Rating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

Hunter (aka “Daddy”) has moved to Las Vegas to start a new porn studio, one that focuses on showcasing safe and consensual kink. The move from NYC is also a chance to escape a difficult event in his past that has left some emotional scars. Hunter is thrilled to meet Joey, a former cameraman at the renowned Ballsy Boys Studio. Joey has the skills and experience Hunter really needs to get his studio off the ground. Joey moved to Las Vegas to help take care of his parents now that his mom is in declining health. The chance to work with Hunter will definitely make the transition to a new city easier.

As Hunter and Joey work to get things started with Kinky Boys, they have a chance to get to know one another better. Joey finds himself drawn to Hunter, which surprises him as he has never had an interest in men before. After 10 years filming gay porn, Joey feels like he would know if he had an attraction to guys. But not only does Joey find himself into Hunter, he also realizes he is interested in the Daddy/boy lifestyle that Hunter lives. Joey definitely has a longing for something, but he is also really confused by his desires. For his part, Hunter is increasingly attracted to Joey, but he knows falling for a straight man is a bad idea.

As their friendship deepens, Joey works up the nerve to share his feelings with Hunter and the men begin to explore a relationship. Hunter is determined to take things slowly, as it is not only Joey’s first time with a man, but Joey is still coming to understand his own sexual interests. But even as their relationship grows, issues from Hunter’s past come back to haunt him. Now he will need Joey’s love and support to make it through a difficult time.

Daddy is the first book in Nora Phoenix and K.M. Neuhold’s new Kinky Boys series, a spin off from the authors’ Ballsy Boys series. It sounds like Hunter and Joey both made appearances in the original series, and some of the Ballsy Boys characters, Bear and Pixie, in particular, appear here. However, I had no problem starting this new series having never read the first and I think this story stands alone just fine.

I think the authors take an interesting approach to the common out-for-you type storyline here in that it showcases how “straight” often is considered people’s default orientation. In this case, Joey has never really felt strong sexual attraction to either gender, but since he wasn’t into men, he just sort of assumed that meant he was into women. Yet, Joey has never really felt a strong sexual interest in anyone and, over the course of the story, he comes to explore his interests and attractions. Joey eventually comes to identify himself as demisexual and panromantic and I think the authors do a nice job showing this process of recognizing his self identity over the course of the book. I particularly liked that we see Hunter determined to take the relationship very slowly as Joey figures things out. While Joey is clear that he finds himself attracted to Hunter, he isn’t really sure how he will feel about sex and whether that attraction will be something that carries over into physical intimacy and to what extent. So the guys take things slowly and really explore their feelings, which I liked.

Joey is also getting a feel for his interest in a Daddy/boy relationship. He found himself drawn to watching Bear and Pixie together in the past, some part of him longing for that type of dynamic, but not really understanding its appeal to him as he saw himself as straight. Joey also has seen so many boys who are young twinks and he wonders if there is a place for him in that lifestyle as a 40-year-old man. So again, there is some nice exploration here as Hunter helps Joey navigate a Daddy/boy relationship. The guys are very sweet and sexy together and there is a nice tenderness between them that I really liked.

This story also does a good job setting things up for the series, and we see Hunter and Joey working to recruit models and get Kinky Boys off the ground. I feel like we get a nice framework for the series and some of the potential characters, without shifting focus too much from our MCs here.

I’ll note a small issue and that is that, at times, Hunter seems to break the fourth wall and talk directly to the reader with his internal thoughts directed at us. For example, as he thinks about his sex life with Joey: “We could argue about the definition of sex, so let’s use the infamous definition of President Clinton…”. I found it awkward because it only happens occasionally and I am not clear why he is suddenly talking to us rather than thinking something to himself. So this wasn’t anything major, just read as a little bumpy to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this first installment in the new series. I liked seeing Joey find himself and grow in confidence about what he wants, and for both of the men to find happiness. I will be looking forward to more books in this series.

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