Title: Shug’s Daddy
Author: Siobhan Smile
Word Count: 45k (Print Length: 168 pages)
Genre: MM Contemporary, Daddy Kink Romance
I was just a divorced, small town, hardware store owner, and the man most people considered a gentleman. A slip up in my strict routine would send the town gossips into a frenzy. Yet I’d grown up in that town and everyone knew everyone. No secrets were safe, but I carried one that would send my world into chaos if I let it. I was falling for a town transplant and one of my best friends, Sugar. He was everything I wasn’t. Spontaneous, fun, and knew exactly who he was. What would he see in a boring man like me?
I was that fat, nonbinary person who hadn’t known the inside of a closet in my life. With a mom like mine, she taught me to never live with regrets, but I had a massive one. I fell in love with my straight, gentlemanly best friend. Grey was everything I wasn’t. Thankfully, he was clueless, but our shared friend group wasn’t. How long could our friends stay silent in a town as small as ours?
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“Good morning, Grey.” His glossy lips tugged into a smile. His five o’clock shadow was more for fashion than not shaving in the morning.
“Morning. How can I help you?” I’d tentatively called us friends; we shared the random lunch a few times a week and met up on the rare outing friends forced me to attend.
“My house was an icebox when I got up. My nipples could cut glass and not for any fun reasons.” He batted his long, thick lashes at me, and for the hundredth time, I wondered if they were fake.
I shook my head, and he winked at me. “Give me your key.”
He immediately shook his head. “You don’t have to do it yourself. I’m sure you have better things to do.”
“Shug, give me your key. I might not get to check at lunch, but I’ll be by after I get off. I pass by your place on my way home. You work until six, right?” He owned a plus-sized boutique on Main Street and did a good online business. I loved listening to him talk about his shop. He became animated when he talked; he’d lean in with such a bright smile you couldn’t help but return it.
“Yes, sir. I close at six, but normally don’t finish paperwork and online orders until sometimes seven,” he said as he worked a key off the ring.
“If you’re not home by the time I’m finished, I’ll wait.” I picked up the key he laid on the counter, removed my keyring, and slipped it on beside mine so I wouldn’t lose it.
“You don’t have to do that, just leave—”
“Shug, I’ll wait.” While our small town was progressive in most ways, there were still bigots around, I wouldn’t leave his key for anyone with the initiative to look to pick it up.
“Okay, thank you. I’m going to have breakfast at the diner. Would you like me to bring you something?”
“No, thank you. I had breakfast before I left home.”
“Of course, you did. You probably even pack your lunch and cook dinner every night.”
“Yes, I do.” Did he think I was boring like everyone else? I didn’t drink or rarely went to the local bars. I preferred being home. Taking a ride on one of my horses around my property before I settled in for the night with a movie or a book. I wasn’t exciting, but my life was calm and the way I wanted it.
“So nice and responsible, all adult.”
“Nothing wrong with that.” Without thinking, I defended my life choices. I knew people thought I was too stoic and reserved. I’d married my high school sweetheart after college, and we’d spent ten years together before she found my life too simple and routine. She’d left for excitement. I’d been a confirmed and abstinent bachelor since then, even though ladies in town tried to flirt, but it always made me feel awkward.
“No, sir, there isn’t. Could I make you dinner for helping me?”
“That’s unnecessary. If I can’t fix it myself, you’ll have to pay someone. I’ll build fires for you so you stay warm.”
“It was one time, Grey, one.” He held up his index finger with a long, manicured painted nail. Today was dark purple with some flower design.
My lips twitched as I remembered the gossip of Shug trying to build his first fire when he moved to town and smoked up his entire house when he hadn’t opened the flue. The fire department had found him on his lawn in a pink robe having a meltdown that he’d burned down his house.
“It wasn’t funny. Hot firefighters and I wasn’t looking my best, I was a mess, honey, a mess.”
“I heard you made quite the first impression.”
“You’re an evil man, and I no longer like you.”
He spun and stomped from the store. I kept it together until the door slammed behind him, and he glared at me through the age-etched glass. I lifted my mug to my mouth to cover my smile as he walked away adorably huffy.
~ * ~ Anna‘s Review ~ * ~
Shug’s Daddy is a cute, little to no angst, small-town story of two very different characters who learn that opposites can attract! Shug has left the big city for a small town to settle down and run his boutique in. Grey is at home in the small town he grew up in and has no intention of changing a thing. Well, maybe one thing: straight as an arrow Grey might not be as straight as anyone thought!
I loved these characters! They both are true to themselves and know what they want in life. Watching their story unfold was so sweet, but proved to be spicy too!
The only wish I have for this story is that I wish it was longer! I think the characters could have done with a little more backstory and their relationship with each other and those around them could have been developed more. Otherwise, it’s a great story!
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Siobhan Smile is an author of happily ever afters with a twist. They feature characters of all sizes, shapes, sexualities, gender identities, and races. Reading a Siobhan Smile book lets you escape for a few hours whether that is to an alien world or a contemporary setting, you’ll find something outside the norm. Writing books for Siobhan is more than simply telling a story, it’s a way for everyone to see themselves get a HEA.
Author Pronouns: Nonbinary – They/Them
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