5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Author Provided BDSM Book Bullying Chef Contemporary Gay Gay Heat Index m/m Mary D May/December May/December Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Pain Part of a Series Scorching/high heat second chance at love Standalone Valentine's Day Widower

Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove #2) by Annabeth Albert

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One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

What’s not to like about a baby Dom and a recalcitrant Sub. Loved the push and pull between Curtis and Logan from the start. Logan knows what he wants he just hasn’t been able to find anyone who will play with him. Curtis on the other hand had been in a long term relationship and is very reluctant to get involved again, despite needing the release kink gives him. I really got invested into Logan finding his style and Curtis learning that he doesn’t need to push everyone away. He is just beginning to think of Logan as more than a convenient play date when guilt over Troy holds him back. There is no time frame for grief but other people keep voicing their judgement on their new relationship. I liked how the initial connection between Logan and Curtis built into something more solid. Even in the first few D/S scenes I could believe in them as a couple. Curtis for all his cantankerous ways needs someone to be there for him although he would never admit that. I think it’s the same with Logan, he needs someone in his life but never realised it. To many people want to smother him. His over protective parents can’t see any other way but their way for their only child. His friends also seem to think he needs looking after. Even Curtis was judgmental towards him in the beginning. The D/S side of their relationship is portrayed very well. It is just in the bedroom and doesn’t impact upon the rest of their lives. If you can accept some pain kink I urge you to consider reading this book. There is much more to the story. It is wonderful tale of finding yourself and coming to terms with loss. They deserved their Happy Ever After ending.

I haven’t read the first book in the series, Trust with a Chaser, and I didn’t feel I was missing anything vital to this story. The characters from the first book are mentioned but don’t play a significant role in this storyline.

5 of stars out of 5


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