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In Portland, Oregon, the only thing hotter than the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are the hard-working men who serve it up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…

Robby is a self-employed barista with a busy coffee cart, a warm smile, and a major crush on one of his customers. David is a handsome finance director who works nearby, eats lunch by himself, and expects nothing but "the usual"—small vanilla latte—from the cute guy in the cart. But when David shows up for his first Portland Pride festival, Robby works up the nerve to take their slow-brewing relationship to the next level. David, however, is newly out and single, still grieving the loss of his longtime lover, and unsure if he’s ready to date again. Yet with every fresh latte, sweet exchange—and near hook-up—David and Robby go from simmering to steaming to piping hot. The question is: Will someone get burned?

112 pages, ebook

First published March 3, 2015

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About the author

Annabeth Albert

92 books3,323 followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 468 reviews
January 11, 2015
3.5 stars

Coffee porn, y'all.

This is a gentle, cozy story about two 20-something-year-old guys meeting, becoming friends, and falling in love.

Robby is a barista with hipster glasses who runs his own coffee cart business, while David is a financial manager for a nonprofit. David comes by for a coffee at 11:50 a.m. every day, and he always orders the same thing: a vanilla latte.

Told in Robby's first-person POV, the story spans the course of a year as shy, awkward Robby finally gets the guts to put the moves on David. Or is David the one who puts the moves on Robby?

They sure do dance around each other, and it's cute as hell.

David, who was in a closeted relationship for more than a decade, is still grieving the loss of his partner, and Robby's not very good at standing up for what he wants.

I like how REAL this story is. These guys have normal jobs. They aren't rich or ridiculously good-looking. Robby is Asian, which is totes awesome (more Asian men in M/M, PLEASE!). They talk about ordinary things, like money and Robby's roommates and food and David's family.

Even though David is withdrawn and doesn't always treat Robby fairly, he does eventually open up to Robby. I'm glad that easygoing Robby finally voiced his concerns. We see him grow as a person.

What drew me to this book is Annabeth Albert's short story published in the Campus Cravings Higher Learning MM Boxed Set anthology. It was endearing and so damn adorable, I wanted to read something else by her.

And I'm happy I did. The writing here is polished and engaging. The story is moderately steamy, and Robby and David's first time together is sexy and lovely.

I just wish that the "big moments" hadn't happened off page. The story skips forward a lot, and events are summarized in a few sentences. We find out that David met Robby's parents, for example, but we never see it.

Robby goes with David to visit David's large conservative family in Idaho, but the story cuts off right when the men arrive. This was frustrating, as it made the narrative less accessible.

Also, be warned that the story ends at 90 percent, so it cuts off a little unexpectedly. Not that there isn't closure and a fairly nice HEA, but it was more abrupt than I prefer.

Bonus points for a Portland setting, because Portland is one of the coolest cities in America. Obviously.
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,458 followers
January 16, 2015
3.75 Stars!

That was...

I just wanted to hug both Robby and David.

Robby owns a coffee cart in Portland, David is one of his customers.


Robby is attracted to suit wearing David but he isn't sure if he's gay or not. Robby's a bit on the insecure side and isn't good at flirting but he tries with David.

David doesn't give any of his feelings away, which confuses Robby even more.

But Robby is persistent and starts to break down David's walls.

I wasn't a fan of the two "off-page" time jumps. But I got over it.

David finally starts to slowly open up to Robby. And I must say, they were really sweet together. Not a lot of spice in this one but enough to keep me satisfied.

This was a very light, easy story about two people both a bit damaged by past relationships, who take a chance with each other and find love.

Looking forward to the next one in the series!

ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Sophie's Reading Corner .
829 reviews331 followers
September 1, 2015
3.5 sweet stars

Robby has a small business serving coffee. David is a daily client, but he can't tell if the guy is interested and he doesn't want to get involved with another closeted guy again. Things start to drift one day that David forgets his wallet in the store, a pride weekend and two guys hot for each other , while haunting pasts surround them..

"You don't make me sad.
You make me whole."

I really enjoyed served hot! ! It was a really nice and sweet MM story with realistic feelings, thoughts and behaviors. It didn't feel rushed or insta love being a problem in this book. Maybe because it also followed a timeline and I liked that as well. There were some steamy moments too, but I liked more how cute and lovely they were instead.

"You're not going anywhere?"

"I'm right where I want to be."

Copy was kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,884 reviews5,810 followers
May 1, 2015
I think I enjoyed this one more than most people. The combination of a quiet guy who is just coming into his "out" status and a slow burn romance just hits my sweet spot! Patience is required to enjoy this little gem from Annabeth Albert.

I started off thinking that this book was just going to be another cute, fluffy story. However, as the book progressed, I found out that it was SO much more than that.

David is a shy, preppy, earnest character that might not strike the right cord with some readers. However, I found him to be endearing and his story about his ex to be heart-breakingly realistic. I really felt for him, and I loved how we got to know him in bits and pieces.

Usually I'm a big fan of alternating POVs, but I really liked how we just got Robby's POV here. I liked being in Robby's head, seeing things from his perspective. He was a really great character with lots of depth, especially for a book of this length.

My only complaints are the shortness of the story and the little time jumps throughout. Otherwise, this book really struck all the right notes for me! I can't wait to read more from this author.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,222 reviews454 followers
June 10, 2017
3.5 Stars

My oh my, was that an angsty little number! I guess I was expecting some light, sweet fluff but instead got some painful, but still sweet, longing and insecurity.

Take this as a torturous slow burn as Robby longs to move his burgeoning relationship with David to full steam ahead, while trying not to push. Poor David tries to navigate the new waters he finds himself in and can't quite reconcile his past with his potential future with Robby.

Albert still delivers on the feels and smex. Again, quite the angsty but poignant read disguised as fluff.
Profile Image for MLE  .
Author 3 books88 followers
May 18, 2015
I received this as an ARC though Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a nice romance story. I liked that both Robby, and David have their own issues and insecurities. Neither man is fixing the other, and they both have to learn how to be in an adult relationship. There are misunderstandings, but no silly big misunderstanding. I liked that, while Robby can be jealous, and insecure, he takes ownership of his feelings. He understands how many of his problems with David are really Robby's own problems. I do have a few issues. I would love if m/m authors stopped using statements like "I'm not a girl" especially in an pejorative manner. I see it a lot, and I would love if m/m stopped reinforcing traditional ideas of female passivity, and emotional weakness. I also wouldn't have minded a little more awkwardness in the sexual encounters in this book. I think it would have felt a little more honest to the characters, and a little less romance novel. Too perfect sex gets old. The plot was simple, and perfect reading for my cold when I don't have quite the attention span to pay attention to anything too deep, or involved.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,800 reviews488 followers
April 5, 2015
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

I thought that this story was wonderful. I found it to be just the right combination of sweet and sexy to keep me completely invested in the story. It is a short piece that can easily be read in a single sitting but it packs quite a story into those few pages. I love it when I feel like a have been told a complete and fulfilling story in just a short time.

This story is about Robby and David. It is told completely from Robby's point of view. I liked Robby right away. I loved how we know what is going on in his head as he works up the courage to flirt with David. When David shows up at the Pride event, I wanted to give Robby a big high 5.

One thing that I really liked about this story is that the big problem wasn't a simple misunderstanding. Both David and Robby have things from their past that are impacting their lives today. David has had to work extremely hard to move forward and the obstacles in their relationship stem from major issues. Watching the pair communicate and learn to be a couple was absolutely wonderful.

I would highly recommend this story to fans of M/M romance. This is the first story by Annabeth Albert that I have had a chance to read. I hope to read other works by this author in the future including future title in this new series.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Kensington Books via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Profile Image for aksana .
308 reviews136 followers
January 21, 2015
This is the story of Robby ans David.

Both guys are a little awkward and shy. Both were in a relationship with closeted guys before. Therefore, both dont have a clue how real realtionships work. Both were missing out a lot in their past relationship and still need to figure a lot of things out.

And thats what this story is about. Getting to know each other. Figuring things out. Dealing with normal problems and fears like every other couple.

It was a short and sweet read.. a little more on the serious side and it had a nice amount of steam. So in the end it made me:


ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Adam.
611 reviews314 followers
May 10, 2015
Spoilers below.

Seriously, this review is full of spoilers.


Despite a very strong beginning, this book ended up being only so-so for me. Which is disappointing, because I had high hopes for 'Served Hot'.

My main issue with the book was that the couple, Robby and David, are just a couple of years away from 30, yet their actions seemed to be high-school-level juvenile. One early example was Robby's inability to ask David if he was gay, while the two were at a Pride Parade. I can understand introverted and shy, but this seemed more a case of causing internal anxiety for absolutely no reason. Not being able to ask at a Pride Parade whether someone is gay or not is just ridiculous.

This state of affairs continued throughout the book from that point on. I could understand that David, who'd basically spent his teens and twenties in a closet-relationship, would be rusty with relationship building. But I didn't understand why Robby was in the same boat. The result was that by the time Robby finally put on his big-boy pants, the brief conflict had already gotten to the "we might have to see other people" phase.

Another thing that bothered me was blaming the dead ex for their problems. Yes, Craig was a closeted douchenozzle, but whatever mess Robby and David were in was of their own making. Granted, David was emotionally effected by Craig's death and the closet relationship, but Robby obviously didn't know the guy. Again, it just seemed juvenile.

However, there were some things that I liked. It was great to see that David was actually getting professional help for his issues. I think more authors need to start acknowledging the reality that so many people now seek out help for their emotional issues, and there's nothing wrong with that. There was none of that "tortured-soul-macho-man" BS here. The smexin' was hot, and when these two weren't acting like high schoolers, they were very sweet.

So just two stars from me. It wasn't bad, but I wasn't a fan either.

*ARC provided through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,865 reviews496 followers
January 23, 2015
3.5 stars

Just the right kind of story for a cloudy Saturday afternoon (probably with a coffee near you, although since I am not a huge coffee drinker, water was suffice too). I enjoyed the progress of friendship to lovers. The 'courting' moments were pretty cute.

I loved Robby (and he is an Asian, yes!), all of him, including his slight insecurity to talk about what he wants from David. He had this humorous voice as well. I loved how he was tolerant with David's tentative approach into their relationship .Robby was the sole perspective in this story but I could still get David from Robby's narration. There were times when I was a bit frustrated with David's inability to move forward, to see that Robby wanted more, but considering that his previous relationship was pretty much a decade of a dysfunctional one, I could understand David's lack of initiative.

I did feel that Ms. Albert played around too much with 'summarized moments' though; that some events were written off page or explained in several paragraphs only. It is a limitation of the novella length, I know. This story pretty much happened for almost a year so maybe Ms. Albert focuses on some significant ones. Still, I felt a bit robbed from moments in which I could connect with Robby and David better.

Having said that, it was a warm and comforting read with two likable characters. I definitely look forward to the next book in this series.

PS: As I said on my comment section, I also enjoyed this author's short stories in two anthologies before: Going for Gold: M/M Olympic Anthology and Campus Cravings: Higher Learning MM Boxed Set.

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Profile Image for ~Mindy Lynn~.
1,399 reviews593 followers
October 24, 2015
I was on my Libraries online eLibrary roaming the pages hoping something would jump out and catch my attention. And this one did just that. I have seen this one pop-up a lot on my GR feed so I knew a lot of people had read it. So I thought, why not? Plus it fit for what I wanted at the moment which was something short and easy.

Robby and David were a slow build. They were both just so awkward, neither of them really knowing how to move forward with their relationship.

Robby was unbalanced in the relationship and always second guessing himself because he couldn't read David well. He was always scared of pushing him to far or too fast that it mostly left him frustrated and unsure if their relationship would ever move to a place he wanted it to be. But I gotta give Robby some credit for when he finally gets the courage to tell David how he's feeling. It takes bravery to be so vulnerable to someone who has so many walls put up around them as David does.

David was as unbalanced and unsure as Robby in the relationship and was closed off with his feelings which usually left Robby out in the wind with his own. But considering how his first relationship went, I think he had reasonable reasons to be so. David just had a lot of personal issues and he let a lot of them affect his relationship with Robby. The thing these two needed so much was communication and it was the one thing they both sucked at.

But eventually these two got it together and when they did it ended up being a sweet coming together. They had some hot sexy times as well. There was some things that annoyed me but none worth mentioning. It was an enjoyable shorty.
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,399 reviews661 followers
January 4, 2016

***4 Stars***

This book was all kinds of adorable! Robby and David gave me so many butterflies with their cuteness!

Robby is a shy barista who's been burned in the past by a closeted ex-boyfriend. David is a newly out accountant who two years ago lost his very closeted lover.

Slowly, the two men begin treading lightly into a relationship. Robby doesn't want to push David too hard and fast for fear that he'll run, while David isn't sure how to be openly out in a relationship. Can the men find a balance that'll give them both what they want and need?

I seriously wanted to reach into my kindle and hug both of these guys. They were so awkward and endearing that I'm pretty sure I was grinning the whole time I was reading! With this great introduction, I'm really looking forward to the rest of this series.

I'd learned a lot more about hope. It looks like ivory sheets and stacks of paint cans and two pairs of shoes next to the bed. It sounds like rustling bedcovers and murmured endearments. Hope tastes like skin and soap and victory and coffee. And I can say now with absolute certainty that hope DOES come in a paper cup and smells an awful lot like a vanilla latte to go.
Profile Image for Debra.
2,030 reviews234 followers
March 23, 2015
3.5 stars

A very enjoyable story about two men, both having been hurt by previous relationships with closeted men, coming together and attempting to finally have something they've always wanted, but weren't sure they ever would or could have. From awkward attempts at flirtation to awkward attempts at real communication, I liked both Robby and David, especially watching David experience so many firsts with the out and proud Robby. There were a couple of times in the story that I wanted to see what happened rather than be told that it did, but overall it was a quick read that managed to convey the hurt and longing of the two men without getting bogged down in angst and drama. This was my first story from Annabeth Albert and I look forward to more.
Profile Image for Elspeth.
836 reviews130 followers
January 22, 2015
First off, I have a love for contemporary romances in or around coffee shops. I don’t know why, but it just fills me with warm fuzzies.


So reading this curled up on the couch on a Sunday in January was pretty perfect.
The book was low angst, low drama, and a nice friends to lovers story.

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Profile Image for Lenore.
596 reviews374 followers
May 22, 2016
Lukewarm. Repetitive. Miscommunication galore.

And sure. Go ahead and make a villain out of the dead ex-boyfriend. Blame him for your relationship problems. That's mature.
Profile Image for Cristina T..
197 reviews102 followers
June 5, 2015
After reading the blurb and so many positive reviews, I was pretty sure that I would enjoy Served Hot. After all, I love coffee, coffee shops and baristas. I love coming out stories, I like men who wear preppy outfits, I like shy guys and guys who wear glasses. I adore friends-to-lovers stories. In spite of all that, this book did not work for me. It might be a case of 'it's not you, it's me'.

My main problem was that I didn't connect with either one of the MCs, which meant I couldn't sympathize with them. I didn't agree with their behavior, I didn't root for them, and I felt like there was no chemistry between them.

Furthermore, I have no problem whatsoever with the dead ex lover/boyfriend/husband trope. But here, I felt like the dead lover dictated the entire course of the MCs' relationship. He overshadowed their life as a couple, and was also blamed for the mistakes the MCs made. I understood why it would be difficult for David to get over his past and let Robby into his life one hundred percent. But Robby had no excuse for his proneness to shutting down his feelings and allowing himself to step back without having a grown-up conversation first.

This is not a bad book per se. The writing flowed easily, the characters were as well-developed as a novella allows, and the steamy scenes were good. I also liked the Portland setting and the fabulous Pride Festival weekend! And then there was this awesome quote...

Since David had come into my life I'd learned a lot more about hope. It looks like ivory sheets and stacks of paint cans and two pairs of shoes next to the bed. It sounds like rustling bedcovers and murmured endearments. Hope tastes like skin and soap and victory and coffee. And I can say now with absolute certainty that hope does come in a paper cup and smells an awful lot like a vanilla latte to go.
Profile Image for Elsbeth.
1,191 reviews41 followers
April 29, 2015

This was just my cup of coffee!!


"Hope looks like ivory sheets and stacks of paint cans and two pair of shoes next to the bed. It sounds like rustling bedcovers and murmured endearments. Hope tastes like skin and soap and victory and coffee.
And I can say now with absolute cetaintly that hope does come in a paper cup and smells an awful lot like a vanilla latte to go."

The non-communicating and the insecurities drove me somewhat crazy, but overall a sweet, short read.

It was a shame it ended quite abrubtly!!
Profile Image for Heller.
974 reviews119 followers
March 6, 2015

I enjoyed this one. Sweet, slow burn kind of read with touch of angst. I really liked the author's writing style and I'll be checking out the others in the series.
Profile Image for Jenni Lea.
802 reviews296 followers
Shelved as 'no-trey-no-way'
April 30, 2015

My brothers are named Robby and David so, sorry but I'm gonna have to take a pass on this one.
Profile Image for BWT.
2,172 reviews222 followers
January 2, 2016
A gentle love story with a side of angst.

The non-communication issues drove me a bit batty, but on the whole, it was pretty good.
Profile Image for Keveen.
136 reviews8 followers
March 11, 2015

As I said before, this story was short, sweet, and satisfying.

Robbie and David's relationship moved kind of slowly because of David's reluctance at starting a new relationship. It was very understandable especially when David explained everything. Of course at first, I was really annoyed at how David acted but I knew that David would caught up sooner rather than later.

I didn't know how I felt about Craig at first because David was reluctant to explain everything. And when he did, I pitied and hated him at the same time. Much like how David felt at the end.

Robbie was very patient but everyone had their limits. I understood how he felt. It felt kind of he wanted more and it seemed like David just didn't want enough. But in the end, it was fixed. I loved it. It was HFN but I always like to believe that nothing can destroy my guys! Except if they have a fugly sequel.

Oh and I loved SSC Tricky! But I remember playing it when I was in middle school!

Overall, a nice read.
Profile Image for Tara♥ {MindforBooks}.
1,421 reviews114 followers
March 15, 2016

So I didn't hate this but I also really didn't love it. I think it was just a bit too cheesy for me.

Also, as bad as I felt for David, he also behaved like a bit of a douche.

This just wasn't my cup of coffee. Too much lattes and mochas and frappe things for my liking. I'm more of a very strong black coffee type of girl. It really is my own fault, I'd kind of guessed that it would be too sweet for me. Portland sure sounds nice though.
Profile Image for Keira Andrews.
Author 64 books2,551 followers
March 23, 2015
Such a sweet contemporary romance. (But the sex is hot, so I don't mean sweet in that sense!) Loved the Portland setting, which was a refreshing change of pace. Robby and David were very relatable, and I would have loved a full-length novel about them. I look forward to reading the next book in this series!
Profile Image for Renée.
1,058 reviews332 followers
June 12, 2021
4.25 stars! What a sneak attack! This was my first experience of Ms. Albert's writing, and it was amazing. I literally FELL into this story and felt everything Robby felt. Kudos to this author for that accomplishment. This was so sweet and well-written. I will definitely be seeking more from this author.
Profile Image for Leta Blake.
Author 63 books1,518 followers
March 4, 2015
I had other things I'd planned to do today, but at around the 25% mark this novella sucked me in and I knew the rest of my plans were just going to have to wait. I loved the realistic insecurities and discomforts the characters faced in this story. At first, I thought it was going to be a sweet little book and I was fine with that, but around 50% there came a twist that I wasn't expecting and which kept me reading to the end. If I had any small criticisms it would be only that I could have used more, especially more family interactions. I had no idea how important that kind of thing was to me until I got to key parts and was like, "Wait, so we don't get to see him meet the parents? Or wait, we don't get to see the first meeting of the sister? Wait, so we aren't seeing this meal with the redneck cousins? WAIT." But the sex scenes were smokin' hot, and the relationship was adorable, and I felt the emotional knotted tension between them at key junctures. All in all, loved it! Looking forward to the second book so much!
Profile Image for John The Cosmic Wanderer.
435 reviews43 followers
March 17, 2015
Started good but it kinda felt flat for me halfway through. Just couldn't feel the chemistry between the MCs and the ending was so rushed. The writing is good though and will probably buy the next book in this series because of this.

Thanks Netgalley for the arc
Profile Image for Naomi.
278 reviews23 followers
April 15, 2017
Booooooringgg. Or maybe the one-sided angst was just too realistic...
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