show me how this couple becomes stronger despite
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love having to add new shelves to cater for new diversities.

Not that this is my first non-binary MC. I have read a couple of others, and Kendall stacks up well as a realistic portrayal of a man who prefers to be assigned male, but knows his identity is much more fluid, much more complex than that.

Todd's immediate acceptance and constant thoughtfulness of his gender queerness is a breath of fresh air. Kendall is also attracted to the seemingly obvious old southern style boy. But he should be ca
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I adored the MCs. Kendall knows himself well and makes no apologies for who he is. Todd, at 22 y.o., is on his 2nd year of putting his life back together.

At first glance, these two don't seem highly compatible. However, Todd sees Kendall clearly. More importantly, he accepts and appreciates Kendall implicitly. There's a lot to be said for finding a person who not only sees you clearly, but also appreciates the you they see.

Kendall is initially attracted to Todd but is taken aback as Todd throws
I love this series and it is best read in order to enjoy it to the fullest.

I really don't want this to be the last book in the series. I like this world of small business a great deal.

This romance takes on addiction, recovery, and gender but does so with a light and lovely touch.

Both heros has a lot of growing to do and it is a pleasure to witness their individual journeys as will as there one as a couple.

I enjoyed the dancing in this book the most. I love the sneaky skills of the younger her
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars!

Sweet, sexy and charming!

This is an engaging, contemporary romance story that emphasizes the importance of accepting and embracing who you truly are and reminds us that sometimes in life it's nice to lead and sometimes in life it's even nicer to be led.

The characters are honest, unique and supportive. The writing is straightforward and smooth. And the plot is an engaging mix of humour, relationship drama, acceptance, chemistry, love, sweet treats and of course a tiny bit of dancing.

Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
2.5 stars


After careful consideration I bumped my rating up to a full 3 stars. I'm not happy with the overall product, but A.A is a very good writer. I always say I want more out of this series, and after each novella I'm like it should have been more pages. This was one time that I think it read needed to be long. The beginning was to slow, and choppy, I'm not convinced Todd knows himself well enough, because we surely didn't get enough about him. It was frustrating trying to put together a bac
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it

I'm not sure where I'm going with this review because there were elements that I absolutely loved and parts where there didn't seem to be a full fleshing out of the situation.

I loved that this book introduced a gender fluid character in Kendall, but it then didn't really go anywhere else in the way of expanding on what that meant, other than in basic terms of him liking to look pretty and have a more 'feminine' style on some occasions.
Yes it mentioned the issue of what people thought or how
Maria Rose
The Portland Heat series by Annabeth Albert has been a consistent favorite of mine, with small shop workers finding love and companionship in the busy city. Each story has had unique likable characters and situations, and Danced Close is another sweet and sexy novella worthy of the series.

Kendall is a wedding planner, a genderqueer gay man who has found his niche and loves his work, bringing couples together and helping them plan their perfect wedding day. His favorite wedding cakes come from Vi
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m
~ Review provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

I'm so sad to say that Danced Close didn't impress me. While I liked that story, I felt like the characters were lacking in some way. I just couldn't connect with them and that's a first with a book by Annabeth Albert. I need that connection otherwise I'm not quite hooked and easily distracted.
Her writing style was great like always though.

I hope this book will stay the only one that I can't give 4,5 stars to. It's sadly only a 3
I absolutely loved this book. It features Todd who made a brief appearance at the end of book 2, Baked Fresh and Kendall a wedding planner.

Both of these characters are struggling with their pasts, Todd because of his drug addiction and Kendall with gender fluidity which previous boyfriends have had a problem with. Kendall finds acceptance and support with Todd which is unusual and in return Kendall encourages Todd to try new things and gives him the confidence to further his career in the bakery
Kara Hildebrand (Two Book Pushers)
Danced Close is the sixth book in the Portland Heat series. I haven't read the entire series, but I wasn't lost at all! I discovered Annabeth's Gaymers series and now she's one of my go-to-authors. I just read everything she writes. Her writing is always fresh, sexy and funny and I find myself reading her books in one sitting. This is my first m/m book where the main character is genderqueer. I absolutely loved Kendall. He knows who he is and is comfortable in his own skin. He wears what he want ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jd-read, amazon-done, m-m
Kendall is a wedding planner and Todd works at the bakery many of Kendall's clients get their cakes.  Todd is a recovering addict who gets all tongue-tied when he sees Kendall-but he feels he's out of the man's league.  Kendall has also noticed Todd, but he thinks he's the same as his ex who didn't like Kendall's feminine side.  When Kendall's bestie cancels on a dancing class they were to take, he asks Todd to fill in.  He hopes it will be a fun time!

Danced Close is Annabeth Albert's sixth book
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
Julie   (*Happily Ever Chapter*)
Danced Close is the sixth book in Annabeth Albert's Portland series. All of the books can be read as a stand alone, but you may see glimses from other couples/characters from the previous books. I've said it a bunch of times but Annabeth Albert is one of my auto-buy authors. I love almost everything I've read of hers and I've read over a dozen of her romances. She blends romance and steamy scenes so well.

I really loved this one! This was probably my favorite in the whole series. I loved both of
Nadine Bookaholic
This was my first rodeo with a Queergender character, I have read a few Transgender stories but Kendall is a Genderqueer Gay Man, a first for me, so new to me that...I hate to say it but, I actually had to look it up even though Annabeth did her best to spell it out for you. I found a video that helped me to understand it all a little bit better, you can see it below.

Kendall and Todd's relationship starts out slowly and gradually grows into something more. I enjoyed getting to know each of them
Rachel Emily
I'm pretty new to this series, having only read the 5th book before this one, but this one was also super easy to get into without having read the previous books. I enjoy that they are mostly stand-alone stories with characters that clearly had their own story before this one making small gets appearances. I'm becoming a big fan of this author and the quality of the writing and the storytelling that I can come to expect, and this one was no exception.

I really enjoyed both characters in this. I e
3.5 Stars rounded UP

Portland Heat series for me is feel good mixed with angsty stories; they brought to live genuine and sensible characters, each with baggage of their own. Just like in Danced Close.

Having fallen into drug use in his late teen and lived on the street altered Todd's life. Now clean and sober, he's rebuilding his life with the help of his gran and volunteer from the shelter. His fascination of Kendall, a genderqueer wedding planner who's a regular at the bakery he worked, soon b
Barb ~rede-2-read~
**4.5 stars**

I really enjoyed this story, and not just because I’m a sucker for sweet men in an underdog role. In this story, as in the last one I read, Knit Tight, the author explores nontraditional pairings, and this time we have both a gender-fluid man and one who is on a journey to recovery, now two years clean and sober.

Kendall Rose is a smart, sharp businessman who embraces his individuality by sometimes dressing the way many may describe as flamboyant. Often the butt of jokes or snickers,
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Posted at Gay Story Reviews.

Annabeth Albert gets romance right in this sixth book of her Portland Heat series.  Danced Close is the first book I’ve read from this author and the story and writing impressed on several levels.  Firstly, Danced Close features a genderqueer main character and secondly, that character is realistically portrayed without undue angst or drama.  Kendall (preferred pronouns “he/him”) fully embraces his gender fluid identity and does so with major style and panache.

Style a
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, part-of-a-series, arc
Sigh.... to be totally honest, I dreaded writing this review. I haven't read many books in this genre with gender-fluid characters, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I know what I hoped wouldn't happen. I had high hopes Kendall's gender fluidity wouldn't be shoved in my face page after page after page. Kendall is gender fluid, OK!, I got it the first time it was mentioned, and I was ok with being reminded once, just in case I 'forgot'; but fuck a duck, I got tired of that fact being stated so ...more
I kind of felt like this was the weakest of the Portland Heat novellas. Even some of the secondary characters that I love who made cameos didn't really do it for me. But I love Albert's writing, I think the issues she tackles and the representation she includes in her stories so important, and she writes some of my favourite hot and heavy moments in this genre. This just felt very fluff, very light, and a little minimal in some ways. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but I've just come ...more
4.5 (5.0) Super Satisfied Stars

Aaaaah! Bliss! I love this series and Danced Close has to be one of my favorites to date. Annabeth Albert deftly weaved some heavy themes ((view spoiler)) into this story and introduced one of my most favorite characters to date: Kendall, a gender fluid wedding planner. I fell for both MCs and their sweet and slow-burn romance was perfectly executed. There was a touch of angst (my inner emo preen
Vfields Don't touch my happy!
I am a big fan of this series. I embrace and look forward to reading anything Annabeth Albert writes. Danced Close featured a nice, very likable couple. Albert gave these characters well-defined issues if you will and wham, bam, thank you, ma'am, it's over. I have to say it was crazy light when it came to the flushing out of Kendall's life and history and Todd's past could have gone in any direction and pow - it ended. It was so way too easy, what's that about? I had to wait a few days to digest ...more
Veronica of V's Reads
Todd is a twenty-two year old starting his life over again. He’d struggled with weight issues, and addiction in his childhood, but he’s clean and sober, now. Still, it’s not easy to make his way in the world. A former runaway/homeless teen, he’d seen the worst of life on the streets. He doesn’t have a fancy degree–or even and unfancy one–but he’s a true blue spirit, willing to go the extra mile and work twice as hard as the next guy. He’s currently working in an upscale bakery, and that’s where ...more
Joyfully Jay
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

Danced Close is the sixth book in Annabeth Albert’s Portland Heat series. This is a sweet and sexy series that takes place among the various businesses in Portland. While the characters occasionally walk in and out of each other’s stories, for the most part these books stand alone. In this case, Todd works at the bakery from Baked Fresh, so owner Vic makes several appearances here. And we briefly see the wedding of Robby and David from Served Hot. So some fun cameos
The Novel Approach Reviews
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
At first glance, Danced Close might look like it’s going to simply be a breezy little romance novella—another sweet Annabeth Albert story with an adorable cover (the cover is SO adorable, right?). And, on some level it is. We have a budding friendship and attraction between our two MCs, and the story unfolds. However, what you get out of Danced Close is definitely more than its face value. Albert has brought us two lovely and complex characters who help her tackle the weightier subjects of addic ...more
Mari Cardenas ~ Bayou Book Junkie
4.5 Stars!!!

I absolutely loved Todd, who was such an adorable man, despite all he'd gone through. I loved that he was so upfront about everything, so accepting and understanding. He seemed more mature than his years, which all things considered made a lot of sense. I liked Kendall, even if there were a couple of instances in which I wanted to shake him up a bit to help him get over his hangups with relationships, especially when he had such a great man in Todd. I liked that he didn't make a big
Cathy Geha
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ap
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I adore this author!
The writing and characters gripped me immediately.
I loved both characters and despite there being some pretty serious undertones it still felt light and easy to read.

Kendall is confident and completelt happy in his own skin, which makes him very sexy; whereas Todd is shy and unsure.  He's also completely adorable.

I loved the story and it was great catching up with the boys from the previous books.

ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Frequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Other books in the series

Portland Heat (7 books)
  • Served Hot (Portland Heat, #1)
  • Baked Fresh (Portland Heat, #2)
  • Delivered Fast (Portland Heat, #3)
  • Knit Tight (Portland Heat, #4)
  • Wrapped Together (Portland Heat, #5)
  • Waiting for Candy (Portland Heat #5.1)
“We're just friends," Kendall said quickly, and rip, there went my heart, right into two pieces.” 0 likes
“He was always so ready to do battle on my behalf, but I would have gladly taken up a sword against his past.” 0 likes
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