Step by Step, K.C. Wells
Rating: 5 “So Sweet!” Stars
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, Age Difference, Family, OFY, Romance
Purchase At: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.com
Jamie’s life is one big financial mess, and it really isn’t his fault. However, the last thing he expected to find in the library was a Good Samaritan. He might have been suspicious of Guy’s motives at first, but it soon becomes apparent that his savior is a good man who has been lucky in life and is looking to pay it forward. Guy being gay is not a problem. Jamie’s not interested… or so he thinks.
Guy is happy to help Jamie, and the two men get along fine. But when Jamie’s curiosity leads him from one thing to another, Guy finds himself looking at the young man with new eyes. What started out as a hand up is now something completely different….
Today CANNOT get any worse.
Jamie, who turns twenty-one in the story, is having the worst day ever. All he’s ever wanted to do was go to law school and become a hotshot lawyer. He thought he was on the right path. He has a high GPA. He’s worked hard and is almost done with pre-law. He’s done everything right. Then, through no fault of Jamie’s, things start falling apart. His parents had saved money for years so that Jamie could go to college. He should’ve been set, right? Not hardly. Instead of doing as they promised, his mother and father used the money they’d saved for his education to fund a very bitter divorce. Jamie has been forced to work three jobs just to make ends meet, though he’s barely even doing that. His hours have been cut, he’s had to use next semester’s tuition money for dental surgery, and he had to pay the registration fee to take the upcoming LSAT. On the ‘worst day ever’ he’s just been told that he’s being evicted from his apartment because he’s three months behind on rent. While sitting in the library, he calls his father in hopes of asking for help. His father, who comes across as a selfish ass to me, makes it all about him and the impending divorce so Jamie doesn’t ask. He hangs up the phone fighting back tears. There’s no hope.
Until a man across the table makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
Guy Bass, thirty-eight, doesn’t mean to eavesdrop on Jamie’s conversation but he can’t help it. He can, however, help Jamie out with his problem. Once upon a time, when Guy was Jamie’s age, he too was in a desperate situation and a kind man made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Wanting to pay forward what had been done for him eighteen years prior, Guy offers Jamie a place to live rent free, his tuition paid, and even an allowance so he can focus on his studies and not stressing over trying to work three jobs while still keeping up with his classes. A very successful businessman, he can definitely afford to to help the young man. Of course, Jamie thinks he’s off his rocker. Wouldn’t you? 🙂 Jamie is no dummy, especially when he discovers that Guy is gay. He immediately thinks the offer has been put on the table so that Guy can have a live-in boy toy. Sure, Guy’s a good looking man, but Jamie is straight, and no thank you very much if that’s the condition of the offer. Ah, but not all is as it appears. I mean that in more ways than one. *grin*
not a whole lot of consideration Jamie agrees to allow Guy to help him. What else can he do? He has nowhere to live, no way to pay his bills, and no way to continue with his dream of becoming a lawyer. Guy is his only option. He agrees to move into Guy’s home and allows him to do the things he promised.
The two men immediately hit it off as roommates. I have to stress that it’s pretty far into the story before Guy starts seeing Jamie as anything other than a young man he wants to help because someone had helped him years before. He didn’t invite him into his home in hopes of having that boy toy that Jamie had thought he wanted. And, like I said, Jamie is straight. Right?
I’ve read reviews that call this gay-for-you. I see it as an out-for-you story. Jamie didn’t know what or who he was until Guy came into his world. He’d only had sex with a female a couple of times and it wasn’t ‘all that’. He ended each time wondering what the big deal was. Sure, he got off, but it didn’t make him like most guys his age – wanting it every chance he got. Only after he hears his new roomie having sex with a man on the other side of his bedroom wall does he get more turned on than he’s ever been in his life. So turned on that he has to take matters into his own hand, so to speak, while it’s going on. Suddenly Jamie starts seeing Guy in a new light. He begins having fantasies and wet dreams about him. Seeing him naked in the hot tub lets him know quick that while sex may not’ve been a big deal with a girl, he’s definitely wanting to have it with a man. Well, one man anyway.
It takes a while for the relationship to go beyond roommates and the financial arrangement. It takes a tipsy Jamie on his twenty-first birthday to finally make a move. When he does, hello! Hot as hell. Guy is hesitant but he can’t deny how bad he wants Jamie. Only when Jamie is sober does Guy allow things to progress. Afterward, they unknowingly work toward more than just a friends with benefits and financial arrangement. It was a pleasure watching them dance around each other for so long and so worth it when it finally clicked that they both wanted more.
Then there are other the characters who make up Step by Step. First, there’s Ryan, Jamie’s best friend. Oh, how I loved Ryan! He’s bi and his commentary about Guy and other hot men was hilarious. He was one of the most entertaining characters in the book. I know Step by Step is Guy and Jamie’s story but I couldn’t not share some of his funny quotes in this review (re: my visual above). Then there are Guy’s twenty-year-old twins, Carla and Patrick. Carla, I loved. Patrick was a homophobic jerk. As was his mother, Miranda, who made him that way. Then we have Cole, the district attorney who Jamie had idolized as he was dreaming of going to law school when he was younger. Cole and Guy have been close friends for years. I’m really hoping Cole gets his own story. Ryan too. I’d actually love to see the two of them together. Two complete opposites. That would be one hell of a book. Oh, and there’s also John, who owns a bar, who’s also one of Guy’s close friends. He was funny but he didn’t have as much page time as the others.
I love books with characters who have a significant age difference and the seventeen years between Guy and Jamie were right up my reading alley. Jamie, while young, didn’t act like an immature child. He knew what he wanted and he went after it. Parts of the book were obviously unrealistic but that doesn’t matter. The way it was all written made up for that. I loved Guy and Jamie and I’m really eager to see the others have their own stories. I hope the author revisits them. The sex was fan yourself hot as hell. Jamie may’ve been a newbie to man-on-man sex but he was a quick study. 😉 Guy was also a damn good teacher. I’m not just referring to what went on between Guy and Jamie. There are some masturbation scenes (one with a dildo) that were every bit as hot as the ones with both men.
There’s an epilogue that picks up a few years down the road so those concerned about the May/December thing and it being rush, rush, don’t be. The author gives the readers a perfect HEA. It’s sweet, it’s sappy, and there’s almost zero angst. I even giggled a couple of times. Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop for even a minute. It was the perfect book for me at the perfect time.
This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I am so glad you found a good book because I know you’ve had a drought. Step by Step sounds like a nice contemporary romance and I love the quotes/pics, especially the last one, it’s hot. 🙂 It also sounds like there might be more books coming after this one.
Great review, Cindi.
Thanks, Kazza. With my luck lately I really needed this book. I can’t say enough good things about it. I really hope the author makes it a series and gives the other guys their stories too, especially Ryan. You’d love him.
Thanks also about the quotes and pics. I had so much fun finding visuals for this review. As soon as I saw that last photo I knew I’d be using it. Isn’t it hot? 🙂