Nothing Andy has accomplished thus far in life has been good enough for his harshly judgmental father. Now, in the last weeks of finishing a degree he’s not even sure he wants anymore, Andy has to find some sort of job and try to sort out the train wreck that his life has become. To make matters worse, there hasn’t been a blip on the dating scene for some time. It could be because Andy has been so busy with school, but he knows deep down inside it’s because he isn’t really interested in just any sort of relationship—he wants a Daddy. Andy craves an older man who will make him feel safe and more in control of the swirling emotions that often threaten to do his head in. But finding a guy who is into the same kind of kink as him is proving to be nearly impossible until the perfect man gets in line behind him at the coffee shop. Too bad the guy is married, and with a kid, to boot.
Joshua lives what admittedly might seem rather strangely to most people, Despite being divorced, he not only likes his ex, they also cohabitate in order to give their ten-year-old son a stable home life. His ex gets to travel to speaking engagements while Joshua is able to spend every day with the son he loves. It’s ideal in many ways, except when it comes to pursuing a relationship of his own. Joshua is bisexual and he’s been looking for the perfect boy to satisfy his daddy kink. With a strong need to protect and care for his man, Joshua finds that very few men relish the idea of being part of a relationship dynamic that is far from vanilla. Not only that, but the fact that his son will always come first and that he still lives with his ex tends to put most guys off. If only he could find a man who loved being a boy and needed a Daddy with a firm hand to guide him—someone like that cutie he ran into at the coffee shop.
Kiss Me, Daddy by Quinn Ward explores some sexy and intense Daddy/boy kink. While there is a real need for Andy to feel safe and cared for by his Daddy, which includes daily discipline that leaves him grounded emotionally, the author makes sure to point out that the best relationship dynamic that could exist between two men in this lifestyle depends on both being independent and trusting each other. That’s a hard place for Andy to get to when he has spent most of his life trying to gain his real father’s respect and love. Essentially, poor Andy is a basket case of nerves and doubts with his self-esteem at basement level most of the time. He has such a difficult time believing that anyone could truly love him and accept his deep desire to be their boy while not coming off as some needy ball of raw emotion.
Joshua struggles with crossing the line between being a caring Daddy and someone who is too controlling or stifling. His desire to care for Andy, his boy, is so intense he fears that he will scare Andy away by coming on too strong and being too overprotective. Between that and worrying that he will somehow neglect his own son while trying to have a relationship of his own, Joshua often feels like he is walking in a minefield. Needless to say, this is not going to be an easy partnership unless Joshua and Andy really learn to communicate their needs to each other and respect boundaries.
There was much to like about this story if you enjoy the Daddy/boy kink. Be prepared because that is exactly how Andy often addresses Joshua—as Daddy—while Joshua refers to Andy as his “little one” throughout most of the story. I like how they carefully explore the discipline dynamic with spankings and orgasm control and I can honestly say that the sex scenes within the story were not only just the right amount, but fairly sensual to boot. It was more the mechanics of the actual novel that I had a problem with rather than the trope or the characters, if I’m to be honest.
Often the transitions between scenes or a movement in time or place seemed to jump around or be nonexistent, causing me to stop and reread to determine where exactly we were in the story. Suddenly it would be the next day or later that night or, in one case, months in the future and there was no indication that time had changed at all. This was particularly unsettling at the end of the novel when everyone was talking about Andy’s spring graduation when the chapter before was having them enjoying Christmas day. I didn’t realize that Andy had not graduated back in December when he had finished up his degree. Since there were several pages dedicated to him and Joshua discussing how Andy was looking for a job that had some connection to the sociology degree he’d achieved, I assumed he’d already left college for good. Needless to say, I was pretty confused about it all.
The other concern I have stems from a second editing issue. While we reviewers often receive advanced reader copy that may contain a few typos or mistakes in grammar here and there, this manuscript was rife with errors. From obvious misspelled words to a sudden strange introduction of two side characters only barely mentioned previously that seemed an obvious attempt to set up the couple to star in a future installment in the series, I got really frustrated with how sloppy the writing felt at times. The second half of the book seemed to contain quite a few errors, leaving me wondering if it had been gone over as thoroughly as the first half. With these problems in mind, I found myself liking the story less and less as it felt more rambling and disjointed as time went on.
Kiss Me, Daddy had a good beginning and attempted an interesting exploration of a kink that often is not as well developed as this author sought to do with their story. However, a solid second round of edits was needed to really make this story shine.