Professor Marek Janos is a genius with two Ph.D.’s under his belt and a university position studying stellar explosions. As on top of things as Marek is in his professional life, he isn’t so great at taking care of himself, sometimes forgetting to eat or sleep when he gets caught up with work. Marek isn’t always comfortable with people, either, and new situations can cause him some stress. That is why he is happy to have his live-in housekeeper, Pete Schulz, in his life. Pete takes care of keeping Marek’s life organized and on track. It doesn’t hurt that Marek is crazy about Pete, either, but he keeps that to himself.
Pete came back to Chicago after his life got out of control in L.A. Pete used to be all about image and impressions and ended up getting used and using others. He decided to put that experience behind him and focus on cleaning up his life. That led to a job with Domesticated, Inc working for Marek. It is a perfect position for Pete, marrying his love of organization with his desire to care for others. Pete has an attraction to Marek as well, but he is determined not to fall into old patterns of mixing work and sex, as that went terribly for him in the past. So he sets up rigid rules for his interaction with Marek, even as all he wants to do is kiss the guy senseless.
With both men attracted to one another, as well as close friends, they eventually reveal their feelings and begin to explore their attraction. Marek is ready to be all in, but Pete still is hesitant to get involved given his past. But his feelings for Marek are too strong to deny for long. However, there is another problem involving Marek’s family and a secret Pete is being forced to keep that may end up coming between them after all.
Ok, I’ll admit that I fell for this book as soon as I saw the cover, and the fact that a geeky hero is one of my total catnips, I was really excited to pick up this story. I have to say, I totally loved it! Aside from absolutely adoring these characters, as well as finding the book the perfect mix of sexy and sweet, I also loved that the story went in directions I didn’t expect. We know right from the start that both guys are hot for one another, as well as about the secret Pete is being forced to keep. I’ll admit that having read many books with similar conflicts, I was expecting that the guys would go forever without revealing their feelings, and that the secret would blow up at the 11th hour. So I was more than pleasantly surprised that Danford takes this book in a different direction and really adds some nuance and creates a wonderfully developed story here.
I also absolutely loved Pete and Marek, both alone and together. I mentioned loving a geeky hero, and Marek is just so endearing. He is brilliant and focused and just the right amount of awkward to be entertaining, but not absurd. He is a science guy, and he approaches problems from that perspective, applying his big brain to the situation and trying to work through it. Pete is more of an action guy, so they make a great pair. I loved how Pete delights in taking care of Marek, both from a point of professional pride, as well as personal affection. They are a fun couple and I just loved them together. They just interact in such a fond way, it is clear how much they care about each other. I also appreciate that even though these guys rely on one another, they ultimately work through their personal issues and challenges on their own, enabling them to grow and change, and not just bail one another out.
Really, I found this book totally delightful. The story is well developed, the characters are engaging and show great growth, and they are a lot of fun together. I can even forgive the fact that reading about all Pete’s cleaning reminded me how messy my own house is! I haven’t read any of Danford’s work before, but this one definitely has me hooked. I am really looking forward to more books in this series.