Thursday, December 22, 2022

Act Your Age by Eve Dangerfield


I learned something about myself as a reader somewhat recently, and it's that I don't really like erotica books unless it goes beyond sex. I really need the characters to feel something for each other besides lust, and I want the relationship to evolve them as people, not just a couple. All of my favorite erotica and erotic romance writers do this, and apparently Eve Dangerfield does this as well, so she's well on her way to becoming an auto-buy for me, because ACT YOUR AGE was such a delight.

I actually haven't read a lot of "Daddy kink" romances-- my first one was by Brianna Hale, actually-- and Dangerfield's style seems to be very similar to Hale's: her hero, Ty, is older and dominant in a way that goes beyond the scene, but he also genuinely cares for Kate. And Kate is girlish and silly but she's also allowed to be a mature woman with career ideas and a real sense of self. Femininity is often portrayed as a weakness or a facet of the patriarchy, so it's refreshing to see a woman who is very feminine still be portrayed as whole and strong.

The plot of this book is pretty simple. Ty is Kate's boss. After he saves her from being the victim of a sex crime, they accidentally hook up. It turns out they're sexually compatible in the way that each of them has always dreamed of, but the whole boss/employee thing makes it super awkward. They start seeing each other anyway, and things quickly become complicated. Both of them have interesting but tragic pasts that have made it hard for them to have healthy relationships and connect with others, and as they explore their newfound partners, they also have to learn how to set up and take down boundaries.

I don't want to say much else because I don't want to spoil anything, but I liked that both leads were allowed to be flawed and selfish in a way that a lot of others wouldn't let their characters be seen. At times, it was almost off-putting for me as a reader, but their bad decisions made sense, even if I didn't like them. And both grew from their mistakes. I also liked the STEM heroine, the fact that both hero and heroine had a support network comprised of friends and/or family, and the heroine's roller derby hobby, which showed a tougher side of her that made her a really well rounded character.

4 out of 5 stars

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