Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Micah Abrams has hit his breaking point; in the middle of the night and without a plan, he packs up and moves back to San Francisco, where he went to college, and far away from his stifling hometown. On his talents and the good word from his best friend, Pixie, Micah lands a job at Whipped, a kink café serving coffees by day and BDSM in the basement. Micah is as vanilla as they come, or so he thinks.

Parker Edwards is a Dom who works at Whipped doing demos, but he keeps himself closed off from a committed relationship. Seeing how his mother’s death affected his dad, Parker wants nothing to do with relationships. But the new hire is a bratty boy that captures his attention, and Parker’s inner Daddy is struggling to come out.

Micah has known about the kink lifestyle for a long while, but he’s never dipped his toes in. Being surrounded by the wonderful employees at Whipped, and living with Pixie, has him doing his research. And on an employee play night, Micah dives in, letting Parker spank him. They’ve become friends of sorts, but that night changes everything. Parker is more than happy to explore kink with Micah, but the more they do, the closer they get. Even though Parker made it clear up front that he doesn’t want anything permanent, there’s no denying the connection between them.

But with Parker trying to get his father to want to live, and Micah dealing with his own homophobic parents, emotions come crashing down. As they support each other, Micah realizes he’s fallen in love with Parker — and that he has no choice but to walk away. Parker realizes his mistake in letting Micah go, and with a few well-meaning comments from his friends, he knows he has to win Parker back.

Katherine McIntyre is a new-to-me author, but I’m always looking for a new kink book, so I was quick to snap this one up. There are some heavier themes in this story, so make sure to check the tags here and the content warnings, but the overall feeling of the book is pretty light. The kink aspect and types of play Parker and Micah engage in aren’t too extreme.

Micah is a bit lost and looking to start over, but the reader gets to see him embrace his true self throughout the story. He dresses how he wants, acts how he wants, and really turns up the brat that is living in his soul. His exploration of kink isn’t delved into too deeply, but it’s handled with care and Parker makes sure to check in regularly during scenes. I loved the two of them together; the chemistry sparks from the start and keeps growing the more they spend time together. It’s not all about the kink, but that’s a big part of it, and I thought the author did a good job with building their love story.

Parker is a Daddy, a Dom who is hard wired for care taking, and has a bit of a sadistic streak. He’s tried for the past several years to compartmentalize his two worlds, and he’s done an okay job at it, but it’s clear from the start that he is so much more than he’s letting himself be. I loved seeing how Micah drew out Parker’s true self, and I liked the healing journey that Parker is on.

But part of his story is also where my small issues with this book lie. Parker is determined not to get involved with anyone because his mother’s death crushed his father, and his dad is barely surviving, just waiting to die. This felt a little forced to me, and over the top. Toward the end of the story, it’s implied that Parker also blames himself for his mother’s death (though a rare disease is what killed her) and I wished that had been explored more. It rings more true to his character, but it’s almost glossed over, and then suddenly, after confronting his father, Parker is all right again. Given the nature of this plot point, I felt as though it wasn’t given the exploration and time on page that it deserved and would have made a more understandable internal conflict.

That being said, I liked the book. The narration style, third-person alternating POVs, worked really well for the story and allowed the reader to get to know both MCs well. The chemistry between them is off the charts, and I was rooting for their love from the start. I love the idea of a kink café, and I love the found family atmosphere of the employees. This was just the first book in the series, and I’ll definitely be reading the next one.