My rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Steve is a reformed bad boy trying to make his way in the business world by running a popular waffle stand. He’s lonely and full of regrets. I felt an immediate sympathy for this character. The way he was portrayed with a few quick sketches of his back story was well done. The only ray of sunshine in his life is a beautiful young man he calls “little duck.” Little duck passes by the Waffle Haus every day, but he walks a pace behind in the wake of a powerful-appearing man whom Steve senses is his Dom. When Steve offers a cinnamon sugar waffle special, knowing it’s little duck’s favorite, little does he realize the result will be life changing.
Beaten and abused, Joey runs from his Dom, Topher, and he runs to Steve. The more Steve learns about Topher, a member of the local crime family, and Joey, the more he wants to do something about it.
This is tight little story, though I would have liked more emotion in the romance between Steve and Joey; if this was hurt/comfort, it missed the mark for me, only because of the lack of description in the growing passion between the two. Joey seems to be happy just to be taken care of and Steve is happy doing the caretaking. I still enjoyed the story. I loved that tough guy Steve worked so hard to keep Joey safe, plotting to put Topher away for good so they can have their happy ending. The story is told in the present tense, which is always tricky and not my favorite, but Aria Grace made it work like a charm. I highly recommend this story and this author.