I just want to state unequivocally that I adore Phiz. This character—this supremely ADHD, crowd-phobic, sweet, young man made me a fan the moment he opened his mouth. The affect he has on the quiet, slightly fearful and definitely staid Bryan is nothing short of electric. Slap and Tickle by Clare London is another in her With A Kick series, and proved to be a slow building romance between two of the most unlikely opposites that find each other quite attractive.
For Bryan, who has recently said goodbye to a less than savory “open” relationship, the last thing he envisions is tripping over his next potential lover. However, in true Phiz fashion, the young man leaps into Bryan’s carefully controlled life, full of the need to be controlled so that his scattered thoughts and runaway tongue can find some semblance of peace. But Bryan has always shied away from his more dominating tendencies, thinking them wrong and unsavory, until Phiz…until the desire to dominate the man rushes to the fore and Phiz begs for it all to be unleashed.
This delightful novella is all about discovering one’s needs and learning to communicate them to a potential partner. By slow turns, Phiz and Bryan begin to open up to each other and lay bare their darker desires, those that each hopes will be met by the other. As they dance around full out disclosure, they meet again and again over a dish of ice cream at the struggling business of one of Bryan’s closest friends and clients. While Bryan struggles to help his friend hang onto his business, little does he realize that Phiz is going to be the key not only to saving the ice cream parlor, but also to saving Bryan himself. While Bryan seemed too reserved, I felt the story was really saved by Phiz’s infectious humor and frenetically funny disposition.
Slap and Tickle is a sweet little romance that will have you smiling by story’s end.