Dr. David Letterer hasn’t really dated since the death of his wife, and he hasn’t been with a man since his college days. But he is determined to try to get out there, even if it is just to get laid at some point. So when a potential date asks for a cock shot, David snaps a picture for him. However, while it turns out the date is totally not the guy for him, David can’t help but notice the gorgeous go go dancer at the bar. David manages to make an escape from his bad date, but not before accidentally leaving his cell phone behind.
When Craig Harding finds the cell phone in the club bathroom, he can’t help but be intrigued by the clearly amateur, but still enticing, cock shot he finds as he tries to figure out the phone’s owner. He is interested enough to agree to coffee with David, and ultimately a date as well. David’s shy, sweet personality is so appealing to Craig and he can’t help but want to spend time with the man and his adorable daughter, Maia. But Craig doesn’t want David to just think of him as a dancer. That is what Craig does to put himself through school until he can open up his own Zumba studio, but too many guys hear that and just think Craig is brainless and easy. So when David doesn’t recognize Craig, Craig doesn’t mention his job.
The two men begin to hit it off and slowly being dating. It is not easy for David being a single dad with a three-year old. It is hard for the guys to even find a place to be alone together. But soon, to their surprise, what started out as casual is becoming serious for both of them. But Craig must get comfortable enough to be open about his job and his past if things are going to work out between them.
This is a sweet, fun story that is a light and easy read. David is adorable as this kind of shy, dorky doctor a bit out of his depth with young hottie Craig. I loved his sweet earnestness and how his conservative exterior hides fire inside. The two men are a nice balance for one another, as Craig loves that David is solid and has his life together and Craig is so happy to see a place for himself there after a tumultuous childhood and years of rough living. They are a sweet couple with lots of fire together and I liked them a lot.
I am not always a big fan of stories with kids, but I liked the way we see David and Craig navigate the early stages of their relationship with a young child involved. I got a bit of a giggle as they are desperately trying to find a place to have sex, and I like how David faces some legitimate challenges to dating with a young child. Things probably move faster than wise in terms of bringing a new boyfriend into his child’s life and Maia’s behavior is a somewhat idealized for three. But it’s still cute and a nice way to show the family and stability Craig longs for.
The conflict here really focuses on Craig’s job, though it is over pretty fast. Although we learn a lot about Craig’s past, I am not totally sure why he is so wary about telling David his job. I mean, maybe not day one, but at some point as they continue to date presumably David would have to be told, right? And David does nothing to suggest he is critical of dancers or would judge Craig for it, so it just felt like an issue without much weight to hang the story upon. Then again, this is really mostly just a light and sweet story, so the simpler conflict may be in keeping with the tone.
The ending here does go a bit fast for me. This is a fairly short novel and most of the book focuses on the slow build up of things between them. I didn’t get much of a sense of time, but the ending feels quick given the pacing of the rest of the book (and the Epilogue seemed to jump forward very fast for me). There is a secondary conflict with Craig’s roommate, and that never really gets dealt with as well as I would have wanted before the story jumps into an HEA. So I think the pacing here could have been a bit better.
I marked this as a holiday book because it does take place over Christmas and has a holiday-themed cover, but there is actually not much holiday-oriented to the book. So if you are specifically looking for a Christmas story, I am not sure this is going to quite scratch that itch. However, I did find it a lot of fun and I really liked David and Craig. They are a sweet couple and the story is an easy read with some sweetness and nice heat between them.