Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
OK, got that out of my system. I hate cliffhangers. I enjoy series in general, and I probably will read the next installment of this one (the first in the Responsible Adult series), but was that ending really necessary? Also, there were noticeable grammar/editing errors, not too many, but these days I have seen improvement in the MM romance genre in general, and now expect better proofreading than what I saw here.
Mickey is an angry, violent kid from an abusive home. He was going down the wrong path – fighting, partying, petty crime, failing school – when his mother died. His father was a drunk and a deadbeat, so Mickey suddenly fell into the role of caregiver for his little brother. Dylan has William’s syndrome, which makes him a little slow, a little small, a lot hyper, but an incredibly happy kid. (Wikipedia says “100% of those with Williams syndrome were kind-spirited, 90% sought the company of others, 87% empathize with others’ pain, 84% are caring, 83% are unselfish/forgiving, 75% never go unnoticed in a group, and 75% are happy when others do well”) Dylan is lovable, but a lot of hard work for a 19 year old brother who is trying to keep a roof over their heads at the same time that he is going to school to better both of their lives.
Mickey was referred for a job at an upscale grocery store, in somewhat shady way, and the manager Dan decided to hire him despite his criminal record. Dan was in instant lust with Mickey, which helped with the decision to hire him. Mickey is closeted, but drawn to Dan anyway, and when a chance meeting let Dylan get to know Dan, both men started to see each other as more than just a good fuck. Mickey wasn’t looking for it, but finding a man who was caring, grounded, intelligent and thoughtful relieved anxieties he wouldn’t even allow himself to acknowledge. But, pursuing a relationship with an impulsive teenager with an anger management problem, no matter how much Dan cared for Mickey and wanted to see him prosper, was bound to run into trouble.
Their growing relationship was punctuated by a lot of false starts, and Mickey kept sabotaging it with his uncontrolled temper and intermittent self loathing. I didn’t even like Mickey for the first half of the book, because he was a selfish asshole who took advantage of Dan’s generosity over and over, and treated him like crap. Mickey grew on me though, because he was growing up, and by the end of the book was not just trying, but actually succeeding in doing the right thing, at least most of the time.
The cast of secondary characters added a lot to the book, even though I found I didn’t like many of them. Dylan, of course, is the most important one, and he is absolutely delightful. His happy child’s view of life inspires everyone to want to take care of him, and through him Mickey has more allies than he realizes. Other characters are more of caricatures: Dougie, the awkward, obese, and incredibly socially inept coworker at the grocery that seemed like he had some kind of syndrome of his own; Jason, the delinquent best mate who always has Mickey’s back despite being a fence and a thief; Paul, the hanger-on who is willing to be bullied just to hang with the cool kids; Hollie and Tara, the large-breasted girls who seemingly will do anything to have sex with Mickey, and care about nothing else.
Cover art by Posh Gosh is OK – the model looks a little soft for how I imagined Mickey.
ebook, 226 pages
Expected publication: July 4th 2017 by Pride Publishing
SeriesResponsible Adult #1