Author: K.C. Wells
Publisher: Island Tales Press
Summary: Matt Dorning likes his life just the way it is. Escorting provides him with enough money to live in his favorite city, New York, and he’s been doing it long enough that he knows the rules: don’t give it away when there’s always someone who’ll pay for it; always leave them wanting more; and never, never lose your heart to a client.
Lucas Sawyer is about to challenge all Matt’s rules. He’s a beautiful man who shouldn’t need to pay for sex, and yet Matt knows he’s the latest hooker in a long line. Lucas lives a life Matt can only dream of, but it doesn’t appear to make him happy: there’s something going on beneath that poised, self-assured exterior. And Matt also knows that his time with Lucas won’t last forever – escorts have a certain shelf life where he’s concerned.
So what happens when the man who doesn’t ‘do’ relationships, starts to question his life? Lucas is about to embark on a journey of self discovery…and Matt’s life is about to get messy…
Although this is part of the Material World series, it is a stand alone novella. Expect sex, silk, and sensuality.
Review: What a different take on the client/rentboy and age gap tropes, offering the positive side of becoming a sex worker, in this case, an escort. Matt chooses to work in the profession for simple reasons; he enjoys sex and he appreciates the money. There’s no dramatic backstory, or desperation, as so many think is the only reason someone does it. Matt thinks of it as a job, one that he enjoys and like real-life people in the biz, also models underwear. Lucas prefers the control of only having sex with escorts and he’s familiar to Matt’s circle as “Mr. Silk Sheets” who rarely calls anyone for an encore. Of course, Matt becomes the exception to his rule. It takes some time, but Lucas becomes the exception to Matt’s rules too. There’s no “cheating” but the two becoming a couple doesn’t happen quickly.
K.C. does a good job building her character’s personalities, with distinct voices and mostly seeming to match their ages. There isn’t a huge amount of conflict, only disagreement and reconciliation and an age difference is not much of an issue at all. Neither was Lucas being biracial, although there were a couple of brief mentions of it. The only thing that didn’t feel right to me was Lucas appearing to be almost a recluse at the start of the story, and referring to himself as having “social anxiety”, since he seemed to move past it rather easily. Perhaps it was for lack of a better term, but the way it was presented was kind of confusing to me. It was never clear, either, how behavior he was taught at home was so unusual or extreme as to invite ridicule. How could he built this huge business and became so wealthy, if he had such a problem? I wasn’t thrown completely out of the story though and I got past it, since I enjoyed the book overall.
The story is written in a fairly low-key fashion. The story flows along, interspersed with K.C.’s signature sex scenes that were both hot and romantic, with only one major conflict between Lucas and Matt but no major crisis. I liked the family members for both characters, the lack of gratuitous homophobia and Grandma was cute. It’s a romance story through and through, and Matt and Lucas’s reactions were appropriate to their ages and temperament. As usual, there’s a lovely epilogue and a gratifying HEA. It should be a favorite for romance readers wanting a simple, straightforward plot, some smexy times and a solid relationship for the MC’s.