Mikey Harrison is a 24-year old who knows he wants a Daddy to care for him. Mikey thrives on service, and he feels that he would best serve a man who is older, mature, and seasoned. Since high school, this lithe, attractive man has been working as a naked butler for catered events. The night he meets a Daddy of his dreams, Mikey is one half of a naked buffet table—kneeling on the floor wearing flesh-colored short-shorts and a tray of canapés on his back right alongside his very best friend, Nick.
Stirling is feeling like an outsider even among his three closest friends. They are all turning 40 this year and have been besties since college. His best pals are all eager Daddies, looking for sweet young men to partner up with, but Stirling has never dated a man significantly younger than himself, and his last beau was only three months his junior. Stirling is still reeling from that man’s betrayal after a seven-year relationship—and smarting over losing a lot of his retirement and half the cost of his own home to that cheater. Stirling hasn’t been with a man in a year, not since that breakup. And, he’s also been consumed with a wrongful death case that he’s waging against his mother’s elder care facility, aided by one of his Daddy pals, Steel, who is a lawyer.
Stirling’s at Steel’s 40th birthday and feeling pretty low, so he follows Steels lead to have a little fun with the “help,” one of the two nubile men holding up the snacks with their naked backs. Mikey is very sweet, first humoring Stirling to act as a footstool, and then to actually rub his feet in a way that’s tender and arousing. It’s enough to get Stirling running for home. This isn’t his scene, and that young man is way too young for him.
Mikey senses that Stirling is a shy man, and he’s really drawn to that. He’s also kind of fixated on the memory of their brief interaction. That’s why when he runs into Stirling unexpectedly two weeks later, Mikey’s got the gumption to ask his ideal Daddy out—and it’s a huge disappointment.
First is the first book in a series of Daddy-boy romances and it’s off to a good start. This is a sweet and sexy story, eventually, once Stirling gets over the age difference phobia he has. He’s wrongly thought that young men would all be silly and frivolous, but his interactions with Mikey tell him how unfair these prejudices are. Mikey is sweet and direct, and he blows Stirling away with both his compassion and his courage. It isn’t long before their early misconceptions of one another are replaced by a growing bond and a deep rapport.
This story is meant to be a bit of a fairytale romance, with a plot that’s mostly soft and smooth and breezy, and with a definite happy ending. There is a sense through that the Daddy-boy connection is sacred, almost a destiny-type of connection. For me, this was a little much, but in a sweet way, not in an incredulous way. The pacing was good, with not a lot of lag between the meet-cute, the first conflict, and the relationship building. Mikey and Stirling have deep thoughts about how they should fall in love and what that might look like, and it’s Stirling who really has a lot of soul searching to do in order to come to terms with his attraction to Mikey. Their banter is witty and fun, and their interactions the right side of comical. It is a solid rom-com that left no doubt Stirling and Mikey were meant for one another. The hijinks were super fun and approachably melodramatic. Poor Stirling gets more than he bargained for when he turns up for dinner at Mikey’s apartment!
I liked all the men of the story, and it’s clear that the next book’s romance will involve at least one of Stirling’s Daddy friends finding his true mate. My money’s riding on Steel, but I will wait to see. This is an enjoyable breezy read for anyone looking for a little bit of sexy escapism without too much conflict.