Forty-five-year-old English professor Nathan Qells is very good at making people feel important. What he’s not very good at is sticking around afterward. He’s a nice guy; he just doesn’t feel things the way other people do. So even after all the time he’s spent taking care of Michael, the kid across the hall, he doesn’t realize that Michael’s mob muscle uncle and guardian, Andreo Fiore, has slowly been falling in love with him.
Dreo has bigger problems than getting Nate to see him as a potential partner. He’s raising his nephew, trying to leave his unsavory job, and starting his own business, a process made infinitely more difficult when a series of hits takes out some key underworld players. Still, Dreo is determined to build a life he can be proud of—a life with Nate as a cornerstone. A life that is starting to look like exactly what Nate has been looking for. Unfortunately for Dreo—and for Nate—the last hits were just part of a major reorganization, and Dreo’s obvious love for Nate has made him a target too.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I recently read Calmes’ Frog and decided that I needed to read anything and everything by her I could get my hands on. When I saw Acrobat show up on NetGalley, I didn’t even think twice before requesting it.
Nathan is a professor and desperately needs to get over his ex, but his work and his other obligations keep him busy enough that he doesn’t really have time to date. He spends a lot of time with the next door neighbor kid Michael, who reminds him of his son. Little did he know that Michael’s guardian and uncle Dreo has developed some deep feelings for him.
Although it takes awhile for Nate to realize how deeply Dreo cares for him, and how much he cares back, the intensity of their feelings is one that sweeps them both away. And the more Dreo opens to Nate, the more he realizes that the kind of life Dreo is planning, is exactly the kind that Nate wants. Forever.
I was a little worried that it seemed to take Calmes forever to get these two in a room together for more than thirty seconds. The first almost half of the book deals with Nate coming to grips with his ex, thinking about dating again and his relationship with Michael. While I loved getting to watch him mentor and act as a father figure to Michael, I was not so happy with Sean, Nate’s love interest in the beginning of the story. I didn’t like Sean and I didn’t like them together, so there was a bit of grumbling from me in the beginning.
As Nate and Dreo interacted, it was obvious to see how much Dreo cared for him. I have such a soft spot for big burly men who will go to any lengths to keep the one they love safe. (Hello, Julian Cross, I’m talking to you…) Dreo reminded me of a sweeter and more relaxed version of Cross, and for that I adored him from the moment he stepped onto the page with his surly attitude and love in his eyes.
I liked the mob aspect as well, especially how it was obvious that Dreo wanted out so that he could have a chance to live the life he wanted with Nate and Michael. Watching him struggle with leaving and the desire to keep his loved ones safe, all while dealing with coming out was incredible. Calmes does such an amazing job of bringing across a multitude of emotions, and this book really tugged at all my strings.
The romance between Nate and Dreo was very quick. They dove headfirst into a serious relationship that moved quicker than I think either of them expected. At the same time, it didn’t necessarily feel rushed to me. While I wouldn’t have moved that quickly, Dreo and Nate were both secure enough in themselves and each other to take a somewhat significant plunge early on in their relationship. It was fast, but wonderful.
All in all Calmes continues to impress me with her writing and storytelling. I can’t wait to gobble up her backlist of titles. Both Nate and Dreo were amazing characters, that kept me so captivated from start to finish. Add in the cast of awesome secondary characters, and this one is a must read for any m/m fan out there.
I give Acrobat an A-