joyful coverRating: 3.5 stars
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 Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Emmett Moore has always wanted a Daddy and someone with whom he can share his Little side. But as much as he wishes for someone who will be interested in all those parts of him, Emmett has not yet found the right guy. However, he does have a good friend in his roommate, Roni (aka Viper), who has been encouraging Emmett to join her when she visits her motorcycle club. However, while Roni is totally accepting of Emmett’s interest in a Daddy/little dynamic, he can’t help but worry about being accepted among the club.

When Emmett finally agrees to come with Roni to the club for some cookie decorating, he is surprised that everyone is so welcoming. But Emmett is even more surprised to see Grayson (aka Rooster), who was Emmett’s brother’s best friend growing up. Emmett hasn’t seen Rooster in years, but the men immediately find a connection. In fact, not only is there an attraction between them, but a shared kink as well. Though they haven’t spoken in a while, their shared history allows Emmett and Rooster to fall into a relationship easily, and things are wonderful for both men. However, with the holidays approaching, Emmett is feeling stress about dealing with his family, who ignore him and treat him poorly. But this year, with his Daddy by his side, Emmett may find he has all he needs this holiday season.

Joyful is book 2.5 in Kiki Clark’s Leather and Chrome series. It is a novella-length, holiday story that fits within the larger series and features characters that we have met in past books. Rooster is a club member and Emmett is a client of Ollie’s from Temptation and he appears briefly in that story. This story doesn’t really deal as much with the club on a larger level as the full-length books and could be read as a standalone if you’re ok without knowing all the side characters.

This is a shorter story and so things move fairly quickly. I think it works pretty well in the sense that Emmett and Rooster knew each other well years ago, so I could get on board with the quick relationship development. I think enough time passes over the course of the story for their connection to be believable. The guys are sweet together and it is nice to see the acceptance that Rooster gives Emmett, helping him feel more confidence in what he wants. Rooster also sticks up for Emmett with his family and refuses to allow them to treat him badly. There is a light holiday vibe here, though this isn’t a full-on Christmas story. I found it fun to see the sweet and innocent Emmett interact with the wilder Ollie and CJ and form a friendship with the other boys.

I think where things don’t fully come together is that the shorter length means some important elements are skipped in the relationship growth. While I could believe the guys got there in the end, I feel like the story has a lot of set up to get them to meet, but then skips a lot of the early development of the relationship, bringing us very quickly to the point where they are already a couple. Particularly given that this is a kink story with Daddy/little dynamic, I felt like I needed to see more of that early development on page. I also felt like given that the main conflict here is centered around Emmett’s family dynamic, I wanted to learn more about that as well. So I understand that this is a shorter story and things won’t all get detailed like a full-length book, but I think there are a few places where I needed more development given the story being told, along with some pacing adjustments.

As I noted, this is a story that features age play, which I’ll admit, is not my favorite dynamic. But I think it is a light dose and even those who don’t favor Daddy/little play may still find this works well for them, as I did. It also features one scene where the men have sex while Emmett is in his little persona, which is a push for me honestly, but that’s personal preference. But, overall, I did enjoy the dynamic between the men and found them sweet together.

If you are a fan of this series, I think this holiday story is worth grabbing, particularly if you get to meet Emmett in Temptation. I am enjoying this series and excited to see Clark already has the next book scheduled for early next year. There are a lot of intriguing characters in this series so I am looking forward to seeing what is next.

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