Cameron is sleeping over at his best friend Eddie’s house when Eddie’s father, Luke, accidentally walks in on Cameron in a private moment. Luke is everything Cameron wants in a man and the experience emboldens Cameron to approach Luke looking for more. Luke may be older and Cameron may be inexperienced, but he also knows he wants Luke.
Luke knows getting involved with his son’s best friend is a terrible idea. But he also can’t help being drawn to the gorgeous young man. The fact that Cameron has a submissive side he is just waiting to explore only adds fuel to Luke’s desires. But the men know that they have to keep their relationship a secret, particularly from Eddie, given their large age gap.
Secrets don’t last forever, however, and it becomes impossible to keep others from learning about them. Plus, Cameron and Luke are really falling for one another and as they grow more serious, they want to share their love with others. But when Cameron’s life enters a period of some major upheaval, it upsets the careful balance the men have built. Now Luke and Cameron have to figure out if there is a way they can be together through the hurdles life is throwing their way.
Reckless is the first book in Kate Hawthorne’s new Room for Love series, starring Cameron and his brothers. It is a spin-off of sorts from Unfettered, a standalone story featuring Cameron’s half brother, Beau. The timelines of the books overlap, and if you have read Unfettered, you will know about the big life change that happens here for Cameron. Knowing the events of that book sets the stage for this story, however I think you could still read Reckless without having read Unfettered as the background on the family is well explained here.
This story is a pretty extreme age gap with newly turned 18-year-old Cameron falling for his best friend’s father. I think Hawthorne does a nice job developing Cameron’s backstory in a way that shows what an independent and self-reliant man he is. Cameron’s father is largely absentee, and though he is close with his brothers, they are older and he mostly raises himself. So I could understand why Cameron may be more emotionally prepared than other 18-years olds for a relationship, as well as why Luke’s emotional strength and stability would really appeal to him, despite the age gap.
Despite this, I do wish we got a better sense of what turned the switch to make Luke suddenly hot for this young man he had known since he was a child, and what make Cameron’s eye turn toward Luke. The incident where Luke walks in on Cameron sparks their new connection, but I wished for a better sense of when they start to see one another as more than just “best friend’s dad” or “kid’s best friend.” I also wanted more time to see the two men developing an emotional relationship alongside the sexual one. These guys are hot and sexy together, and there is no question there is sexual chemistry. But we rarely see them spending time together just developing a bond outside of the bedroom, which is something I needed, particularly with such a large age gap. At times it was hard to see them as equal partners without really seeing the connection grow outside of the bedroom.
Where this story really shines is in the heat between Cameron and Luke. Hawthorne knows how to write a sexy book and these guys have a great chemistry. Cameron is totally inexperienced, but also not shy about asking for what he wants, and the men explore a lot of kink and light Dom/sub dynamics. I enjoyed watching Luke help Cameron explore his new interests and learn what worked for him.
I also appreciated that the story developed differently than I was expecting. Often age gap, “secret relationship” books can have a fairly standard storyline, and when you add in that I already knew about the big event in Cameron’s life, I kind of figured I mostly knew how things would play out. So I really enjoyed how Hawthorne gives us a creative story here that went in some unique and unexpected directions. It really kept me engaged and eager to see how it would all play out.
I found this one a really nice start to this new series. We get some hints of the next story featuring one of Cameron’s brothers and I am eager to follow along. If you are looking for a large age gap romance with some secret relationship elements and a big life change, definitely check this one out.